Tis The Season To Be Jolly?

Bah! Humbug! – Ebeneezer Scrooge

When I was a kid the best part about Christmas was that my train got set up under the Christmas tree.  Well, that was the second best thing.  The best thing was that, back then, the icicles we put on the tree were made from aluminum, not plastic like they are now and, if you laid one across the rails of my train tracks, you could make sparks.  Yeah…THAT was the best part about Christmas.

But these days? Am I really suppose to be ‘jolly’?  Are you kidding me?  Modern Christmas seems to be one painful experience after another – like shopping.

I was Christmas shopping the other day.  I hate crowds so you can imagine the thrill this was for me.  Aside from not being able to find what I was looking for, a woman ran into me and almost knocked me down.  She said she didn’t see me (I am only 6-feet tall after all).  I spent half an hour wandering around without finding anything on my ‘to buy’ list.  No, that’s not correct.  I found scotch tape.

2013-12-11LampFleurd'lysBeing frustrated I sat down in the mall.  Sitting felt good and very soon I had my notebook in hand and I sketched a lamp post and associated thingies (technical term meaning “I don’t know what they are”).

I was trying my new Pilot Penmanship which is the finest-writing fountain pen I’ve ever experienced.  It was not pleased by the el cheapo paper in my dollar store notebook (3×5) and kept picking up paper fibers.  Nevertheless, it was good therapy and I even smiled when the guy who was watching me told me it was a good sketch.

So…I went back into the fray.  I decided try the new French store, Target.  We’re just starting to get them here.  Wander…wander…wander.  Ah…score…I found the battery we need for the door chime and one of the items on the gift list.  Only a little… some… a lot more to do.  Sigh… guys are not designed for this shopping stuff.  We have insufficient stamina.  Frustration is back.  Time for tea.

2013-12-09McDo 2013-12-10PeopleAt the food court, sipping tea I got from Tim Horton’s.  They’re better at coffee.  Notebook is out again and I quick-sketched people who, like me, are sitting around, wishing they were somewhere else.  You can see the frustration on their faces… nobody is jolly.  Or maybe I was jnust projecting.  Oh how I long for the days of aluminum icicles on railroad tracks.

4 Responses to “Tis The Season To Be Jolly?”

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  1. Serena Lewis says:

    Great sketches, Larry. I admit to enjoying Christmas a little more in recent years with having two little Granddaughters now but I’m always glad when Christmas is over with. For years, I have been saying how Christmas has become way too commercialised and it’s nothing but a huge financial burden for people. I avoid the shopping centres as I feel claustrophobic at the best of times but, at Christmas time, it’s so much worse. My kids and I stopped buying individual gifts for each other years ago and opted for a Secret Santa instead. That way we only buy one gift for one person and we set the limit at $50. Up until then, we were all stressing over money and how to afford gifts…now the problem is solved and we have so much more fun spending time with each other on Christmas day. 🙂

    • You’re right, Christmas is a lot more fun with kids. Mine’s now 18 and, well, not so much 🙂 Besides, kids or no, the shopping and the spending is a hassle. Sadly, all holidays have become consumerism nightmares. But I guess there are worse things to complain about and endure.

      Cheers — Larry

  2. Tina says:

    Hey, Ebenezer, do what I do: Shop online. Then go to your favorite tea shop and sketch. That’s the way to get through the holidays. 🙂

    • Ah…I am forced to buy most of my art supplies online. Books too. But, unlike you Tina, when I order something I don’t get ‘free shipping’. In fact, quite the contrary as most US companies want to charge amazingly high shipping costs (not required as evidenced by those who do not). I also run into “we can’t ship to your country” all the time. So, in many ways, you’re suggesting a shift from one rat-race to another 🙂 Happy Holidays.

      Cheers — Larry