Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year’s Eve 2016 Ruminations and Resolutions

The Ventures’ interpretation of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” bracketed by the opening riff to The Champs’ “Tequila,” plays softly in my office. I’ll have to get a disc ready for the New Year tonight, but if I’m enjoying Christmas music nearly a week after Christmas, it’s not because I’m crazy. Just lucky.

For one, I don’t work in retail anymore. I’m not in any environment where I have to listen to stuff I’d rather not hear. Given my location in Colorado’s high, remote San Luis Valley, where no broadcast television dwells, I was also spared the commercials. (I saw a few while watching my favorite network TV shows on streaming. Once the mid-season finales were done, so was I.) I was far removed from the crass overkill that kills Christmas for so many people. 

Among the many things that died in 2016—and, in this case, most heartily deserved to die—was a harebrained idea I’ve entertained since Christmas 1983. I’d had a wash of a Christmas that year with people who....well, no sense in competing with everyone else’s stories. I’d gotten it into my head that I would write the ultimate book on Christmas. I would review all my expectations for the season, and compare them with the general expectations (I guessed) most people have, and work out a resolution for everyone. I would save Christmas for all of us poor orphans of the heart out there.

I was 22 at the time. What was forgivable on account of youth became forehead-slapping stupid in my early to mid-50s, when I revived the idea. After dancing around it one more time this season, I’ve come to my senses. 2016 has been very good to me in this regard.

This is not to say I’m giving up writing about Christmas. I’d like to know myself what my fascination is with the season. I’m simply not going to get an entire book out of it. I certainly don’t propose anymore to help anyone else out with something I’m still working out for myself.

So here we are on the cusp of another turning of the year. Yes, I have my resolutions to follow through with. As with my more successful resolutions of years past, I’ve already gotten a head start on them. No cold starts in the morning for me on 1 January.

I wonder what this young lady would say
if she could see 50 years into the future.
I’d go into all that, all I want to do with me, this blog, and my writing in general, but that’s enough self-indulgence on my part. It’s best one keeps such things to oneself. Abandon all notions of your family/friends/audience holding you accountable. If you can’t hold yourself accountable to yourself, that’s your problem right there. I know, for I have been that sinner. 

Whatever it is I’m doing, if things are looking better by this time next year, you’ll know I was successful. 

You’re no different from me. Show us, don’t tell us.

Happy New Year.