I’ll just throw it out there. I really don’t like Christmas. Chalk it up to having depression or whatever you like, but I’d rather be prancing around in an amazing costume collecting candy than sitting around on Christmas Day.
Perhaps it is the family gathering aspect that gets me. Growing up, my dad and I never failed to end up in a fight, and perhaps that is what has soured my outlook on it. Maybe it is the fact it has become so commercialized that is the culprit. I still shake my head over videos of Black Friday, thinking, “Wow, was that really worth it?”
Lately, I get annoyed over the argument about the “War on Christmas.” It could be just me, but I don’t get offended if someone wishes me Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or whatever. I’m not Jewish, but I wouldn’t flip out if someone said Happy Hanukkah.
Why? Because I understand there are a zillion holidays out there and every religion celebrates things differently. I also know other religions claim Dec. 25 as the date of the birth of their god. I’ve got friends who are Atheists, Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Pagans, Wiccans and even a couple of Satanists.
I also understand there are even non-religious holidays and observances in the month of December, and sometimes there are more than one celebration on the same day. Today is Bake Cookies Day, by the way, in case you didn’t know. FYI, Christmas Eve is also National Chocolate Day and National Eggnog Day, so be sure to recognize those appropriately — if you want to, that is.
When I remember people may celebrate more than one holiday at a time, like a friend of mine who grew up with a Jewish mother and a Catholic father, I find it much easier to say Happy Holidays. It covers the gamut. Seriously, look at some of the options it replaces:
Happy Ramadan (Is that a proper well wishing of that holiday? I’m not sure honestly.)
Happy New Year
See? It’s efficient. I can play mix-and-match with two simple words. I don’t have to pretend I know what the dark lord Cthulu has asked you to celebrate this month because while you hold that belief dear, I don’t. But, if that’s what you celebrate, I genuinely wish you the best, whatever that day is possible. It also allows me to wish you a Merry/Happy fill-in-the-blank while also wishing you Happy New Year.
I guess my point is, the holiday season is supposed to be a happy time. So why do we get so bent out of shape because people want to celebrate differently and want to wish you well in different ways?
While I was growing up, my dad always said he never got into the Christmas spirit until he watched my school choir concert every year. As I get older, I find myself feeling the same way. Getting a day off of work isn’t really exciting to me since typically you have to work ahead, so it is just increasing the workload in a smaller amount of time. But somehow, music — along with thoughts of my nieces and nephew — makes me enjoy the holidays. Except when the tunes start in November. That’s a bit annoying.
My co-workers tried to cheer me up about the season and encouraged me to focus on the smaller things and not the larger picture of things I don’t have. They are right. So, I will end my rant on a high note with a list of a few of my Christmas favorites. I can feel my Grinchy heart growing a few sizes just thinking about them. “Carol of the Bells,” “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” “Mele Kalikimaka,” “So This is Christmas?”, “Oh, Holy Night”, and a personal fave, “Hard Candy Christmas.”
To all of the readers out there, I sincerely wish you the happiest of holidays, whatever you may celebrate and however you celebrate it.