Friday, December 3, 2010 By: Suzanne

It's The Most Terrible Time Of The Year...

Does anyone else just want to shut themselves up inside their homes during the holiday season and not see people until it's all over? Seriously the craziness of shopping for gifts this time of year is just more than I can handle sometimes. I DON'T do Black Friday unless there is something I need so bad that I would be buying it anyway no matter what time of year it is and just happens to have the most amazing deal EVER on Black Friday. I am not going to buy a 4000" flat screen tv just because it is 10% off. Guess what? I'll save money by not purchasing something I don't need. Thank you. Done. Money saved. I DON'T go to the mall during the holiday season unless there is NO WHERE else I can find what I need. And then I am in and out as soon as possible. I do not wander around in those crowds. Of course, I avoid Wal-Mart like the plague as much as I can at anytime of year because it's always like the day before Christmas in there.

Does this mean I am anti-people? No, it simply means the materialistic-money-hungry society in which I live makes me want to puke sometimes and I can't stand to see my fellow humans reduced to lions in a feeding frenzy in a slaughter house of gazelle.

On the other hand there is also a wonderful sense of community this time of year if you know where to look. I've been in Texas for about 9 years now and for most of that time I've lived in this wonderful town of Denton. In all that time I have never been to the annual holiday lighting on the square. We have one of those old timey downtown squares. Literally and square plot of land with a courthouse in the center with four connecting streets. Businesses surround the courthouse on those streets. Unlike a lot of towns, our square is not only vibrant but new businesses scramble to get in if one leaves, instead of many closing down.

Here's a couple pics I found on google:

There are so many things I love about this town and this is just one of them. The two colleges provide new blood in every year. There is a bohemian quality to most of the town. And people enjoy being out in the town, instead of driving off to Dallas or Ft Worth which are both fairly close (though of course we all do that on occasion!). 

So I decided to check out the holiday lighting festival this year on the square. Everything I hate about this time of year was still present but it was muted by the wonderful community atmosphere. The square was filled with people. The streets were blocked off so people could roam free through the streets without worrying about cars. And we have Denton's own Brave Combo. To be honest, I've never really cared to much about Brave Combo. They're entertaining and they are certainly wonderful musicians but I'm not the kind of person to put on some Brave Combo music at home. Sure they've won 2 Grammys but Beyonce won 16 and Ella Fitzgerald only won 13 so I'm thinking the musical taste of the Grammy committee is a little off. I'm more likely to throw on some Pixies or The Clash if I want to dance like a maniac anyway! :) They had the crowd from the first note though and everyone had a good time. Crowd surfing even!! Here's a little video of the same festival from a couple years ago.

I ended the night by playing open mic with friend David at a little coffee shop just around the corner from all these activities. We had a great response and I am itching for more. So I guess it's not such a terrible time of year after all. :)

Now if only I can avoid any type of shopping until Jan 2.