Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Did I Miss a Meeting?

Imagine waking up and looking out your window to find this...

Imagine waking up and looking out your window to find this…

Since I’ve been on a confusion trip of late, recent events have not helped much. The Christmas in July phenomenon has also been a mind bender. I’ve never heard of it, myself. I stared at the view presented above for awhile, dumbfounded, then got out of the trailer to see if this was a solo mental blowout. It wasn’t.

Just your standard Christmas fare, a nativity scene and a blow-up alligator wearing a Santa Clause hat.

Just your standard Christmas fare, a nativity scene and a blow-up alligator wearing a Santa Clause hat.

Okayyyy! I cautiously backed inside the Defiant again, reflected a moment, and locked the door as a precaution. Then I got online and looked up this camp’s Activities Page. It was there, right alongside the dog parades and corn boils. That was kind of a relief, since it wasn’t me. It was them. I Googled the term and found to my amazement that Christmas in July is not a new thing. It’s a dumb excuse for a quasi-holiday with a history, however aberrant or pointless. It’s merely that lady in the high school or corporate lunchroom who wore one holiday decoration or button after another as time went on, jumping from one to the next at an exhausting pace. There are more of her out there, it seems, and they’ve been inventing new ones.

And, the ones living in RVs apparently have storage space to spare. That’s the impressive part. I’m currently up to the gunnels with the last of my old R/C model car racing equipment, having unpacked it to catalog and photograph it for a collector in Racine, Wisconsin. We’ll see how that goes. All of it is obsolete and most of it is virtually worthless of course, but a few items are not. Now that I’m in a position where every buck counts, it’s carried along until I can properly pass it on to some unfortunate victim. They too are out there. At any rate, if I faint and fall down, the odds are much better than even that I’ll topple onto boxes or parts cases to break my fall. That would be a comfort, except that the odds are also much better than even that I’ll actually fall because I tripped over some of it as well. Christmas in July accouterments are just going to have to wait.

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8 thoughts on “Did I Miss a Meeting?

  1. Hey Doug! That’s southern for hello pardner. I recently found out that Jesus was not born in December, nor was he born in Bethleham. Odd isn’t it?

    Apparently as a Christian back then you hid a lot of stuff. There was already a big celebration, pagan, in Bethlehem in Dec so the pegged that as a place and time to openly celebrate behind the scene so to speak. They think he was born in the June to July time frame.

    Since we are discovering Xmas in July have you run into the six month birthday concept yet? Yes at as a example 16 years and six months you can have a Happy Birthday event!!!

    • I’m wary of speculation parading as fact, myself. December was chosen by the Roman church in the fourth century for convenience and competition, since the time of His birth was not recorded in any way. There’s significance in that. We have such a penchant for nailing things down in order to “prove” that they occurred. I think that lack is a hint of the importance we should take to assigning a date to His birth. The holiday was intended merely as an attempt to appropriate the murderous Roman holiday of Saturnalia, which practices were allowed to continue under the new name (in Rome). It was later used to justify robustly antisemitic plundering and murder in Europe, which continued off and on into the 1880s. Fake Christianity, and counter to it. Recognizing its origins and history, the Puritans of Massachusetts actually banned the holiday of Christmas from 1659 to 1681. I can hardly blame them. Fake up a morphed holiday in a drive to artificially expand, and you get what you get. Today, it is a largely secular, national holiday which itself has been morphed into other holidays, for other purposes.

      Of greater significance is Christ’s life and His death, as noted in the Bible. It is clear from the Scriptures, all citings, that the place of His birth was Bethlehem, and from there was taken to grow up in Galilee. Sources questioning the practicality of how the Romans chose to do things, whether they did them at all, and the “impossibility” of travel when nine months pregnant is merely assumption, lack of surviving ancient administrative records, and speculation in a culture devoid of anything greater than itself. It’s History Channel’s version of “perhaps” and “possibly”. The account is there as it is, and whether one decides to believe it or discount it is a matter of faith, something which Jesus urged for and marveled at when He came across it. So, I don’t find your recent readings odd at all. They are part of our cultural thinking. According to that, Jesus, the God incarnate, was married, was not married but was carrying on with a reformed prostitute, and had a love child as a result. We each believe what we want to. In any case, don’t be hoodwinked by “perhaps” parading as fact.

