I’ve started a new volunteer gig and yesterday was my second day helping out. The man who’s training me noted that there was just one week until Christmas. My back was to him and without the benefit of body language, I assumed (I know, I know), he was launching into the typical stressed-out “I haven’t started my shopping yet and there’s so much I need to do” conversation so I figured I’d put us both out of our misery and/or guilt by announcing that all I cared about was the Winter Solstice and increased daylight. I capped it off with “Christmas Smishtmas.”
Turns out he wanted to talk about the over-sized tree he’d gotten this year and how it’s too big for his tiny apartment, but that it’s so nice to go home after a long day and turn on those pretty colored lights. Oh, yeah, and beneath that beautiful tree? Wrapped gifts for his girlfriend.
The poor guy sounded apologetic.
The thing is, I totally understand those sentiments and if I wasn’t so lazy, I would have put up some pretty colored lights of my own. I tried to convey that, but he was clearly ready to move on to a non-Scrooge-related topic.
“Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it.” ~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol