|THE RESIDUE OF EXALTED AND DASHED HOPES
There’s something about this time that’s an odd mixture of joy and depression.
Christmas is fading ... and fading fast.
No more rushing around … no more fighting the crowds … no more buying presents for ungrateful people … no more hideous fruitcake … no more singing those awkwardly-composed, holiday hymns … no more pretending to be full of holiday cheer.
After being revved-up on your Christmas sugar high, you’ve come crashing down like a snowstorm over the South Pole. It was nice, but somehow, not as nice as you’d hoped. Amid the media hype, popping champagne corks, family get-togethers and ripped and cluttered gift wrap, there’s still something of a letdown.
Is this how it’s supposed to be? It can’t be. Those people in the Macy’s TV ads always look so shiny and happy. Why can’t that be me?
♪♪ Christmas time is here … Happiness and cheer … Fun for all that children call their favorite time of the year! ♪♪
Vinny G wrote it right. I’m listening to him right now. It’s always a jazzed-up holiday, isn’t it?
Melody meets melancholy. It’s the space between the notes and chords where you can find the music. It’s where the laughter and crying can be found. It’s where joy dances on the toes of depression.
You look all around the city and see the holiday hustle and bustle and wonder … Where did this all come from? It was piped in like elevator music when you weren’t watching … or listening.
Who can explain it? It’s the residue of exalted … and dashed hopes.
This is the one time of the year when happiness is basically forced upon us … in a Charlie Brown kind of way. It’s sort of depressing when you’re forced to be “happy.”
All you can do at a time like this is ask …
“Where are Currier & Ives?” “Where’s Mariah Carey?” “Where’s Parson Brown?” By the way, WHO is Parson Brown? Is he any relation to Charlie Brown?
I think I need a minister. Whatever.
Actually, thank God we’ve got a time of year when it’s okay to manufacture happiness. There’s so much to be sad about. Isn’t there?
I mean … where is our country going? Where is the world going? Where am I going? Where are you going? Do you know?
It’s all so duplicitous ... this holiday cheer.
Heck, I remember feeling it even way back when I was a kid. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer was exciting. Plus, I’d gotten pretty much everything I wanted for Christmas … and still … something was missing.
I was happy during those few seconds after opening and playing with my presents, but literally minutes later, I felt the anticipation-fueled joy dissolve like vanishing tinsel.
What is it? Why does that happen? Why can’t happiness hang around … just for awhile longer?
I’m telling you … It’s the residue of exalted and dashed hopes.
It’s what happens when you eat too many Cinnabons. They’re joyful, but look out! The crash is coming. It’s also what happens when you drink too much brandy. You feel delightful now, but a hangover is right around the corner.
You want so desperately to be happy and give caution to the Christmas wind, yet you’re also so afraid because you know it’s not going to last.
I say we should blame those gentle, falling snowflakes. They do something to me. How about you? They make me happy yet pensive. Summertime … Where did you go?
♪♪ Christmas time is here … We'll be drawing near … Oh, that we could always see such spirit through the year! ♪♪
Ain’t that the truth! Moments after it’s over, it’s like … GONE.
Wait! What’s that?
I can hear them, but barely … the fading and fainting sounds of sleigh bells departing in the distance. Somehow, I never hear them coming, but I always notice when they’re leaving.
You blink and it’s here. You blink again and it’s vanishing memory.
Thank God Christ is the actual reason for the season. He’s everlasting.
Somehow, everything else fritters away.
Christmas Time Is Here by Vince Guaraldi Trio
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