My Christmas filters are not functioning properly. I think the energy I usually expend keeping Christmas out of my life is being diverted by anxiety over the war resisters and the political situation. I feel like an old Star Trek episode: too much power is diverted, the shields won't hold.
I notice that last year, I didn't write "I hate Christmas" until December 20. (If you go back and read that old post, be sure to check out the comments. There are some great links.) This year, I have so much hate for Christmas, my rant starts three weeks early.
I hate the advertising.
I hate the constant exhortations to buy useless things.
I hate the music.
I hate the assumption that I celebrate this Christian holiday.
I hate the assumption, since I don't celebrate Christmas, that I must be celebrating Chanukah, as if Chanukah has fuck-all to do with Christmas.
I hate that this Christian holiday is plastered all over our supposedly secular world. Ramadan isn't pushed in our face this way, nor Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, nor Diwali, nor Yule, nor any important holiday of any other religion. Although I'm sure if any of those holidays somehow morphed into a compulsory spending spree, marketers and advertisers would find a way to exploit it.
I don't hate your Christmas. If Christmas is meaningful to you, I hope you fully enjoy it. But I don't expect other people to celebrate the days that are meaningful in my life, and I hate that people expect this of me.
I would no sooner celebrate the birth of Jesus than I would celebrate the birth of Zeus. (Although Allan and I might celebrate the birth of Dionysus.) But the modern-day version of the birth of Jesus means nothing to me because... I'm not Christian!
Spare me the rationalization about Christmas now being a secular holiday. That offends me even more. Your habits and customs are not the standard, applied to all. That's like assuming everyone is heterosexual, or speaks English - or is "American". Celebrating Christmas may be the norm where you live, and the practice may be overwhelmingly popular, but that doesn't make it secular.
Recently someone told me that if I had kids, I would celebrate Christmas. Wrong! If I had kids, that wouldn't turn me into a Christian, and I wouldn't raise my kids with somebody else's traditions. My kids wouldn't be "deprived" of Christmas. That's like saying lesbians are deprived of having sex with men. Do Canadians feel deprived because they don't celebrate the Fourth of July?
Last year, I wrote, "Despite these feelings, I do participate in some ways," referring to holiday cards (some years), a few obligatory presents, and some end-of-year appreciation tips. I wrote, "I do use this time of year as a time for those kinds of acknowledgements. It's easier than being truly eccentric and doing that in, say, February." This still works for me, more out of convenience than anything else. If there was a more convenient way to do this, at another time of year, I would do it. But year's end, vaguely between Christmas and New Year's, works for me. Naturally we would never buy or make a card with any suggestion of Christmas, and of course no religiosity.
This year I hate Christmas so much, we're not even discussing cards. Also, money is tight, and card-sending really adds up. But it's not just our budget. It's my irritated brain.