Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hating Christmas

It’s that time of year. Bells, shiny balls, frosted windows, mistletoe, fat jolly bearded men and Christmas trees are taking over our shopping malls, office buildings and family homes. Seasonal jingles and music are resonating in every shop, elevator and accompanies every second television advertisement. If you don’t like it – tough eggnog! We will be stuck surrounded with festive seasonal paraphernalia well into January 2010. After bitching to my husband about feeling harassed by Christmas he annoyingly responded by saying “Well you never did liked Christmas anyway!”. His response made me sound like Ebenezer Scrooge from the Charles Dickens novel “A Christmas Carol”. It’s not that I don’t like Christmas and needs an urgent visit from the three Ghosts of Christmas, I just find some parts of it intolerably irritating.

The first time I was disillusioned by Christmas was at age 5. You see I may have been a small child but I wasn’t stupid. I figured out that Santa Clause did not really exist by means of logical deduction. For him to be real there could only be one of him, yet I saw many of him in malls. Secondly, he was fat so how the hell could he fit down a chimney and manage to emerge clean as a whistle and not make a mess. Thirdly, his elves was suppose to make my gifts and Santa was suppose to deliver them on Christmas day, yet I saw what I wanted in the toy shops and later discovered my presents, a week in advance, hidden away in my parents’ closet.

Armed with these three primary facts I confronted my mother. She fervently defended his existence up to the point when she realized I was not going to budge. She finally asked me "If Santa really didn’t exist would it spoil your Christmas?" to which I responded "Only if that meant I was not going to be getting my presents". A brief further discussion settled the matter and no family member had to impersonate Santa Clause again after this.

I find the fact frightening that Christmas advertisements and decorations start appearing as early as mid November with the full onslaught the beginning of December. It’s like a countdown to one massive shopping spree that is being forced upon me. Naturally I want to spoil my loved ones with something special; I just don’t like the pressure! Being an enormous procrastinator when it comes to Christmas shopping I always find myself in the unfortunate circumstance of having to do my shopping a couple of days before Christmas.

Reaching the mall you never find parking in under an hour and once you have, going into any mall, during this time, is like being dropped in the Amazon River during a piranha feeding frenzy. Not being fond of big crowds and being well aware that I am not the only stressed out shopper, I have noticed that this brings out the worst in people. I once saw two women actually fighting over the last Tickle-Me-Elmo toy which was all the rage for kids that year, it was a vicious fight and at the end of the day neither got the toy and security escorted them out of the shop. I too have done the same. I am not proud of it, but it’s like the demon spirit of Christmas shopping overwhelms you and you just can’t help yourself. The stress of shopping, the background music, the decorations and angst all combines to turn normal people into raging idiots with credit cards.

Christmas is all about the joy of giving, or so they say... Yes, I do enjoy giving presents and seeing the joy of the recipients. However, getting to that point is the annoying bit - I cannot gift wrap anything! In the past I have made some brave attempts but always failed as the gifts usually ended up looking as if they were in a car wreck. If the item has an odd shape never attempt gift wrapping it yourself, one such endeavor took two hours of my life which I will never get back and I can’t recall ever cursing any inanimate object that much in my life before or after that day.

Luckily I am married to a brilliantly creative man who can gift wrap a garden fork and make it look spectacular. The planning he puts into the theme, color scheme and gift wrapping accessories is just insane, and all the presents we give are uniquely branded after he’s done with them and puts all the other gifts to shame no matter what their content.

Food is the one thing I truly love about Christmas and I enjoy preparing it. This is the one thing I can honestly say I am good at during the festive season. Give me a budget, a well equipped kitchen and hungry mouths and I am quite content. Unfortunately this is also the one territory off which I am fiercely competitive and brings out the Martha Steward Bitch in me.

When the family gathers and each member have to bring a different dish, mine absolutely MUST be the best! So screw desert, screw starters and side dishes I will do the main course and it will be bloody magnificent!! Many members of my family have tried to upstage my dishes in the past and all have failed miserably, but on the upside this rivalry always makes for a fabulous feast.

