When Black Friday comes
I'm gonna dig myself a hole
Gonna lay down in it 'til
I satisfy my soul
I remember the things I loved about Christmas when I was growing up. I'm not going to say the presents weren't a big part of it, but it wasn't all of it. The whole process of watching my parents prepare for it - getting the house in tip-top shape for "company", and of course as the holiday was a couple of days away, the pilgrimage to the waterfront to get the fish.
Dad grew up in Mola di Bari, on the coast of the Adriatic Sea near where it feeds into the Mediterranean Sea and spent a good portion of his time at sea. So, when it came to seafood at our house, that was Dad's domain; there are times that I can still taste the Frutta di Mare by just thinking about it.
Back to Christmas, there was always a whole slew of people coming over and if by chance one year, someone wasn't going to make it, I remember getting sad over that because the gathering was as important as anything else. How could we have Christmas without everyone there?
When I got into my teens and began working in retail, even back then, Christmas started earlier and dealing with the people at that level really added a huge level of disgust as I began to see the ugly underbelly of the holiday season. As the years passed, it only got uglier and started sooner and of course, the celebration at home changed somewhat as many of the relatives moved on or disappeared as a result of silly family squabbles (friggin' immature adults).
I hate to say that for the past few years, I wish I could just disappear from around Thanksgiving through the middle of January. Then, I wouldn't have to deal with all the mayhem, the traffic that makes doing everyday tasks near impossible, the nastiness of the people as the push and shove their way to the materialistic disintegration of a holiday that actually has a significant meaning to those who truly celebrate it.