*EDITOR'S NOTE: The images have been edited for content to protect the innocent. And CJ.*
As you probably know, I often reference newspaper headlines in my blog and make some jokes about them. But recently, two front-page features caught my eye, and quite frankly, scared the holiday cheer right out of me. The first I found when I was away at college, and I'll admit it was one rude awakening.
I was fully planning to go home and have a terrific, joy-filled Christmas vacation, when suddenly, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but this terrible story:
I was quite taken aback. It was one thing to have a few rogue reindeer running over grandma, and that was pretty bad in itself, but a shuttle bus taking out Christmas?! That was far too much for me to accept. However, rather than panic, I, in my mind, came to the conclusion that a couple measly shuttle buses would be no match for the holiday spirit. In fact, by the time break came around, the incident had nearly vanished from my mind.
What a nearsighted fool I was.
My naive visions of sugarplums and merry fairies soon turned to a horrible nightmare only a few days into my vacation, when this alarming photo, from my own local newspaper, made its way into my hands:
You may think that this is merely a charming holiday performance, but I, forewarned by the prophetic article earlier in the month, immediately knew better. Look closely friends - do you see what I see? A synchronized group of blonde-haired blue-eyed kids saluting?! The pictures in my mind associated with that imagery are certainly a far cry from "peace on earth" and "goodwill towards men"!!!
The calm, cool, and collected demeanor I had previously possessed almost deserted me - it was only my natural level-headedness that kept me from fleeing my hometown in terror to never return. It unquestionably appeared that Christmas had indeed been run over and left for dead. However, instead of panicking, I decided to conduct my own Christmas Eve investigation, to see if the Christmas spirit had really been destroyed by some ruthless drivers. I began a hometown search for Christmas.
The first evidence I found was encouraging.
After all, what really says, "The Christmas spirit is alive and well!!!" more emphatically than a 7-foot candy-cane-wielding polar bear snow-wizard? I was pleased with these preliminary results, but still not at ease by any means, so I vowed to continue searching.
I decided that while the daytime was an important time to measure Christmas spirit, I would really need to check things out after dark. I headed out that night not knowing what I would find.
Not long after I began my roaming of the streets, I found a strong sign that Christmas was alive and well. I had driven to a local locale of lodging to look for some important details, and the evidence was monumental.
You may be confused as to why this picture was such convincing evidence of Christmas spirit. That's because you probably can't see the most important aspect of this picture. Here's a close-up of the essential section:
As you can see, the inn was full!!! And anyone who knows anything about the Christmas story knows that a key part of the story hinges on there being no room at the local inns! This brought a huge sigh of relief to my worry-racked bones. Christmas certainly appeared to be alive and well.
My belief was only to be further confirmed. Satisfied enough with the latest evidence to return home and sleep soundly, I was stopped by yet another compelling image. This one:Here, on Christmas Eve, at nearly midnight (mere minutes away from Christmas day), with even our 24-hour grocery store closed until the 26th, alcohol was still being served. That's what I call some serious Christmas spirits.
So, that was the end of my adventure. I began my quest fearing the worst, and returned with the best news possible. Christmas has not been run over by any shuttle buses. It is alive, and it is strong. And that's good enough for me.
Merry Christmas everyone.