How do you feel about the winter holidays? Has your opinion changed over the years?
Honestly, I don't give a rat's ass about any of them.
Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Yule are all holidays I don't even celebrate, so I don't really care about them one way or the other. If you celebrate it, have fun with it.
I celebrate Christmas because I have to, pretty much. Working in retail every year really, really killed any special qualities the holiday has for me. It's too freakin' commercial. Halloween and Valentine's Day both admit they're all about spending money frivolously, but Christmas tries to pretend there's something special about the season that I just don't find in it anymore.
For example, presents.
As much as I like giving and receiving presents, I hate that Christmas seems to force so many presents out of me. Seanie's mother spends thousands of dollars buying gifts for her family (now that includes me!) and yeah, it's nice to get stuff. It's also really nice to give presents to Seanie's brothers and his parents, because I like them and want them to know I appreciate them. But by concentrating all the gift-giving in this single time of year, it's nearly impossible to get everything purchased without piling up debt unless I start scrimping and saving early - like in August or September.
Further, one must assemble a list for people to shop from or risk receiving things that aren't at all needed or wanted. For example, the first year I celebrated Christmas with Sean's family his aunt gave me a stained glass decoration featuring a hummingbird surrounded by flowers. Pretty? Yes. Costly? Probably. To my taste? Not at all. Did I want it? Not really. Did I need it? Certainly not. (Good news on that front, though: that aunt now makes charitable donations in my name each Christmas. We're both happier that way.)
The whole stress of presents and finances really ruin Christmas for me. I mean, at it's heart it should be a celebration of the birth of Jesus, right? But when does He factor into any of it anymore?
(One could then argue that there's no Biblical precedent for celebration Jesus' birth, so should we even celebrate Christmas at all? But let's not start that up right now.)
Mom set up our plastic Christmas tree earlier this week, and it needs to be decorated. This is a chore, not a seasonal delight. I don't like to do it, but I sense that tonight or tomorrow evening that's exactly what I'll be doing. But what a weird tradition. Why decorate a fir tree with plastic gew-gaws from Hallmark anyway? Seems silly to me.
Oh, and the music. UGH. THE MUSIC. If I hear one more schmaltzy, sentimental overblown pop song at the mall I'll scream.
Sean's bound and determined to 'cure' my grinchiness this year...or one of these years. GOod luck with that, buddy.