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christmas rant

December 11th, 2009 at 07:02 am

So, I know this makes me a horrible horrible person, but I just cannot stand Christmas. Maybe when I have children I will think differently, but honestly I can't see the point in it aside from, yes, the actual 'family gathering' part, which is always good no matter what the day is called: New Years, Labour Day, Australia Day, Queens Birthday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday yadda yadda etc etc.

I realised this (my dislike for all things Christmassy) a good few years ago. I just can't quite get my head around it.

Money is a number one reason why I don't get excited at the mention of tinsel and angels. Yes, yes, I know you can have a perfectly good Christmas without spending a lot of money - that's all good and well.

But it's all this advertising that is thrown up in November/December, designed to make consumers spend money on things that any other time of the year you would look at and go 'there is no way I am spending money that'. That is mainly what makes me feel hate towards Christmas.

And the decorations? The tree? Why would you pay money for either a PLASTIC tree, or a tree that has been cut down so you can have it in your living room for a month and then throw out?

A friend of mine bought me a christmas tree because I don't have one, and because I refused to buy one. "Everyone must have a christmas tree." she said to me. Do you see what I mean? Already, money has been spent on something unneccesary, simply because 'it's christmas'. What am I going to do with it? Pack it away in a box of other crap I don't use, and then eventually it will probably make its way into landfill. Awesome.

And the STRESS. The word 'stress' is thrown about a lot during the Christmas season.
People stress over the food, will there be enough, or not enough? The answer is most likely too much.
They stress over family. Will there be clashes? Does the alcoholic uncle really have to be invited? Yes of course, it's Christmas, you must invite everyone you normally wouldn't sit in the same room with.
People stress over presents, finding the perfect gift, spending too much, spending not enough, how much other people have spent on you, have they already got this one, will it fit, will they like it?

When do the stores close? When do they open? The difficulty in finding a parking space. Car park rage. Shopping rage. Busy stores. Returns. Laybuys. Items out of stock. Not having the right size or the right colour. Overpriced wrapping paper. Overpriced decorations. Overpriced ribbon. Red, Green and White. Sore Feet.

The other reason I don't like Christmas is because of all the disruptions.
I can't work on Christmas, because we're closed, and then the day after is a public holiday, and I am too expensive. DF can't work for over two WEEKS, because most people have relatives staying over and don't want tradesmen trudging through their house with a floor sander.

And then of course, because everyone overspent for Christmas (why? because! it's christmas!) DF has jobs cancelled in January because people are broke, and then February and March are typically slow for the same reason - and my work slows down and everyone wonders when their shifts are going to get cut as well.

I *DO* understand the religious side of it all, and that's fine. I really have NO PROBLEM with families celebrating Christmas when their lives revolve around religion anyway. I have friends that celebrate Ramadan each year and I hear quite a bit about it from them - when I ask, that is. However, I am not in the slightest bit interested in religion, so I don't see why I should have to be bombarded with Christmas every time I step out the door. And I am trying very hard to understand why people get wrapped up (no pun intended) in Christmas when they have no interest in the true roots of it all.

So maybe I'm just an odd, weird, whinging girl, but then again maybe you can begin to get why I just don't understand the madness of it all. Smile

8 Responses to “christmas rant”

  1. DeniseNTexas Says:

    Umm, you aren't the only one who feels this way! Truthfully, there are a lot of people who feel as you do but many of them haven't been able to just give it up as they want to. Family and social expectations make it difficult.

    I quit christmas about 15 years ago and haven't regretted it once. Since I work retail I'm exposed almost daily to all the holiday doings but in my personal life, there's none. Well, I do like to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" if I catch it on television but I'd watch it just about any day of the year!

    We don't send cards and don't expect to get them, though we do get one or two each year. We don't buy presents for anyone, we don't say "Merry Christmas", we don't even cook a special meal. In fact, I think for the last two years we've gone to our favorite Chinese restaurant on the 25th or 24th.

    It's a chance for me to see a good portion of my family in one spot so I try to go to the family gathering and I enjoy that but if they'd do it in March or August I'd probably enjoy it more!

    Anyway, I understand and we can commiserate! Wink

  2. monkeymama Says:

    Oh, I totally feel the same way!

