I always tell people that I hate Christmas, but that’s not really true. I hate what Christmas does to people, I hate what it’s come to mean to many, but how can you really hate Christmas?
I hate that the season starts roughly in August. I can’t stand to see Christmas decorations or hear Christmas music before Thanksgiving. Please, one holiday at a time. It’s all I can take.
I hate that people go absolutely INSANE on their quest for Christmas presents; that an otherwise thoughtful and rational person turns into a raging beast devoid of all humanity in their attempt to get that overpriced toy that everyone else’s child will certainly have. I hate that people spend so much money on presents, often on things the receiver doesn’t want or need. I hate that everyone in the retail industry gets treated as subhuman magnets of blame for shoppers’ frustration and stress. I hate those women who will run over you with their shopping cart as soon as look at you.
I’ve always hated Mall Santa. He’s just creepy. My mom would have to distract me with something shiny while I was unwittingly placed on his lap, oblivious until the camera flash went off and I turned around to see who they were taking a picture of and OH MY GOD ITS THAT WEIRDO FROM LAST YEAR AGAIN and I started wailing.
I don’t hate that people have forgotten the “true meaning of Christmas” according to Christians. I am a Catholic so yes it means something different to me, but I’m not about to rail on how the heathens have commercialized poor baby Jesus’s birthday. Yes, they have, but what I hate is that so many people have forgotten even the secular meaning of Christmas: spending time with loved ones, basking in some highly-concentrated unconditional love for at least one day of the year, and letting someone you care about know that you’ve been thinking of them with a brightly-wrapped token of your affection. It’s really not a time to show how much you can spend in one month, or how you clawed your way over piles of broken bodies to get That Thing That Must Be Had to prove your dedication and stamina.
I love that Christmas makes most people happy, in the end. I love that it forces you to spend time with family, and everyone is contentedly full of food and sugar and is generally pleasant.
I love that all my friends come home, and we can pick up right where we left off last year–being awesome at life.
I love that moment when you stumble upon just the perfect gift for him/her and you can’t wait until they open it.
I love the way (appropriately-timed) decorations make everything sparkle, making streets and stores just a little bit more special than they are normally. And I love a blanket of snow to make everything clean and shiny and new.
I love wrapping paper.
I LOVE going from one group of amazing people to another for weeks, basking in that concentrated love and constantly being reminded how many wonderful people I have had the privilege of meeting and keeping in my life.
So, a bit belatedly, Merry Christmas to all.