Christmas is a time of joy, giving and spending time with one’s family. Admittedly there are aspects leading up to the actual day that I find tedious and irritating. I don’t like Santa Clause even though he’s not real I still think the fat bastard should go on a diet. I don’t like the fact that I have to spend an hour looking for parking at a mall and then have to fight off other shoppers to purchase the presents I’m looking for. I don’t like gift wrapping or having to stand in a queue to have it done professionally, but luckily I have a husband who does that with flair, enthusiasm and for free.

I am no Ebenezer Scrooge hating Christmas as I actually love it, I just don’t like the technicalities and the buildup. But once the day arrives, all annoyances are soon forgotten and festivity fulls the air with joy and peace.

Till next time.

Jackie Beat-Santa's Baby


Heather Leigh said...

Great post! Though I must admit that the things you hate about Christmas, I love: the music, crowds, shopping, decorations and most of all, the sales! However I do agree the best part is the expressions on the faces of the people I've bought gifts for. Oh, and of course all of the delicious food! :)

Pierre said...

Thanks Heather, we all have different things we like and dislike during the holidays. In my post you can see there are a couple of things I highlighted. The most important thing is the people you care about.

Heather good luck with your chemotherapy this week, at least it's almost over. Let me know how it went ;-)

Soph said...

Hahaha...your posts never fail to make me laugh!I have been waiting for this post all week (As I think you gathered by the way I keep asking you how long!) You never fail to dispoint :) Hope you have a really great christmas (technicallities aside.)

Bah humbug XD

Pierre said...

Soph, thanks. Glad I could make you smile ;-)

On a serious note. Christmas is not a time of joy & celebration for all people. Many people feel depressed this time of year. They don't have families, have financial problems and are going through numerous other personal turmoils.

So whether we like Christmas/Xmas, let's all reach out to those people. Let the true spirit of this holiday be spread around to those less fortunate than us.

Why don't we start a campaign. Let's spread the true spirit of Christmas. Don't give gifts, but rather donate to a charity in the name of the loved ones you would have spend the money of a gift on?

Who would take on the challenge?

Epistemologist said...

Enjoyed the Blog Pierre. There are many things I dislike about Xmas too and you highlighted the vast majority of them. Xmas is too commercialised. It should be a time of Caring and Sharing, Peace and Reconciliation, reflecting on a year past and planning on how to make the years to come much better. Merry Xmas to you!

Pierre said...

Epistemologist, thanks ;-) I couldn't agree more!

René Monroe said...

Christmas is one of those times that I despise. Not the day itself but other people. I work in the retail industry and it has ruined the Christmas spirit for me.

Trust me, no matter how bad it is waiting in those long lines, listening to the God awful music, or having to work around the annoying decorations, it is always worse being the one behind the counter dealing with the agitated customers.

Pierre said...

René, I would hate to work in the retail industry this time of year. I can feel your pain! Luckily it's only a couple of weeks of torment then it will be over. Good luck!

Soph said...

Yeah, I completely agree. Christmas is about sharing love and hapiness. So far this year I have already donated to a childrens hospital, operation christmas child and a homeless chariy.I will continue to do so. I think its a really good idea. There is more to life than just making yourself happy, and everyone should work together to help thoose less fortunate.

Pierre said...

I did it again!!

I apparently pissed off some right wing Christians again. My blog post seem to not have been read with comprehension by my "hate group" members. Wish they would send me their URL so I can see how many of them are out there!!!

Not really knowing how this post could enrage them, I am truly dumbfounded at the hate mails (3 thus far) I received.

I mean really, I wish they could get a life!!!!

Pierre said...

@ Soph, now that is the true Christmas spirit!

Soph said...

Yeah! :)

Did you tell the haters to get a life and to get some christmas spirit?

