Life and Laughter – I Saw Mommy Kicking Santa ClausJan 03, 2022 12:58PM ● By Peri Kinder
The holidays have arrived. Snow is falling, candles are aglow, the smell of cinnamon wafts through the air, and somewhere in Utah a middle-aged woman is screaming at a Walmart cashier because the store is out of the candied cherries she puts in her fruit cake.
Blame the supply chain, but it’s not just dried fruit running low; it’s patience, compassion and the ability to be a nice human being. If you’re on TikTok, along with videos of flying reindeer and holiday proposals, you’ll see flight attendants being punched, teachers yelling at students, customers throwing coffee at baristas and whales capsizing kayaks. Even whales have had enough.
You’d think being isolated last year would make us happier to interact with fellow humans this holiday season, but it seems to be the opposite. Social distancing and isolation have taken our stress levels to nuclear proportions. We’re reacting like the Tasmanian Devil, whirling ourselves off a cartoon cliff.
News programs broadcast warnings about packages stolen from porches and backseats, felons posing as Salvation Army bell-ringers and spiteful elves spying on children and reporting back to Santa.
Poor Kris Kringle will deliver a lot of coal this year . . . well, not coal because it’s destroying the planet. Maybe since wind power is a sustainable coal alternative, Santa can bring naughty people a stiff, gusty breeze.
We’re living in a heightened state of fear, and fear is the opposite of what we should feel this time of year. This season of love and light and joy has been co-opted by those who would divide us. The farther apart we get, the less we are able to see each other.
Here’s an idea. What if we put all talk of politics on hold for December? That would be one month of no talking heads and finger-pointing and dire social media memes. What if we vowed to share only positive stories and heartwarming videos, and ban all holiday music featuring Alvin and the Chipmunks?
Let’s use this time to digest more than nine pounds of mashed potatoes and three types of pie. Let’s digest how we’ve treated each other during the last year, and try to do better. Even I, a freakin’ humor columnist, have received more angry emails and phone calls in 2021 than the previous 17 years combined.
Whether it’s Democrats, Republicans, Big Bird, mask mandates, cancel culture or fruitcake, our division is growing. Any day, I’m expecting leaflets to be flung out of helicopters explaining how the COVID vaccine is turning us into carnivorous, zombie dinosaurs. Aren’t you tired of it all?
Remember when Christmas meant acts of service and goodwill to all mankind? What can you do to return to love this holiday season? Maybe less judgement and more connection. Maybe less yelling and more listening. Maybe it’s taking a plate of homemade cookies to a neighbor. Maybe it’s building a bridge instead of a wall. Maybe it’s apologizing and swallowing our inflated egos.
This holiday season, it’s your job to love your neighbor, even the one you don’t agree with. Even the ones yelling at the Walmart cashier. They might need the most love of all.