Daily Archives: November 27, 2012

happy holidays

Shop clerks this week have been saying   ” Happy Holidays ” to me .  I parrot  ” You too ,” or   “Happy Holidays ” in response . But I don’t know what holidays they mean . Thanksgiving was last Thursday .  Christmas comes around in about a month . Is it some Jewish holiday that I am unaware of ? What holidays do they mean ? All of them ?

Is it ” holiday season ” ? If it’s holiday season is it de rigueur to say ” Happy Holidays ” whenever the urge strikes . Is it part of the prescribed store clerk courtesy to have to say ” Happy Holidays ” to every customer ?

I suppose ,  now that I’m retired ,  holidays have lost some of their character for me . Every day is a holiday for me . They used to be holidays from work .  Now ? Holidays  used to be some hope of a little time off . But now none of that at all .

Maybe ” holiday season ” now means ” shopping season ” .  What is called Black Friday began this year on Thanksgiving Thursday. There were more sales on Black Friday this year than last year . Statisticians broke it all down statistically . The media reported all the stats as if someone cared .  The people who make a living charting the stats are , no doubt , waiting for a few holiday days off .

Local grocery stores are already selling Christmas trees , though only the artificial ones so far . When I was in Best Buy yesterday I  heard Bing Crosby crooning Christmas songs . My next door neighbor has put up his Christmas lights already .  Multi- colored lights are blinking along the edge of his roof  . His step ladder is still set up in his front yard . Next come the candy canes in the  front yards up and down the street , I guess . Meanwhile , Santa must be warming up his reindeer , stuffing his pipe , checking his sleigh .

I think the Hollywood Christmas Parade is already done . I saw a photo in the paper . Maybe the photo is from last year , though . The Monrovia Christmas Parade is coming . Always on a Thursday , my pool night .

We are always surprised , Bill , Willie , Dan , and I , as we approach the pool place that day and find no  place to park .  Inexplicably ,  streets are blocked off , crowds line the street in front of the pool hall , cops and police cadets wave us off . Bill rolls his window down and tells the cop , ” But it’s our pool night !” The cops don’t care .  We end up having to park several blocks away and wade through a crowd of excited kids and parents . Members of the high school band are tuning their instruments . Hawkers are selling glow sticks and cotton candy . Everyone is  waiting for Santa Claus . He’ll be along later , we hear .

We have never seen Santa there . We always half-intend to go outside when he goes by . When we eventually emerge   Santa is already gone . The crowds are gone .  The temporary street barriers and patrolling  cops have gone .  Tim , the pool hall owner , says , ” You guys got no Christmas spirit ” .

” Did you see Santa ? ” I ask him .

” Course !” Tim lies . He never moved from behind the bar all evening .

” O.K. , then what does he look like ? ” Willie asks Tim .

” Like he did last year ,” Tim says . ” One or two more wrinkles ,” he adds .

As we pass a city maintenance worker on our way back to the car , the guy says   ” Happy Holidays ”  to us .  He is a heavy guy with  a white beard and he is  wearing a red suit as he  sweeps  up parade trash .  No one dares say ” Thank you Santa ” , but we are all thinking it .

” Happy Holidays  to you , too !”

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