XD Anyway, your fan group loved the post :)

Pierre said...

Soph,I didn't even bother to respond to them and not checking my e-mail again tonight. I will go through the new ones if there are any. The Santa Baby Video also didn't go down well with either.

Soph said...

Yeah!Thats right. There not even worth the time it takes to respond!

They obviously have nothing better to do with themselves. I think you are inspirational. You seem like such a strong person. I will definitly vote for your blog. How come they know your E mail adress anyway?

Anonymous said...

thank you for this post! i feel exactly the same way, but am too scared to publicize my feelings because my area is richly christian and i am a jew who feels like xmas is getting shoved down my throat more and more every year.

Pierre said...

@ Soph, thanks ;-) My e-mail is linked to my blogspot profile. I don't want to remove it because I also get allot of e-mails from other gay people around the world wanting advice or someone to talk to.

To me hiding my e-mail will deprive me of the opportunity to engage with them. So I suffer the hate mail, but the mails from other gay people I can support far out weigh the negative stuff in my inbox.

@ Anonymous, it's my pleasure. You should not feel ashamed of your faith because you are a minority in your community. Be proud of it, get the curious and have them ask questions. When people are better informed about issues they are less likely to discriminate.

Cnith said...

I'm with you on the Christmas insanity. More with the we're shoving a faith into people's home. So I say happy holidays and the chistians bitch at now I say happy HOLY days.

Fight me, bitch! I dont' care what religion you are, if you have a HOLY day in this time period, you're covered.

Christians act like this is THEIR fucking month. Um no... there's a Kwaanza holiday, a Jewish one, a Wiccan, etc... god forbid, a witch holiday, a pagan one, etc that doesn't involve that precious Christ person.

Now me, I like Christ. I hate that people wipe their ass on him. Yes, that's you, Christians... AHEM...

But back to the blog thing. I know one thing. You getting hate mail is ridiculous. THe good lord said love EVERYBODY. S/He didn't say love everyone BUT those with x y z condition.

S/He said treat everyone the way you'd want to be treated. Well, I know plenty of religious nuts (not just C's) who never follow this rule.

It is this very reason I am a proud Heathen. I dont' want to meet that god. Their religion is man made. I rather be with the original god. And if that means the original god is original sin too, so be it. I'm happy.

But I could do without the commercial side of the holidays. I used to hibernate. I also shop easy. I say OK you, what do you want...OK here.

No wrapping or other BS needed. Done deal. And if I DO buy a surpise for someone, I just hand it to them. What the hell does it need to make more landfill for? Do you REALLY think they care about the fucking box or paper or ribbon? No... And if they do, they're a nut case. NEXT...

OK I'm done overtaking your blog with my own...sorry..

Cosmic said...

I am so much with all of you on this Christmas shit. Omigawd, when I think of the hours-and-hours-and-hours I've wasted in my life because of being brainwashed.

A couple of days ago I got out all my Christmas music and decided I would play this as background music while I work at the computer on my Facebook addiction. I thought it would calm me and make me feel good about this time of year. BAH FUCKBUG! All it did for me was make me realize how much it is a propagandized season. Cosmic B.

Rose Belle said...

Two things come to mind when I think of Christmas: Money and clean ups. Sure it's fun, buying presents and celebrating with friends and families but the price tag is pretty darn heavy. I had the worst Christmas clean up at my house last year. One of my coffee tables had dents around the edges which is why I won't be hosting one this year.

Kirsten said...

Yeah, i honestly dont know why you would get hate mail for this either, i agree with every damn word of it, my stepmom laughs at my wrapping when i try to help, but it doesnt matter cuz my brother is 4, he only cares whats inside, only thing that i could think of that might have pissed anyone off is the video, personally i found it funny, but there are some really sensitive people out there that dont know how to laugh or take a joke about anything.

Pierre said...

