Sunday, November 24, 2013
Nothing says charming holiday fun like an old-fashioned sleigh ride. The majestic steeds snorting exhaust into the chilly air, the bells on their bridles jingling merrily throughout the snow-covered countryside; snuggling up with your best girl, sharing a thermos of hot chocolate and the occasional smooch, reflecting on the hope the new year will bring. It's all kinds of magical and crap.
In the suburbs, where I live, the concept of a Christmas sleigh ride has been warped and ruined. Suburban sleigh rides do not take place in the 'snow-covered countrysides' of yore, but rather in the parking lots of the traffic-choked outdoor shopping centers that dot the suburban landscape every few miles. Yes, charming country home's decorated with twinkly candles have been replaced with SUV brake lights and the warm glow of a Jason's Deli sign; snow has been replaced with uneven asphalt; and Christmas carols have been replaced by thumping bass from the trunk of a Target employee's Honda Civic. I don't know what the hot chocolate has been replaced by. Something with a wheatgrass boost in it from Planet Smoothie? Food and drink probably isn't even allowed. It should go without saying that the sleigh itself has been replaced by a carriage.
This fall I went on two very different hayrides with my family. One hayride took place on a lovely farm, the route twisting through a tranquil forest and ending in a pumpkin patch. The other hayride was through the parking lot of an amusement park for toddlers. Both hayrides were super boring, but the one through the parking lot was also super sad. A hayride shouldn't have to yield to oncoming traffic or offer nothing but other states' license plates as its so-called 'scenic points of interest." A hayride should take you on a sweet ride thorough an apple orchard or a haunted cornfield. I get on a hayride to forget about the conveniences of the modern world for awhile and focus on the good old days when people had to pick their apples straight from the trees or die. Yup, a lot of people died from apple deprivation in olden times. Didn't have grocery stores. It was gross.
Still a hayride through the Sesame Place season ticket holder parking lot has got to be a lot better than the sleigh ride you get in an outdoor shopping center parking lot at the peak of holiday shopping season. Honestly, how many horses do you think are going to get bumped by careless drivers this year? I bet tons.
I don't know who this week's Stop Already is for exactly. Like, who do I want to stop doing it already and what is the 'it' that needs stopping? I'm not sure. I mean, mega-shopping centers should stop offering this kind of service because it's not fun or romantic or horse-friendly. The car exhaust, the traffic, the honking, the various odors wafting from Applebee's. Then again, people eat this sort of thing up at Christmastime. "They got real, no-kidding sleigh rides goin' on here? Well, dang, we gotta do it. As soon as you guys finish up in Marshalls, were gettin' in line!" These people are wrong. You shouldn't want to do this. You should demand more from your sleigh ride. Like an actual sleigh.
I don't know who is truly in the wrong here, but someone needs to stop whatever is pissing me off RIGHT NOW!!!