Page 3: My Favorite Oklahoma Christmas / Holiday Traditions
1:25 PM EST on December 10, 2009
(Yeah, I named this column Page 3. That's what I called some column I had in college for a while and I felt like this needed a name. So there. - Royce)
I'm one of those people that really enjoys giving gifts. Of course I like getting them too, but for some reason, I REALLY like giving someone a Christmas present. And I'm not just saying that to sound like some Christmas Saint. I really not a douche, I swear.
But you know what that does? It freaking ruins Christmas for me. Instead of enjoying the lights and the music and the spirit, I'm constantly thinking about what I should get my wife's grandpa. Because seriously, what do you get an 80-year-old man that you don't know very well? Cigars? A Fats Waller album? Suspenders? See, this is my Christmas hell.
And we all know I hate shopping. So I like giving gifts, I never know what to get and I hate shopping. I'm like a riddle wrapped in an enigma. I'm the JFK Assassination of Christmas. Bad example? Probably bad example.
But other than the giving of gifts, I don't really get in the Christmas spirit. I'm not 10 years old anymore but I still want Legos and candy for Christmas. Growing up sucks because I have to "like" this new jacket or fancy picture I got. I suppose they're very adult presents and I'll surely use them, but how do I PLAY with them on Christmas Day? So as a result, my Christmas excitement is always dampened a bit.
But what eventually brings me around every year? These things:
BC Clark's Jingle
The first time you hear it, you think, "Oh boy! Is it really Christmas time? It is! It is!" But then after hearing it six more times in four minutes, you're humming, "...but ours is just before... savings you can't ignore... Oklahoma's oldest jewler... 1892..." It drives you mad. But yet we all love it. It's just kind of... Oklahoma.
No, I don't go every year. But I do think about the Chickasha lights every year. Everyone knows they're there and everyone has been at least once. But Chickasha is like forever away and is it really worth an hour and a half both ways to see lights? Let me apologize up front for getting sappy, but the Chickasha lights do hold a special place in my heart as it's where my wife and I had our first date, back when we were juniors in high school. We had a great meal at Harry's American Grill in Mustang and then went and looked at shiny things. I'm real classy you see.
The ever-present "Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas debate" that especially rages in Oklahoma
Every state suffers through this. It's not like Oklahoma is unique. But I do suspect in the Sooner State, the debate goes on a little longer and with a bit more fervor. My wife actually told me she ONLY wanted to shop at Target for Christmas because they had a sign on their door that said "Merry Christmas." I think she was sort of kidding but some people actually are crazy like that. It's like how my grandma won't buy anything not made in the US. All she owns now is a pair of scissors and a lamp she bought at a garage sale.
But I really like hearing everyone argue about it. There really isn't a great point for either side and honestly, there's not really a bad one either. It's super stupid, but what pointless debate isn't? But I can't help but enjoy seeing people red faced and screaming that "Happy Holidays" is eventually going to be what brings this country to its knees. Or that "Merry Christmas" is so offensive that you might as well just spit in someone's face. Decent comedy.
Christmas Eve Candle-Lightings
I really enjoy them. Not necessarily for the boring sermon I've heard 10 billion times. Not necessarily for the carols you sing. Not necessarily for the lame skit portraying the birth of Jesus you see. But mainly because fire + Royce + public place = fun. It's a miracle my church is still erect. Really, a Christmas miracle.
Related: Everyone making sure you remember the REAL meaning of Christmas
Every holiday gets this treatment ("Those fireworks are pretty, but remember why we do this - because people died"). But Christmas gets it the most. Look people, I haven't forgotten. I know why we celebrate Christmas. Some people don't subscribe to that thought and that's cool. But just because I put up a tree and hang stockings doesn't mean I'm ignoring "the reason" for the holiday. What do you want me to do? Buy my family frankincense and myrrh for gifts? Wear swaddling clothes? Don't tell me every 15 minutes why we celebrate. I didn't forget because I'm at Best Buy staring down a 96-inch plasma that I really, really, really want. I'm going to a candle-lighting, remember?
Cut the crap Magic 104.1. I don't really listen to you anyway, but the fact my wife knows you play only Christmas music means I have to hear some craptastic a cappella version of "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" for a whole month. Just stop it.
People asking me every 15 freaking minutes what I want for Christmas
LOOK, I DON'T KNOW. I'M SERIOUS WHEN I SAY NOTHING. THE THINGS I TRULY WANT YOU WON'T BUY FOR ME ANYWAY. SO WHAT'S THE POINT?
Please no one come to my house because it's bloody awkward standing there with a pretend grin on your face while a bunch of people sing to you. What do you do after they finish? Give them money? Candy? Invite them in to open one of your presents? It's just awkward.
But I do think the concept is kind of neat. Which reminds me of what a douche I was in high school. Some friends and I made up Christmas carols and would go door to door and sing them for complete strangers. For instance, one of the songs was "Hallelujah to the Christmas Tree." It went something like, "Hallelujah to the Christmas Tree, I'm thankful for what Santa has given me. Santa died for us on that cross and saved us from being lost. Hallelujah to the Christmas Tree, put lights on it because we are free!" Or something like that. We found this hilarious. I realize that this little thing sealed my eternal fate. But now that I'm older, I realize how annoying high schoolers that think they're funny are. We also would do pretend scavenger hunts for our "friend's" birthday just so we could get free cans of coke and candy and other crap, but that's for another time. Hey, I'm not proud of it.
I know the Meineke Car Care Bowl is stupid and I'm only going to watch maybe a quarter of it, but I like the fact it's on and that I could potentially flip over to it.
Devon Outdoor Ice Rink
This is one of those things that you get a group together for and it seems like a GREAT idea. We're OUTSIDE and we're skating! How romantic and fun! But 10 minutes into the skating you're cold, your feet hurt and it's boring. But the idea doesn't totally suck.
Not Christmas, but New Year's is cool
New Year's is awesome for many reasons, but the whole "Opening Night" thing is weird. I've gone multiple times and probably will again this year, but I don't know why we stand around in a crowd just waiting for a stupid ball to raise up. Sure you can pay and see the dumb magic shows and other things but I'm cheap. Who knows why we go. I guess we all like the idea of being "out" and "doing something" on New Year's.
There are many more things about Christmas/The "Holidays" in Oklahoma. I'm sure I've forgotten a ton. But remember, those things aren't necessarily that important. You should think about what is - the REAL meaning of Christmas. Santa didn't die for nothing you know.