@ Cnith, I don't thing we should generalize the ignorance and hatefulness of a few delusional people to a whole religious group. Not all Christians are bigots a many of them actually really set an very good example for the rest of us. We should be careful not to become just as judgmental and discriminatory as the people that send me these hate mails.

@ Cosmic, I agree. Somewhere we lost to true spirit of Christmas and it became a brand rather than a religious holiday.

@ Rose Belle, it sounds like you had one hell of a Christmas party last year with your coffee tables being dented. How did that happen?

@ Kirsten, I also thought the video was the over riding factor. But it's funny, when did people lose their sense of humor?

Christo said...

Homo Sapiens have totally lost the plot with Christmas. It is more a retail celebration than a religious Celebration - what it should be.
Go back to basics people. Instead of your expensive Christmas Meals, why not rather go out ans spread some cheer with people that have nothing or very little? It makes me sick to the bone to think people can be so fake about such an amazing celebration....
We live in hope...

Pierre said...

Christo, I agree we must try and be more charitable and less selfish.

However, how do our heterosexual friends explain to their children that they are not going to get any presents this year but instead going to spend the day at a homeless shelter giving gifts and food to people who have nothing?

I am sure there are some people that do this and this could be an amazing lesson in humanity for children if they truly understand the essence of such an gesture.

In South Africa we have many NGO's that people could contact that do this. I hope some people do, as this could indirectly be the most valuable gift (life lesson) they could give to their children and in the proses to themselves.

The Mari Rev said...

I had to chuckle, or maybe "HO HO HO" at your post. If I went on a diet, the suit wouldn't fit! I've played Santa on many occasions and for me, it is a great joy. I am one of those rare individuals who celebrate Christmas season, but is not Christian. While my Christmas "look" is certainly commercially Christmas, my celebration is more for all the celebrations held from the end of November through the first of the year. My own personal "Festivous" if you will. The feeling I get from Christmas is like getting a hug from my Grandma. It's a special feeling of love and good-will.
Isn't it normal though, how many love the destination, but hate the trip? The holiday season is like a ride to see grandma that you dread each year. Your looking forward to her company and great food, but you have to cram everyone into a car that seems smaller over the last few years and pay more for the gas. You know you'll hit the same pot holes in the road that seem never get fixed and will have to spend more money then you normally do.
However one has taken the trip so often, they know the fleeting little pearls of joy they'll see along the way. They wait with anxious excitement for each new pearl, renewing the joy and making the trip again worthwhile...if for only a few precious moments.
Christmas season can, like that trip to grandma's, be a bitch every year, but I couldn't ever give up that hug from Grandma. So begrudgingly I might gripe about making the trip, but I still make the trip, every year, after year, after year.

Pierre said...

The Mari Rev, my point exactly! The journey may suck but the destination, in this case, is worth while.

Unlike some other life lessons where the journey seems to be more important than the actual destination!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. You never fail to improve my day, make me laugh, or make me aware of something new.

I am a christian, but even i tend to get sick of the "christmas season."
It really is about the birth of a saviour, not Santa Clause, which is often forgotten.
And i agree that it is forced down everyone's throats.

Christmas has be commercialized into a monster that tears everything apart, and has caused everyone to forget the meaning.

Anyways, Happy Hollidays to everyone.


Pierre said...

<3, thank you for the compliment! I hope people will still find the true meaning of Christmas regardless of this onslaught of commercial propaganda. Happy holiday to you too.

Karita said...

Hi, saw you on Facebook, totally agree with your post! I'm a Christian but the hate mail? Seriously, get a life! I love Christmas and a lot of the trappings, but I hate how commercialised it has become, and how we (meaning even the Christians) hae forgotten what we are actually celebrating. Good post. I will happily say goodbye to Christmas shopping and wrapping!

Pierre said...

Karita, thanks. Unfortunately there is no getting around the shopping and wrapping for Christmas. My sister had a brilliant idea through, she did all her Christmas shopping on line. Some websites even gift wrap!

Karita said...

I'm thinking I may do the same thing. :)

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