    The irony is that in my little world, the more religous folk (relatives anyway) celebrate Christmas in the most material and stressful ways. It's mind boggling. I don't particularly exchange gifts and get into the thick of it with my less religous friends. It's not because we don't celebrate Christmas. It's because we shun the consumerism and stress of it all. I just marvel at dh's family every year - how completely un-religous the whole holiday is for them, really, even though they are so religous. It just doesn't make any sense. All they teach our kids this time of year is to expect 100 gifts from Grandma. No one else can even buy them anything because she is such a gift hog.

    I was just telling dh I was a grinch because I hadn't really thought about it much and was annoyed to buy teacher gifts. (Since really they are the only ones I am buying "gifts" for). There is just no joy in it for me.

    I actually look forward to the kids being older, and being able to get them more involved in feeding the hungry and stuff like that over the holidays. I will participate in charity, but that's really it, this time of year. While everyone is running around crazed, I kind of sit back and say, whatever. That works for me! Big Grin
    As far as working - not so many complaints. I have to work because it is so busy, and it gets really old hearing how it is the end of the world and what a slave driver my boss is. It isn't the end of the world and my boss is hardly a slave driver, so whatever. Big Grin But I suppose I should feel lucky that I get to work and get paid.

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    I love Xmas for the simple joy of getting gifts for AS and NT, who work so hard and are so good to me and each other all year long. I also like decorating and getting invited to parties (this year we're having our own holiday party!).

    I've gotten back into sending my parents gifts since NT moved in; he's so conscientious that I felt bad I've neglected my mom & dad. But thank goodness my 4 siblings, 4 inlaws and 11 nieces and nephews don't expect gifts! One year I got presents for everyone in my family and that was too crazy for me! I'll probably send my immediate family cards this year, but again that's not something I'm that into. But there is a sense of satisfaction finding something for my parents that I think they'll like and sending it to them.

    NT is a longer-term atheist than me, but he loves any reason to do nice things for people, so he sends cards to tons of family as well as handing them out to everyone at work!

    I wouldn't think any less of my parents if they stopped doing this, because I think it's above and beyond the call of parental duty, but they ask the three of us for wish lists and pretty much get us 5-10 things each, including DVD box sets we'd never buy for ourselves! One year they just sent us a big check to get a flatscreen TV. It's not something I take for granted or anything, but I do really really appreciate all the (for us) extravagant things my parents give us at Xmas! Wink

  4. frugaltexan Says:

    I agree with you about the consumerisim aspect. I'd love to be able to go visit family at this time of year and not feel like I'm going to offend them if I don't have a gift for them. In my previous job when the ladies were discussing what to get the top 3 men - I tried suggesting things such as heifer.org - something to give back a bit. They wouldn't even hear of it.

    I also dislike having to drive anywhere near malls at this time of year. Last night it took me 10 minutes to exit the business complex due to a huge backup. Where were most of these cars most likely headed? To the mall on the other side of that intersection.

    I do however love the traditions - being with family you might not see often, looking at Christmas lights, singing Christmas carols, going to Christmas programs ( Esp. Musical ones by kids), and of course the special foods you might only eat a few times a year.

  5. baselle Says:

    Yeah, I'm not fond of Christmas either. Australia does have the advantage, though, in that the weather is okay for it. The snow, ice, cold, and lack of light in the Northern Hemisphere ... on top of all you wrote really does it in for me.

    Oh yes, and its amazing that for one of the greatest individuals, we sometimes throw the worst birthday party EVER for him.

  6. DeniseNTexas Says:

    "Oh yes, and its amazing that for one of the greatest individuals, we sometimes throw the worst birthday party EVER for him."

    And that's a great reason for me to not participate. lol

  7. nmboone Says:

    Believe me you are not the horrible person you think you are. I love seeing family and exchanging a few gifts this time of year but the advertising and spending part (consumerism) is just crazy! I refuse to go to a mall this year like I have in the past. I bought some stuff today on Amazon and hopefully I can continue to shop online. BTW I was on prosper.com recently and saw that there were people on there who wanted to borrow $2000 for one little boy for Christmas? I want to just scream "What the hell are you doing?"

  8. Jerry Says:

    The beauty Christmas is being crushed by consumerism and greed, which would lead me to similar conclusions about the holiday if I didn't have a different background. Christmas is like many other good things - it is an inherently good and beautiful holiday that can be (um... IS being) bastardized into something that doesn't even resemble what it was originally. I find that I have some insurance that I will enjoy the holiday more when I relax, spend less money and more time, focus on my family and religious traditions, and remember what it was like when I was a kid... I want that for my own kids. (And hey, they can put out holiday ads in August for all I care. I will ignore them and go out of my way not to shop there!)
    Jerry

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