Christmas... ugh...

Last night I was sitting for a sculpture class and we were discussing Christmas. A girl told us that her classmate declared her hatred of Christmas and she said, "all I could think was, what is wrong with you? Why?"
I kept my mouth shut, because I wasn't supposed to be moving, but all I could think was: That. That is why Christmas-haters hate Christmas.
We hate it because starting October 25th Christmas looms over the horizon. Santa snow globes and that fucking Elf on the Shelf take up 2/3rds of Michael's craft store while a pathetic selection of Halloween decorations is shoved in the middle of an aisle like a red-headed stepchild.Then, starting around 2 weeks before Thanksgiving, Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts whips us into a hysteria over peppermint mocha lattes for the season. We can't go anywhere without hearing Bing Crosby sing Christmas Schmaltz, or TSO sweeping through the Carol of the Bells. And as if to perversely express my exasperation with the Christmas saturation, conservative pundits begin to express their absolute outrage at the persecution of Christians in the United States of America not being able to say to everyone "Merry Christmas," or erect a nativity scene where ever they damn well feel like. Which is confusing, because, as far as I can tell, Nativity scenes are everywhere and everyone is saying "Merry Christmas."
It is possible that I would enjoy the holiday spirit a little more if I could just take a break from it.
But that's obviously not the thing to do. If I groan at how the holidays are stressful I get called a scrooge, and then a litany of all the things I should be enjoying: the cookies! the carols! The decorations! Getting the tree! Snow! Christmas cards! Presents! All Christmas-lovers have actually done is just make me feel like an alien for not being excited about all this.
I like these things, I do. But why does everything have to be shoved in my face and down my throat?
Every year is as though I'm a contestant in a survival show with dwindling resources and time. There's so much that I feel I ought to be doing, and yet if you asked me, "Rosie, why must you write Christmas cards?" I'd have no answer. I don't know why I have to bake mini-mince pies for my office, or steep lemon peel in vodka for limoncello gifts for people, other than that if I did not do these things I would regret it.Yes, I want to see a family member's face light up when they unwrap whatever I've handed them. My dream is for them to know that I thought about them; who they are and what they like; what they need to feel appreciated and loved. And, in full disclosure, I would also like to feel these things as I unwrap whatever they handed me. But that's not what happens. Commercials mount on top of one another with messages of "in this season of giving, make sure you get something!" or "This is what your girlfriend/wife really wants!" and "get mom/dad the gift they've been dreaming of." What we hear is: Nobody is going to get you anything you'll actually like, and you will ruin their Christmas if you don't buy them this Mercedes." So we all turn into these frantic monsters suffering from performance anxiety, mindlessly throwing crap from Indonesian sweat shops in baskets not caring if it's what someone actually wants; we just need something wrapped and under the tree. At some point, the gift-giving stopped happening from the heart and became all obligation. I had to get some friend a present, because otherwise they may think that I don't like them, but I have no clue what to get or how much to spend and now I'm starting to resent them for existing in the first place.
Last week I decided that I'm simply not going to send Christmas cards. I didn't bake mini-mince pies for my co-workers, and no one, not even me, is sipping crema di limoncello. That ship sailed, I wasn't on it, and mostly I'm okay with it all. I'm a little depressed, but that's fairly usual for December, and also for feeling like I am an extra-terrestrial trying to pass as an Earthling. I don't know how to build an emotional Christmas shelter for next year, I don't know how to take cover from the insanity. I'm just glad that it's nearly over.


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