Tis the season of birth and renewal. Honest. It's in there somewhere.
Well I realise it's also become the season of bankrupting yourself, emptying the kids college fund and giving yourself the sort of debt rarely seen outside of a 3rd world country.
But lets not be all bah humbug and Scrooge-like today and instead focus on the aspect of a modern Christmas which has overshadowed all others for many decades now. Presents.
Everyone will have their thoughts on the perfect present and naturally that will depend on the age of the recipient. Most electronic presents are fleeting, especially if they come with batteries. A power chord may mean it'll last a while longer, but not much.
Clothing presents have a style shelf life that probably condemns them to the Goodwill Store before the following Christmas comes along. Last February I'm sure I spotted a homeless man in Leeds pushing his entire world on his bicycle and wearing my scarf and gloves set from Christmas 1998. Clothing pressies are very dodgy and are probably the most common ones to be taken back to the store the next day.
This is the origin of Boxing Day in the UK of course. This is the 26th December and the day when all those colourful patterned Pringle sweaters and gay knitted mittens, horrendous Homer Simpson socks and South Park ties are all boxed up and returned for cash at best or store credit at worst.
I'm only joking. About the origin of Boxing Day I mean.
Jewellery, or jewelry if you prefer, is always acceptable at Christmas. Depending on what form it takes, This is the closest you will get to the perfect long lasting pressie. After all, gold will last forever. Won't it ? Well not always. A few of the links on the gold chain that I got a couple of years ago have started to get so thin that the chain is in danger of falling apart - and as such, has been consigned to a bedroom drawer to, hopefully, increase in value as a non worn lump of gold.
Well it's featured in my will, so only time will tell.
Diamonds. Ah well we all know about diamonds. Hardest substance known to man. Most acceptable substance known to women. Diamonds, in any setting, go down a treat at Christmas and will certainly outlast most other types of present. A diamond is forever and all that good advertising stuff.
In an effort to set the bar lower, we often tell everyone that simple, homemade, thoughtful presents are the best. We usually tell them this seconds after they've given us a simple, homemade, thoughtful piece of crap. But it's the thought, eh ?
Well this type of present doesn't have to be frowned upon and leave you wishing it came with a receipt. Homemade can be good.....can be Very Good in fact.
Just after midnight last night, Debby got the phone call that gave her and Dennis the best 'homemade' present in the world. They could now be called grandparents as their daughter-in-law (and son of course) had got together and created something special for Christmas. A new life.
Better than gold ? Better than diamonds ? Better than a Stewie Griffin tie ? I'd say so.
This particular gift may cause the debt or even the bankruptcy that I mentioned at the start of this post, but for right now, it's the classic gift that keeps on giving.
The birth of Cole Asher is a timely reminder that for many of us, Christmas isn't just about opening presents, eating till we're fit to burst and then falling asleep in front of the new plasma widescreen (HD Ready) telle that you somehow gave yourself this year. I won't go into a Hallmark list of what it IS about because everyone will have their own ideas and I'm keeping mine to myself.
All I know is that last night Deb and Den got a present that didn't come with batteries or a power chord. (Ok it kinda had a power chord of sorts for a while but lets not go there). It wasn't gold or any other sort of jewellery. It certainly didn't have a receipt and it sure isn't going back.
So many congratulations to new parents, Deanna and Jason and a huge beaming smile to Deb and Den as I know what this means to them.
For ALL the people concerned, it's the best Christmas gift in the world......ever.
One that really will last a lifetime.