Easton, PA – Jamie Bolton is very excited Christmas is finally here. This isn’t because she’s going to receive or give any particular present, or because she’ll see long-lost relatives. Jamie is excited for Christmas because it’s the one day of the year when he can admit she wants peace and joy in the world, and not be laughed at and called a “dirty hippie” by the people in her life.
“It’s just nice to be able to admit, even if it’s for one day, that I wish there was more peace and love in the world,” Jamie said. “Because it’s Christmas, no one says what they usually say — ‘freak,’ ‘hippie,’ ‘move to Canada.’ None of that. They get it. At least for today.”
Jamie said she harbors these feelings all the other days of the year as well, but she doesn’t dare express herself.
“I tried once, on just a regular day,” she said. “And my husband and brother called me ‘Yoko,’ and asked if I was going to grow my hair long and smoke a joint. It went on for hours. They put on the White Album and everything.”
Likewise, Mark Barron of Piscataway, New Jersey seizes on the Christmas holiday to hang a large “Peace and Love” sign on his garage. No one makes a comment, he says, or worse, tries to deface the sign. This isn’t the case when it isn’t Christmas.
“I put a peace sign on my car once, a few years ago,” Mark said, “and while I was in the mall, someone had written on it, ‘this is America, expletive-expletive.’ I took it down.”
But during the Christmas holiday, Mark can proudly display his sign, and Jamie can express her desire for more peace and love in the world. But how long does it last?
“Oh, I make it to about New Year’s with the sign,” Mark said. “One year I left it a couple of days longer and someone spray-painted over it, ‘This isn’t 1969, hippie.’ So, I learned my lesson.”