And somehow, the brilliant mega-retailers arranged for every little morsel to be laid out along the Christmas trail to bring us right up to (and beyond) the blessed event. It started with Black Friday, or should I say the week of Black Friday? Both Walmart and Amazon featured Black Friday deals on the Friday prior to the Friday after Thanksgiving, and on every hour of every day leading up to the day after Thanksgiving, most of us got reminders in our inbox or texts in the form of deals that were going to disappear, even though Black Friday was still days away.
By the time that Black Friday arrived, it was a bit of an afterthought, unless you were one of those who actually went out after midnight on Thanksgiving or early on the real Black Friday to brave the crowds, who had mostly stayed home because they were suffering from Black Friday Burnout, from buying online every hour for a week. And then 10 days later (or three if you played by the real Black Friday rules), we had Cyber Monday, which really seemed like a letdown after the 10 days of Black Friday. Of course, according to industry analysts, there is so much inventory to be sold, we may be having Cyber Monday every day until Christmas.
I’m not trying to be all, Bah Humbug, but with the (almost) three years of COVID we have been through, and the challenges of selling to a district in the midst of the teacher shortage, student attrition and mental health issues, as well as the war in Eastern Europe and everything else the news tells us is wrong in the world, how can we possibly begin to feel a lot like Christmas?
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, toys in every store, but the prettiest sight to see, is the holly that will be on your own front door. A pair of Hopalong boots and a pistol that shoots, is the wish of Barney and Ben, dolls that'll talk and will go for a walk, is the hope of Janice and Jen. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, soon the bells will start. And the thing that'll make 'em ring is the carol that you sing, right within your heart.
With respect to my friends and colleagues who are Jews and Muslims and Buddhists and Scientologists and Hindus and Sikhs and every other belief it was our founding fathers’ intention to include, Christmas is a joyous time in the hearts of Christians, and we celebrate so loudly, we sometimes forget there are other beliefs all around us. But we do it in good faith. And love.
But for some of us this year, it isn’t yet beginning to look a lot like Christmas. How can we celebrate with so much misery in the world? But perhaps, that is the best time to celebrate.
For one season, let’s celebrate the good things. Let’s enjoy our blessings. Let’s be thankful to be in the United States. Let’s really count our blessings. Yes, we have been through a pandemic, but the pandemic is over. Yes, we have had an uneven period of learning, but look how much we have learned over the last 3 (almost) years. Yes, we are experiencing a teacher shortage, but the shortage didn’t begin with the pandemic, and the solutions are coming. The same with student attrition. Both of these challenges have been years in the making, and thanks to the pandemic, our efforts to meet these challenges have been highly accelerated. As for our mental health issues, I can honestly say there is now more effort put towards wellbeing than at any point in our history, and the end result will be a happier, healthier community.
As for the world’s problems, let’s do what we can, and after that, be thankful for where we are, and if a higher power is within your beliefs, pray like crazy.
And then breathe. And smile. Give yourself permission to feel good about things, and know in your heart that you will enjoy the season, just like all the other Christmas seasons you enjoyed in the past. And get into the spirit. Dust off that ugly Christmas sweater. And wear it everyday until people start to talk. And decorate your yard just a little too much. Or maybe much too much. And play some Christmas music. Plan a holiday party. And attend several others. Drive around and look at the decorations in your city. Support your local merchants and enjoy their Christmas decorations. And if you really want to go all out, find some carolers, and join them in some evening rounds.
And gosh. Before you know it, it really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Everywhere you go. Take a look at the five and ten, it's glistening once again, with candy canes and silver lanes that glow.
About the author
Charles Sosnik is an education journalist and editor and serves as Editor in Chief at the Learning Counsel. An EP3 Education Fellow, he uses his deep roots in the education community to add context to the education narrative. Charles is a frequent writer and columnist for some of the most influential media in education, including the Learning Counsel, EdNews Daily, EdTech Digest and (ET) Magazine. Unabashedly Southern, Charles likes to say he is an editor by trade and Southern by the Grace of God.