“Togetherness”

A few years ago, I wrote a short Christmas story in which (nutshell version) fifteen-year-old Al Fischer spends the holiday enthusiastically telling his family everything he loves about the Christmas season.

By purist coincidence (or not…), Al and his author have similar ideas about Christmas. And he’ll be pleased to know that I’ve decided to commemorate our mutual obsession here on Ever On Word by dedicating a series of blog posts to The Top 10 Reasons Christmas Rocks My World.

* * *

#8: Togetherness

            Christmas, it is generally agreed, is no time of year to spend alone. People in Christmas stories and specials with no one with which to enjoy the holiday are viewed as wretched creatures indeed, and only the provision of togetherness by story’s end will satisfy. How bummed would Dr. Seuss fans have been if the reformed Grinch hadn’t participated in the Whoville feast? Would Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” have met with nearly as much perennial success had Scrooge not showed up at the Cratchit’s to pal around with Tiny Tim and the gang? If Rudolph’s heroism had not resulted in the lifting of his ban from the reindeer games, wouldn’t we be more irritated by the song than a number of us already are?

            Humans are social animals (even those of us who also harbor an antisocial side, as well as some measure of resentment about being fully human as opposed to, say, a part-elemental minstrel). We do best when we incorporate at least a little gathering “in or into a single group, mass, or place” in our lives. Perhaps, for some of us, having to deal with that every day of the year would prove unduly stressful. But what are holidays for if not to celebrate whatever the occasion is with beloved family members, or some fairly good friends, or a group of casual acquaintances you don’t necessarily want to drown in the eggnog?

            Fact is, Christmas wouldn’t be a lot of fun without someone to share it with. No one else would see all the gorgeous decorations you spent hours putting up all by your lonesome. There’d be no one to provide harmony as you sing carols while baking all the cookies that only you will ever eat. You’d have to give yourself your own presents, and put off writing yourself thank-you notes.

            Lest any of you think this is sounding depressingly like your reality, let me remind you that you have tons of togetherness options. Sure, maybe various setbacks mean that you won’t be able to head for Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie this year, but you can still share your experience of the season with those beloved family members, fairly good friends, and casual acquaintances – or even total strangers, if you wish. You can post photos of that gorgeously-decorated house on Facebook. You can call in to a radio station to ask the deejay to play your favorite carol with which to sing along, and deliver a portion of those cookies you made to a soup kitchen. You can ship a gift to your friend on the other side of the country, or walk a gift down the street to surprise a neighbor. You can creep on people’s blogs and join the conversations about what everyone’s getting up to on and around December 25th.

            There is virtually no reason any of us should suffer Christmas in isolation! So don’t let your personal Christmas story end on a low note. Find your Whoville or Cratchit crib, and get your togetherness on!

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