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The day after the holiday. The day after sales stampede. But in my small world this day has always been about putting on a brave face. It has been, since I was a small boy- the Big Letdown. The ohmygoshwhatdoIlookfowardtonow day. Blah.

Here then are three stories of Christmas to try and give a little perspective.

What was:

Christmas was -
a small ruddy face pressed up against the Toy Store window
watching trains race past impossibly fast
dreaming we could ever move that quickly
dreaming we could be on our way to a magical place

Christmas is -
trying to find a quiet snow lined street where there are only
the warmth of Nat King Cole's voice
shoulders full of snow flakes
a face full of your scarf wrapped neck

Christmas could be -
busy shoppers in front of Harrods
incomprehensible conversations around us
steamy shops filled with the scent of tea and cocoa
your icy fingertips wrapped around mine
not a single word spoken in an hour

Merry Christmas week- It is worth more than a day,
n'cest pas?

I'm dreaming of a big screen T.V.
Just like the ones at the sports bar
Which we all christen
As we sit down to listen
The hum of a lightsaber's glow

I love Boxing Day. It's one of my favorite "holidays" of the year. You take all the crass commercialization of the Christmas season, which in my humble opinion lasts about 3 weeks too long, and strip it away of all the silly religious pretext. I will have to make a little confession here. I'm not a big Christmas fan. I mean, I like Christmas the day all right, it's not bad spending time with the family and gorging yourself on turkey. I absolutely hate Christmas the season. Especially the music. But then, immediately after all that, comes Boxing Day.

As a result of a lot of stores having excess inventory that they didn't manage to sell before the big day, you've got a whole lotta big sales. I hear that down in the states, the day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year. Not so up here in Canada. That's totally Boxing Day. The malls are packed to the gills, and the really big retailers, especially the electronics stores, tend to open up early, to allow the truly dedicated to get the jump on everyone else, and grab the really good deals, before they're snapped up. It's estimated that, in total, we'll spend $1.8 billion CND today.

This morning, when me and my father and sister got to Best Buy, at about 06:15, the lineup for the tills already stretched halfway around the store. By the time I had grabbed what I wanted, and went to hold a place in line, it was 3/4s of the way around the store. Fortunately for us, Best Buy was smart enough to realize this would happen, and the place was fully staffed, and it only took about 30 minutes to get through it. In fact, pretty much every place was fully staffed. If you work retail in Canada, it's nearly impossible to get the day off for Boxing Day. Want to travel for Christmas? Tough, looks like you'd better find a new job.

Same deal with the mall. Crowds of people gorging themselves at the teat of materialism. God I love it. What were we all there for? Half price video games, $600 off T.V.'s, $450 leather jackets going for $150. Man, what a great time to be alive.

It's stuff like this that moreso than anything else makes me realize the futility of those who strive to put the Christ back in Christmas. What started off as a pagan solstice feast co-opted by the early Christians, has slowly over the last couple centuries mostly reverted back to a hedonistic event. Poll children now a days regarding what Christmas is about, and I guarantee that you the vast majority won't give you the obvious answer. But since for me, this narrows it down to me being able to get cheap stuff the day after Atheist Children Get Presents Day, I really couldn't mind less.

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