What happened to “Merry Christmas?”
It seems everywhere I go, folks are wishing me Happy Holidays.
It is nice that people want to send me well wishes for the holidays, but why not just say, “Merry Christmas?”
I was shopping last Friday in Des Moines. There were a dozen people around me near the cash registers, of course all social distancing, and I said, “Have a Merry Christmas,” before heading out the door.
I’m not ashamed of that either. In fact, it comes naturally for me.
It’s Ok in our politically correct world to say Merry Christmas. To send someone Merry Christmas blessings or do things for others in the spirit of giving during the Christmas season.
No matter what the world says about it, it’s still Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus. For me, it will always be Merry Christmas!
Holiday decorations and more
One thing I’ve notice this year is more homes decorated for Christmas or the holiday season. There are some beautiful displays. It’s fun to drive around and see all the lights and Christmas displays.
As I’ve mentioned before, my family didn’t put up a Christmas decoration until Dec. 15. The Christmas lights, the decoration and the manger all stayed in the garage attic until that day.
After hauling all the goodies from the attic, my dad put up the lights and I was in charge of decorating the tree. We always had a live tree and usually bought it at the Christmas tree lot at 41st and Harvard in my hometown of Tulsa. The man who owned the seasonal lot also owned the local fireworks company. He knew how to celebrate.
Debbie and I usually try to put up our tree around Thanksgiving or the first of December. This year has been a little crazier and we just got the tree up, thanks to our nephews, on Dec. 12. We haven’t even put a Christmas ornament on it, but the lights are sure pretty.
Another thing I’ve noticed this year is stores such as Hy-Vee, Fareway and other businesses not selling live Christmas trees. Picking up a live Christmas tree at the grocery store with your steak, sack of flour and loaf of bread used to be as normal as breathing.
I put a question on Facebook asking my friends who bought live trees where they got them. One said they drove to Indianola. Another said they drove to Oskaloosa to get a tree. Those who commented said they had to go elsewhere for a tree.
Curious to know more, I spoke with a friend and former Christmas tree farm owner, and he said 2020, as we all know, has been an unusual year and Christmas tree growers have not been immune. He said it takes about 10 years to grow a nice tree to size. He said the industry went through some tough challenges about 10 years ago and that has led to shortages. Also, fires out west have made growing Christmas trees tough. And he also mentioned that COVID complications have curtailed the harvest, distribution and vendor sales. For instance, my friend said, restrictions became very onerous to be able to ship live trees across the border out of Canada, so some Northeastern states had to source more trees out of Midwestern USA states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. He added that the demand seemed to spike, like the toilet paper shortage, where folks were more than ready to “get out” and do a family activity together, and picking out a Christmas tree fit that bill very well.
That reminds me of when I married Debbie. Our first Christmas three months after our wedding, I took her to a Christmas tree farm near Millersburg. I had my mind and heart set on finding the perfect Christmas tree. I even took my handy crosscut saw and was going to cut it down and load in my truck like they do on the Hallmark Channel.
I ended up getting stuck and had to walk to the office and get some help getting unstuck. We compromised and bought a pre-cut tree.
The second year of our marriage, we purchased a tree at tree farm near Holiday Lake. We didn’t have to go too far to find a nice tree and the owner cut it down for us. It looked lovely in our living room.
We have since made the switch to an artificial tree. It’s not the same, but as I mentioned earlier, the reason for the season is Jesus, time with your family and giving to others.
It’s time to get the tree decorated.
Merry Christmas all!
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.