Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Case for Christmas

Anyone who has been around here reading for any significant period of time will tell you that I am not here for Christmas. It’s not that I hate it per se, just that I wish that everything from the day after Halloween to New Year’s Eve did not exist.
That came out wrong.
There is a large part of my Christmas loathing that is personal that I won’t get into. But there is another part of Christmas that makes it my least favorite time of year; it is overwhelming.
From October until the ceasing of after Christmas sales in mid- January, it is everywhere. It is big ass trees and bright ass lights and gaudy wrapping paper and syrupy Christmas carols. It is signs and sales and wreaths and garland. It is crowds and competition and over consumption. And that’s just at the mall. Don’t even get me started on what it’s like if you’re one of millions of people like me who have to actually travel to get to your family this time of year. The airport during the holiday season is where glad tidings go to die. And really, what other time of year would you be okay with allowing your child to sit on the lap of a stranger just because he is an old white guy with a beard and ruddy cheeks who may or may not have diabetes?
I find it all to be quite a lot. On two separate occasions, I took friends up on their offer to join them at their church for some semblance of peace and normalcy amidst the jewelry and toy ads. On the first occasion, the preacher spent exactly one hour and seventeen minutes berating the congregation about all the things they had bought for their loved ones while “people are out there suffering.” On the second, a “Christmas Concert” was three hours of 80 decibel songs punctuated by a sermon tying the story of the Three Wise Men to tithes and offerings and a record four opportunities to give money to the church.
So, I probably won’t be doing that again.
Usually around this time of year I settle in to a bottle of Jack Daniels, hang out with my friends and family, and try to side step emotional landmines until January 2nd when I usually sober up recover. But this year I am going to do something different. I am going to force myself to get into the Christmas spirit. I am going to bake cookies for my coworkers and maybe get some kinda decoration for my desk. I am going to go to Christmas parties. I am going to listen to Christmas music… provided it is more along the Donny Hathaway “This Christmas” variety and not Children Screech Christmas Carols Choir. I am going to send Christmas cards to people I love in states that are not my own. I am not even going to make fun of the people who dress their cars up in those ridiculous ass reindeer antlers and nose.
Ok that’s probably not true. But I will stop entertaining fantasies of jumping on the hood of their cars and tearing the antlers off the roof. I might even brave a toy store or kid’s store for my new favoritest person in the whole wide world.
The cynic in me says that changing my approach to Christmas might not be enough to change what kinda Christmas I have. But there is another part, a more hopeful part, that hopes that perhaps this Christmas (like last Christmas, spent at my best friend’s church and wrapping presents for my god brothers) can be the beginning of better holidays than the ones I have had.
But I’m gonna need more liquor, just in case it’s not.

1 comment:

LadyLee said...

I know me and my sister really have hated the holidays because we have had a dramatic mother who really gets into it and expects all those around her to get into it to. Hence, our hatred of it.

We have created our own little traditions together which are apart from what society considers the norm. As a result, we look forward to them now.

I encourage you to do the same.