Perhaps it’s just because we’ve become too urbanized, and so long gone from all those old country ways of ringing in the Christmas festivities of former times, that we’re less enthused these days by the prospect of it’s that tra-la-la time of year…again.

So, we go through the motions…sorta…just to somehow maintain our sense of continuity with those traditions. That is, a poinsettia plant to grace the coffee table, a few greeting cards displayed on the corner desk, and a marginal Christmas thingie to decorate the door. Plus, we do have a modest carton of store-bought nogg in the fridge, with a brand-new cognac bottle ready at hand to perk it up, along with a slipper-sized tin of old style ginger spice cake to serve with it, should any visitors appear at our door.

And yes, we’ve also gotten a few goodies to give or send to a very small circle of friends that still remain more or less within our reach. Such is the extent of our holiday spirit.

Meanwhile, our snow-less streets and byways in these parts carry their usual snarls of traffic, temporarily made more chaotic than ever by hordes of shoppers rabitting across it, fixated on their pursuit of taking advantage of whatever gift-buying deals they can find for the occasion. All of that festooned with bright ersatz decorations and by traditional speaker- blared music noises to complete the frenetic ambiance required to sustain that urbanite holiday mood.

As for the rest of the world…peace on earth and goodwill to all…seems to have become a totally alien concept to it. There’s none to be had or seen of such a thing in almost any part of it.

Still, despite it all, we’ll lean back in our recliner, brandy snifter in hand, a bit of Handel on the player, comforted by the thought that somewhere in this favored land of ours…old country ways still prevail, neatly powdered by snow…as we settle in for a long winter’s nap.

And so to all…a good night.