Last night while working on sockmonkeys I was watching The Worst Christmas Jobs in History on the History Channel. Entertaining stuff, got me thinking. Not about the jobs so much, but about hating Christmas, and the number of people I know who do, and the reasons for it. Of course, then Dana sent around this, which dovetailed with some of the points mentioned in the show (especially the sections about the true age, date(s), and origins of Christmas).
So, let’s see… deaths, divorces, suicides, financial pressures, family fakery, religious hypocrisy… Just a few of the festive gems with which I am familiar that have molded those near and dear to me into Christmas haters. There isn’t much peace on earth, and there’s even less goodwill towards man. Every person I know who hates the holidays, or just wants to be left out of them has bloody good reasons for it. This year I am feeling that particularly acutely. I am usually very good at buying presents, but this year I am just… not engaged. On any level. I am getting no brainwaves, no eureka moments. And it’s not just because the people I’m trying to think of gifts for don’t need anything, or because I’m broke like I have been in the past (I’m not, though who’s rich this time of year?), but because I there’s nothing I can buy that will help. I can’t gift wrap “I wish that had never happened to you” or “feel better” or wave my magic wand and make time pass or psychic wounds heal or sprinkle happy fairy dust onto anyone. So the point of brightly-coloured papers and ribbons and sweating in the mall is… what, exactly? I’m thinkin’ maybe a return to the “true” spirit of Christmas wouldn’t be so bad. Which is to say, a pagan mid-winter feast/festival where there was much eating, drinking, and merriment. Hell, Samuel de Champlain knew what he was doing implementing the Order of Good Cheer. What’s that but Saturnalia resurrected and not co-opted by a bunch of confused Christians with a good PR machine?
I don’t hate Christmas, personally. There are some aspects I quite enjoy. I like hollering along to Oscar the Grouch’s I Hate Christmas. We have the original vinyl album, and I’ve been hollering along to that repeatedly from about mid-December on annually since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. It amuses my mother. 🙂 I enjoy baking things at my parents’ house. Their kitchen is awesome, very large and thoroughly appointed with anything you might need. (The joys of almost 40 years of domesticity.) I like listening to my Dad giggling (again) when we watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. (My Dad has one of the weirdest laughs on the planet – not unlike that of Krusty the Clown.) I like doing the annual dance that goes along with the song they run during the credits at the end of Christmas Vacation. (No, you can’t see me do it.) I even like going to malls in December. Not always, and not at the worst of times, but on occasion, to feel the energy in the air and meander around, amused at the frazzledness of the masses and their rampant offspring. I like finding the perfect gift for someone (and shopping in general). I used to like tramping out into the bush to cut down the family Christmas tree, though I have no problems with not doing that anymore. I always ended up cold and wet and lost. Even the dog would take off.
There’s plenty about Christmas I don’t like. I won’t go into that list. It pales in comparison to the lists of people I know. Besides, most of the stuff I don’t like happens every year anyway. You get used to it.
Besides, for me, it’s New Year’s that’s always been the crushing disappointment.