Some of you might have noticed the lack of holiday-related posts around here lately. In a blogosphere that is totally obsessed with saving money on gifts, making your own wrapping paper, and surviving holiday office parties, this is probably the one place you can hang out with no mistletoe or ribbons.
I have not put up my Christmas tree, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to leave it in the basement this year. I don’t bake cookies or put inflatable Santa Spongebobs in my yard. I don’t send Christmas cards.
Why, you ask? Because I’m not really a fan of Christmas.
I Wasn’t Always a Scrooge
There are a few reasons why I don’t like Christmas. First of all, since my grandmother died in 2005, Christmas has been a big ball of suck. She freaking loved Christmas. Every year, we would go shopping for decorations (she had a different tree every year) and gifts for all the younger grandkids. She was a big believer in getting the perfect gifts for everyone.
Every Christmas Eve, the whole family (19 of us the last year she was alive) would cram into my grandparents’ tiny house, where the mountain of presents took up the entire living room. We would eat, open gifts, play Yahtzee (you haven’t lived til you’ve played Yahtzee with my crazy family), and enjoy ourselves until the kids were so tired they didn’t even care about waiting up for Santa.
Now my grandfather is remarried, and while I love my step-grandmother to pieces, she just doesn’t do things the way my Nana did. The two combined families can’t fit in one place easily, so we have Christmas at a church. There are no gifts – each family member receives a card with money. We eat, open gifts, and leave – done in two hours. And it’s awkward and weird and none of us enjoy it like we used to.
People are Selfish
Another reason I don’t like Christmas is the gift grab it’s turned into. We’re all so worried about the number of gifts we have to buy, we don’t get to enjoy time with our loved ones like we should. Or we’re griping about all the shopping, wrapping, unwrapping, eating, and traveling until no one has a good time.
I actually overheard a woman at Walmart say the following to her husband: “I wish they’d get rid of the bell ringers and angel trees at every stinking store we go to. Like I can afford to give money away when I have 8 grandkids!” And I’m staring at this lady with her cart full of toys, trying to decide how much trouble I’d get into for punching a senior citizen.
Of course we want to give gifts to the people we care about. But what about the people who aren’t able to do that? Have we really become so self-absorbed that we don’t want to help others? I’m pretty sure Jesus would not approve of the way some people celebrate his birth by ignoring those in need.
I’m a Grown-Ass Woman
Finally, I don’t get giddy about Christmas because I’m an ADULT. Christmas should be for and about kids. I don’t make a list of things I want – I have more than enough. If I need something, I buy it.
I am SHOCKED by the number of Facebook statuses, blog posts, and Twitter posts from adults listing all the things they want for Christmas. And maybe it’s different for people who don’t have kids, but I just find myself shaking my head. I can’t understand why grownups expect people to buy them stuff for Christmas that they could easily buy for themselves.
I’m also shocked by the stories of people expecting things from their adult children. A friend called me last week complaining that her mom expects a $50 item for Christmas. This friend has 4 kids to buy for on a limited income. The hilarious thing (to me) is, her mom gives her $50 for Christmas. So if they’re just exchanging $50, why don’t both of them keep their money? It makes no sense to me.
I love watching the kids in my family open their gifts. I love seeing the look on Jayden’s face when he gets something he really wants. I love donating to help families who aren’t able to buy gifts for their kids. And for me, that’s the only part of Christmas worth celebrating.
B-b-but it’s CHRISTMAS!
Actually it’s DECEMBER, but yes, I’m aware that Christmas is a week away. And I’m so over it, I could live the rest of my life without another one.
Maybe I’m awful, but Christmas has become something I just don’t want to be a part of. I do my best to enjoy it, but I can’t get excited about it like I did when I was a kid. I don’t need anyone to feel sorry for me – I’m actually quite okay with the way things are.
Maybe my lack of love for Christmas is necessary to maintain my remission from spendaholism, I don’t know. My hope for everyone is that the next week will be an enjoyable one, but with a sense of the true meaning of Christmas instead of the commercialized crap that’s being shoved down our throats.