We sang Christmas carols Sunday during worship service. The logic, no doubt, had to do with it being Dec. 1, the month in which Christ’s birth is (inaccurately) celebrated.
The word “inaccurately” is important because it’s 42 degrees Fahrenheit in Bethlehem, West Bank, as I write this, and surely will be a lot colder come Dec. 25. That’s not a great temperature to be having a baby in a stable/manger/cave/corral/burrow/whatever.
When it comes to getting Christmas off to an early start, singing carols in church is better than the behavior of merchants. They started promoting Christmas the moment turkeys went into the ovens. Or, in some extreme cases, right after Arbor Day.
Here’s something to ponder: How long would it take your friends and family to consider murdering you if you acted equally giddy over your birthday a month before it actually arrived?
Imagine most people you pass exclaiming, “Happy birthday, [your name],” while fully expecting you to respond with equal enthusiasm.
Don’t forget the school Christmas programs, decorations and special deals offered on merchandise because, hey, your birthday is only 52 days away.
And let’s not forget, shall we, the number of people who will punch and bite one another over the last special item on the shelf, or the ones who go to jail for overindulging in the spirit of your eventual birthday.
Finally, there’s you skipping happily about singing: “Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday, dear myself, happy birth to … ”
Forget family and friends. I’d kill you myself.
The Christmas season is anything but spiritual for many people. Making this claim isn’t a form of “humbug.” I’m just particular about how I celebrate “the most wonderful time of the year.”
For one thing, Christmas, for me, doesn’t start until noon on Christmas Eve and it lasts only 48 hours after that.
Still, there is a lot about Christmas that I like. They had nothing to do with what I got but rather what I already had.
The best Christmas was in 1975, two months after I got married. My wife and I were dozing on the couch after dinner. The warmth of us wrapped up in each other and the smell of her hair were magical.
After that, I loved watching my pajama-clad grandkids as they poured down the stairs Christmas morning like buccaneers into a loot-filled hold of a galleon.
And there was the Christmas afternoon I spent with my 2-year-old granddaughter, Lyndie, sleeping on my chest holding a new stuffed animal while I listened to B.B. King’s “One Kind Favor” album that my wife got for me.
The best part of Christmas isn’t about time, music, money, gifts, wine and other stuff you’ll get. It’s about fully understanding what you already have.
Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.