Rants from Dragon's Den - The Tao of Bah Humbug

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Ever since I reached the age of enlightenment (i.e. 34 when I got married), I have truly believed that, religious connotations aside, Christmas is for two distinct and clearly defined groups of people: children; and adults who are searching for a partner / soul mate / person-who-makes-it-so-I-never-have-to-date-outside-my-species-again. What can I say, I’m an incurable romantic.

This rant isn’t about the religious aspects of Christmas or any other faith’s holiday celebrations. It is 100% devoted to the fact that I don’t fit into either of the aforementioned groups. I married my soul mate in 1997, so dating thankfully came to and end. We then made the decision not to have kids, so Christmas doesn’t reach out and grab me there either. As a result, over the years I have become largely immune to the syndrome known as Christmas spirit, instead preferring to joyfully embrace the Tao of Bah Humbug.

I’m never been shy about offering my opinion about something, except when it comes to such third rail topics as religion, politics, and abortion. I unfailingly avoid debating those topics, regardless of the month that’s displayed on the calendar. So in an effort to generate goodwill to humankind at this time of year, I really try to avoid infecting others with my dedication to the Tao. I even tolerate the morons who begin lining up at 1:00 on Thanksgiving afternoon in order to be one of the first 50 people through Black Friday’s doors and save a few bucks on The Next Big Thing That I Must Possess Or I Will Die. Of course, it got easier to accept this year when Wal-Mart and other retail establishments from hell just said “Eff our employees and their families, we’re open on Thanksgiving.” If you’re scoring along at home, that’s Christmas spirit zero, Tao of Bah Humbug infinity+1.

I accept that overly-stressed members of society, who are manifestly incapable of dealing with the pressure they allow this time of year to generate, race to cut me off in traffic, in check-out lines, and anywhere else that involves a queue. I even respond in kind to every phony “Happy Holidays” type of greeting directed at me by strangers, knowing full well that the appropriate countersign is required in order to escape being branded a terrorist. But honestly, my heart has never really been in it, thanks to my rigid adherence to the Tao.

But this year, I have noticed something different. Amazingly, I haven’t been cut off in line or in traffic more than a couple of times. Holiday greetings from strangers seem a little more sincere and, more often than not, are accompanied by a genuine smile instead of a smirk. And in the most startling revelation, I find my dedication to the Tao adjusting itself a bit. Perhaps it’s due to age bringing wisdom, doing my greatly reduced shopping at and, or my wife and I agreeing that we’d rather build up our savings or take a nice vacation than put a bunch of stuff we don’t need under the tree. But if this trend continues, I think my own personal Tao might start to take a few punches to the gut over the next few years.

So, with a smile on my face, and the Tao pushed deep down inside my soul for a few moments, I sincerely wish all of my Geezer friends the happiest of holidays, a Merry Christmas for those who recognize it, and a prosperous New Year.

And if you so choose, I also pass along best wishes for adjusting your own Tao of Bah Humbug.
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  1. rpmdds's Avatar
    Sounds like you're softening up in your old age, Dragon!

    Hope your pathway of Te is filled with happiness and balance.
  2. Admiral Trogdor's Avatar
    Nice entry Dragon. I'm in my last year of the Tao and about to enter my first year of category 1 (not actually a child, but a parent). We'll see how it goes .

    Up to this point, I've noticed the same things that you have - it's such a high stress time of year; mostly in the name of "celebrating".
  3. Admiral Trogdor's Avatar
    Here's something interesting - just happened between my first response and now. I have a patient who is normally "High Maintenance" - not fun to see. Well she brought me a Christmas card today (Did I mention she's Jewish). The card was a stock message card, but she had a hand-written sentiment that was touching.

    Very nice -