We’ve just entered my least favourite time of year.
I like winter – although, getting 30% of our yearly snowfall in the last 4 days is kind of stressing me out in the driving department. I like sparkly snow, hoarfrost, the way, even at midnight, it never really seems dark out when the moon reflects on the snow. I like mittens and toques and earmuffs and scarves. I think everyone gets infinitely cuter in the winter when they’re all dressed up for the weather.
No, what I really don’t like about this time of year is Christmas (least of all because I don’t believe it Christ and see no need to celebrate the birth of a 2000+ year old carpenter’s son). I think Christmas brings out the hypocrite in a lot of people: people who say things like “keep Christmas in your heart every day of the year” or do charity work only in December and are complete assholes for the other 11 months of the calendar.
I hate the emphasis on stuff – whether homemade or store bought. Whether that stuff is a shiny laptop or a handknit sweater under the tree, or way too much food that just goes to waste in the interest of being a “perfect” host. It disgusts me.
Being raised Christian, in North America, I do have 32 years of Christmas celebrations under my belt. Naturally, there are some fuzzy memory remnants I have of the season. I like baking (surprise, surprise…), classic movies, pretty lights and holiday-themed pop music (traditional “Jingle Bells” or “Joy to the World”, not so much).
Gift-giving mostly squicks me out, but as an adult I came to appreciate stocking stuffers of things I needed (ie, “I’m broke and out of shampoo/soap/nice socks and underwear… can I make it to the end of December? I’ll definitely get some then if I can just s t r e t c h my supplies til then!”)
On the flip side of that though, I come from a family that, if the thing I actually wanted was too expensive or not available, I’d be given the next best thing in the interest of buying/having/giving stuff. For example, I like my PJs to be oversized – I want to be comfy, dammit! Every year since I was a teenager, I’ve asked for flannel mens-style PJs, in one size too big for allow for comfort. Every single year, I get a “ladies-style” t-shirt and matching skin tight PJ pants instead, because they’re “cuter”, with Hello Kitty or some other character. While it is cute (and I love cute!), every February or March, the Salvation Army gets another donation of “cute” jammies.
This is just one example of many. I have a house full of “second-best” crap that I never, ever use and can’t seem to get rid of. Now, I know that it’s the thought that counts, but is it really thoughtful if you’re buying something that isn’t useful, isn’t what someone wanted and is essentially a waste of money? I would honestly rather receive nothing than to have to take something I’ll never use back to my already jam-packed, tiny tiny apartment and try to find a place for it.
This year, due to some very reckless and careless actions on the part of a family member, everything is in shambles. I’m basically cut off from the rest of my family, which means there will be no Christmas morning, no dinner, no ill fitting jammies, no family get togethers that will only be survived with the help of my friend, Captain Morgan. I have to say, I’m not terribly broken up. I can stay in bed all day and not leave my house and do whatever I want.
However, this also means, no soap, no lip balms, no socks or gift cards for books. No baking unless I make it myself. I think I’m going to take any of the money I would have otherwise spent on gifts and maybe get myself a couple nice things. Because really, the only person you can depend on to be nice to you is yourself.
I’ve been putting together a “wish list” of some of the coolest things I’ve found online lately. Things I’ve had my eye on for when I have a few extra dollars. I’ll share them in my next post, which I’ll try to get published either tonight or tomorrow. With pictures! Many, many pictures to make up for this post!
Do you love Christmas? Do you hate it? Leave me a comment with your thoughts! If you’re a Pagan, let me know what you do at this time of year. I’ve recently started tip-toeing down the Pagan path and am always looking for new ways to look at various days on the calendar.
Be good to each other!