Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Christmas classics

I found some rather enjoyable Christmas stuff to listen to on iTunes, such as a podcast called Christmas Old Time Classics – a collection of radio shows from the 1940s – Abbot and Costello, Red Skelton, Jack Benny, and the like. The humor is very basic – but wonderfully refreshing.

The collection also includes Boris Karloff reading “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” – which I just enjoyed coming home on the bus.

An even bigger surprise was the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life”. I guess it’s in the public domain now, because it’s a free download on iTunes. Not sure what the quality will be like – but I decided to give it a go:) I forgot to start the download yesterday while I was at Starbucks, so actually set an alarm on my iPhone to remind me today! It’s a 1.3GB download. I got 400MB downloaded tonight – wow! That would have taken up half the hard drive on the laptop I used to do my dissertation research!! Hopefully, I will have it completely downloaded by Sunday – three more sessions should do it:)

There are still three weeks to go before Christmas, and I’m already burned out from many months of dealing with Christmas merchandise at work – but the old, Christmas classics seem to be an antedote to any Bah Humbug I may have picked up over the course of my day at work.

A bit of Yukon Jack doesn’t hurt either:)

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Christmas thoughts

It might seem a bit early to be thinking about Christmas – but I work in retail where Christmas starts in the summertime. Once we’re into November, it feels very imminent!!

The company I work for does 40 percent of its annual total business in just 5 weeks of the year. It’s very stressful. And I really think it’s bad for the economy to have such a big part of it so dependent on one event in the calendar. We would be better off if money were spent more evenly throughout the year. I’m sure of it!

I don’t observe Christmas in the usual way. I do not go shopping or do much to decorate my home. And since I have been working in retail, I have stubbornly avoided it as much as possible.

But this year feels different. Perhaps it’s the prospect of a cold, snowy winter in Seattle. Or maybe I’m just getting old enough to succumb to nostalgia:)

Over the weekend I spent several hours – and a few $$ – at the iTunes store. I downloaded some Christmas tunes from my younger years, such as Greg Lake’s “I believe in Father Christmas” and Slade’s “Merry Christmas Everbody”; a Christmas album by Chanticleer; some bonafide carols by various serious artists; and just to be really childish, I got the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack and a Christmas song by Alvin & The Chipmunks!

But the icing on the Christmas cake is the Charlie Brown Christmas TV movie. I have it on the iPhone. It was a 800MB download and kept me at the library over an hour!

Perhaps this will make a difference:)

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I just Googled the word “subversive”, seeing as I don’t have a dictionary at hand. Merriam-Webster defines subversive as follows:

1 : the act of subverting : the state of being subverted; especially : a systematic attempt to overthrow or undermine a government or political system by persons working secretly from within

Here the usage is assumed to be adjective, but I am using subversive as a noun. I am not looking to overthrow the government – I’m either passionately indifferent or militantly apathetic – not sure which.

Socially, I’m about as bland as you’ll find. I have no tattoos or piercings; own nothing made of hemp; wear argyle socks; enjoy no mind-altering substances other than wine; get coffee mostly from Starbucks; and only
ever pick up a copy of The Stranger to consult my horoscope. It’s amazing I have any imagination at all.

But I do find myself frequently engaging in quite elaborate thoughts of undermining part of the retail economy – specifically the part that revolves around certain holidays. I’ve been in retail for 7 years now, and cannot believe the stuff that people are still buying in this lousy economy, especially at Halloween and Christmas.
It strikes me as one heck of a waste of raw materials, energy and human endeavor – and retailers count on us showing up to buy the rubbish they ordered in order to stay afloat for the next year. Unfortunately, it seems to be all that’s left of our economy – which is why I am currently in this baffling line of work.

Oddly enough, I do not find subversive comfort in modern anarchy, or “voluntary simplicity”, or other anti-consumer movements, or the Green Party, or by shopping at the Farmers Market. These are a bit too predictable.

Instead, I find my previously mentioned Gang Of Three – Mark Twain, H.G.Wells, and Jean Shepherd – to be the perfect antedotes to the pointless energy expended daily so that Americans can have yet another happy Christmas!

This is the time of year that I have fantasies about Christmas being canceled. I wonder what it would take?

I’m saving Jean Shepherd’s Christmas-themed podcasts for that last week running up to the big day – when it will be insane at work. But it just occurs to me that I don’t ever recall one mention of Christmas on the part of Mark Twain – not in anything I read anyway.

As for H.G.Wells, pestilence may very well have put an end to Christmas in his horrific version of the 20th century (where there is no mention either) – but I don’t think it would keep today’s shoppers out of the malls:)

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