      And nope, I have not yet come across the half-year birthday concept, but if I were a marketer, I’d be pumping that handle for all it was worth! I’ll be putting up a page giving an address where everybody can send gifts.

  2. Virginia on said:

    Hoo boy. I believe the individuals you’re referring to are ones I’m familiar with. The ones that take a random day and make ‘administrative assistant’ day. The ones whose cubes at work are overloaded to an alarming capacity on decorations that seem to take forever to come down. Good luck out there Pop. Just don’t move if one spots you, and try not to make any loud noises. You’d be surrounded by a cat collection within moments.

    • Yes, they are everywhere. I’m keeping a very low profile here, believe me. There’s one seasonal guy here with a giganto-scale model railroad layout here, beside his trailer. You can tell whenever he shows up by the recorded steam whistle sound coming across the driveway. Not holiday-related, but still odd.

  3. James Brown on said:

    Well that just wouldn’t do for me. Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m the Scrooges Scrooge, but it works for me. I was raised by my depression era great parents and we didn’t celebrate Christmas much. Oh there would be one fake candle in the window, and a gum drop tree, and of course Grandma’s Lane Cake. Other than that, it was pretty much another day. Then I settled in with a girl who didn’t understand the concept of enough when it comes to Christmas. I played along for a few years and dutifully did amazing light shows in the yard and spent my evenings being tortured by errant bulbs in Christmas tree lights. Start to finish it was a two month extravaganza. New Years day was a day to celebrate in my life, although the packing up could take a couple of weeks. Still, by New Years I knew the insanity was about over. Personally I could understand if Christmas was celebrated maybe ever five years or so but my suggestions never seem to hold court. I’ve really had a belly of the non-sense. I seriously think if I awoke to find that camped next to me in a month that didn’t start with a D, and late in that month at that, I’d get a case of hitch itch that would rule my world.

    Good luck with the RC stuff.

    JB

    • Two months? Oh, the humanity! That’s because of the effort to set everything up, maybe. Not worth a mere three-week display. Packing and unpacking were the worst in my book, James, though the progress of moving to the superior technology of mini-lights is a close second. Used to be, you just replaced the unlit bulb, and maybe burned yourself on the good one next to it. These days, when one fails, none light up, so it’s Russian roulette time. No wonder spare bulbs that will fit are scarce, and the usual practice is to throw it away and buy a new set. It’s a conspiracy! 😉

  4. Linda Sand on said:

    There used to be an astronomy professor in the Minneapolis area that presented a popular lecture on the Star of Bethlehem. He would show which two “morning stars” came together to “proclaim the holy birth.” It was fun to listen to his accent until you finally began to understand him and got so fascinated by what he was saying that you forgot he had an accent.

    It always reminds me of the “eye of the needle” phrase. I have read that was a gate that was so low a camel had to kneel to get through it. It had nothing to do with a sewing needle.

    Plus, supposedly it would have taken the “wise mean of the east” two years to travel to see the baby. Not such a baby any longer.

    So feeling free to pick July as the time to celebrate Christmas makes as much sense as anything else, I suppose.

    I like the idea of having a birthday cake and giving presents of promises you make to live a more Christ-like life myself.

    • Thank you, Linda, that is interesting! And reading Matthew, one does get a sense of time needing to pass, what with the unrolling of various events, Herod slaughtering children two years old or less, and all references being “the child”. Makes today’s nativity scene constructs a bit of a Readers Digest condensation.

      I’ve personally found resolutions and self-promises to be simply setting myself up for disappointment, as I’m stuck with the mindset that once I blow a resolve, it’s shot – and I always do. Plus, I’m one of those who is problem-oriented rather than goal-oriented. So I can do little but set my sights on the moments within today, and put my thoughts and decisions into that. I can have a goal, but I need to place my attention squarely on today in order to avoid a “someday” orientation and veer off, assuming I’ll return to the needed path eventually. Now that I’m older, I realize that “eventually” is time lost. Time is precious, not in minutes, but in moments as they add up. But I must admit, that cake part has a certain appeal!

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