Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, one can’t ignore the energy that takes over the country between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Friends gather for Friends-givings. Hanukkah Menorahs are out and lit. The stores play Holiday music. There are Holiday parties every night of the week. The pubs are decorated with Christmas lights. People strut through the streets in their best ugly Christmas sweaters and Santa hats. Everyone is…well…pleasant, unless it’s Black Friday.
We, here in Philadelphia, have been lucky enough to get a second Holiday Season. Friends are gathering to watch games. Instead of hearing Holiday music at every turn, our ears are soothed to the sounds of random E-A-G-L-E-S chants and heartful renditions of the Eagles’ Fight Song from adults to seniors to drunks at the local watering hole to classrooms full of children.
Instead of Holiday decorations, business, homes, and even cars are now decorated with Eagles lights and swag. The Christmas sweaters and Santa hats have been replaced with Eagles jerseys, sherseys, and hats. Friends and families are planning their gatherings and menus for Super Bowl Sunday.
People are holding doors for one another. People are happy…AND NICE. Maybe even too nice. I was stuck at the four-way stop sign on Snyder Avenue, just outside of John’s Roast Pork, for what felt like ten minutes. Usually, it’s a clusterf*ck of cars aggressively pushing their way through the intersection. Car-bullies regularly jumping out into the intersection ahead of the more passive drivers. Horns honk. Not yesterday. Every driver seemed to wave each other on with a polite and understood, “No, after you, I insist,” to the point that no one was moving.
If you’re a social drinker, I would implore you to get out to your local watering hole. Every night in Philly this week is like a holiday party without any bosses. People are buying each other drinks. Groups of people are doing shots to E-A-G-L-E-S chants.
The Eagles and our Super Bowl Dreams have given us a small sample of what life could be like with a simple shift in our mentality. A shift that brings hope and ignores our differences as a people while focusing on our similarities–being Eagles fans. A shift where we say “Go Birds” to random strangers simply because they are wearing Eagles gear and allows us to realize that we can say things like “hello” or “good morning” to one another simply because we are humans in this world together. A shift that brings us together as one where we all share a common goal and we boost each other up, instead of tearing each other down. All of our differences have ceased to exist for the past week or so and it’s been rather glorious.
Be grateful Philly. This second holiday-like season is a true gift. The past week or so has been uplifting and has shown us that we can all get along by embracing our commonalities. Thank you, Eagles, for helping to bring this united, almost utopian, period of time into our lives, even if it is temporary. It’s been a true joy to experience.
As the Eagles have shown us and Malcolm Jenkins told us, WE ALL WE GOT, WE ALL WE NEED. And, for right now, that’s been more than enough both on the field and in the city. Let’s hope it continues for one more game.