i hate christmas

Only five more days.

Only five more days of "Have you finished all your shopping?" and "What are you doing for Christmas?" and listening to the long litany of what my co-workers got for people I don't know and will never meet. Only five more days of this most irritating and pervasive assumption that I celebrate this holiday, because doesn't everybody? Only five more days, and sometimes I think I will explode before I get there.

As with so many things, it's less in Canada than in the US. It's lower-key here, and it starts later. And thank goodness for that, because my tolerance for this Christmas bullshit is decreasing every year. When I was younger I used to like to see the windows on Fifth Avenue (a popular New York tourist attraction) and St. Patrick's Cathedral in its Christmas finery. But after you've done that a half-dozen times or so, the attraction wanes, then disappears.

I'm grateful I've always lived in a place where I can say, "I don't celebrate Christmas," without seeming like a freak. In New York City, now in the GTA, lots of people don't celebrate Christmas. Even so, people may be somewhat startled when you say it. Sometimes they'll stammer, "I just meant the holidays in general". I'll play along to be polite, but you know what? There are no "holidays in general". Christmas is a religious holiday and if you aren't Christian, it has absolutely no meaning. I understand that some non-Christians have adopted Christmas as some type of secular ritual, but I can't understand why. No one has adopted Yom Kippur or Eid or Ramadan - or Easter - that way.

Despite these feelings, I do participate in some ways. If I have your email address, you've probably received a card from us. Some years we've spent quite a lot of time and effort making our own card, and we enjoyed that. We make some donations, we give some end-of-year tips for services, and we buy a few presents, some obligatory, others out of appreciation. 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.

But it's a bare minimum. Mostly I just wish it would all go away, and the sooner, the better.

No comments: