Fireworks for Christmas

On Christmas Even Jerimiah and I had just gotten Jackson to bed when the fireworks started. I immediately remembered the very long, very loud fireworks from the Christmas Eve before, the one that took us totally by surprise. Last year we were a bit annoyed, asking each other, fireworks for Christmas?! Who would do such a thing? The truth is though, it isn’t horrible people who just want to keep your kids up and your dogs terrified. Bringing in Christmas with fireworks is actually a Latin America tradition and honestly we’ve just lived such sheltered lives (read: such white lives) that we have never encountered this before. But here in Atlanta, where the diversity kicks it up into double digits, we have been exposed to numerous things we never have been exposed to before and honestly, I wasn’t even mad this year. All I kept thinking was, it’s been one shitty-ass year and if people want fireworks, let them have their damn fireworks!

Of course the people on Next Door were not so thoughtful.

I was perusing the site for sale items, something I do a lot at night when I am trying to fall asleep. Occasionally, between Craigslist and NextDoor I find some gems, and people were bitching about the fireworks. As I lay in the dark, my phone screen illuminating my face and the sound of fireworks bursting around me I read:

“I don’t care who celebrates this way, I’m trying to sleep!”

“This is America! They can go back to their own country to do that stuff!”

“How dumb are these people? Dumb and tacky.”

“Call the cops, it’s illegal!”

The truth of that last one is no, it isn’t. Christmas Eve is one of the nights here that fireworks are legal because we have so many transplants from other countries that they made it legal here. That got me to thinking about all the calls flooding DeKalb’s Police force on Christmas Eve and how mad these nasty, white people are when the dispatcher on the other end tells them they won’t be sending a police officer out. I smiled in satisfaction.

Because the truth is last year when I first heard fireworks on Christmas Eve I Googled it, as any of the people on NextDoor are capable of also doing, and I found out all of this information.

The other truth is this: What the hell is wrong with you people? You white, privileged people? What makes you the superior people? Oh, you don’t have to answer that we already know the answer: Structural racism makes you believe that.

One of the things I have always loved about America is the diversity. The learning of other cultures I would not know about if I didn’t live in a melting pot of a country. As Americans, as such a young country, we don’t have many traditions. The ones we do have are from other countries, brought here by the immigrants who are still coming to the “Land of Opportunity,” so to have the audacity to say some shit like, “This is America, we don’t shoot fireworks on Christmas Eve” is crazy. Because yes, this is America and those people shooting off fireworks are American, so yes, we do shoot off fireworks on Christmas Eve.

So fucking deal with it.

M.

4 thoughts on “Fireworks for Christmas

  1. I was unaware of that tradition. I do feel this is a little judgy towards the people that got annoyed because they probably also didn’t know why. I wasn’t that annoyed. Chad and I were just like, “Are those fireworks?” Good to know the reason though. I think another helpful thing here would be education- just tell those people why they’re doing it and tell them not to judge, that they wouldn’t want to be judged for putting off fireworks on the fourth of July. Although the “this is America!” person probably is just an asshole.

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    • True! It was meant to be judgy! Haha! I don’t mind being judgy, everyone is from time to time. And honestly we live on a world where any question can be answered in five seconds, so I just googled why would people shoot fireworks off on Christmas Eve and I found the answer, which anyone (or most people) can do if they care to. We were the same way last year, we were like really?! Fireworks? Then I schooled my own self. Ha! That’s the best. When you put yourself in check. And for sure, those NextDoor people were major assholes because they knew the reason, but didn’t care. (Insert eye roll).

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  2. It did occur to me that just saying your comments were “a little judgy” was a judgment. I don’t know if their reaction was entirely due to structural racism. Fireworks can be annoying. Chad says it’s against the law to set them off after 11, even on the fourth. The people setting them off most likely didn’t know that though. I didn’t. No, it’s not right to call the people doing it “dumb and tacky.” Ok, so that’s legit to call that person entitled. And no one can say, “This is America!” without sounding totally ignorant and closed minded. They might as well have just said, “Merica.” So I hear where you’re coming from. If you did explain it to them, and they still said those things then yeah, then the judgment might be called for.

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    • I agree. My assumption is that normal, everyday people would be like, “Oh, that’s why people do it.” And that would be the end of it. Now I’m wondering if people call the police on fireworks still going strong on 4th of July after midnight? And if so, do the cops respond to the calls or say, “Ehh, it’s the fourth.” My money is on the ladder. And do those same cops say the same thing about Christmas Eve? Seems like they don’t do much about it on either day, so while it may be illegal, no one seems to care much about it because both nights I hear them well into the middle of the night. Which is good, because if the cops stopped the Latino people celebrating that would of course be a symptom of racism. Funnily enough we don’t shoot fireworks off because we have family members with PTSD from war, but we do like to hear them and go to shows. But I would never complain about someone else doing it in a celebratory manner for Christmas or Fourth of July. Now gunshots, which is also known as celebratory (my mom said my grandpa did it every holiday) that’s another story. When I hear a gunshot I call police!

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