Friday, December 9, 2016

My Love/Hate Relationship with the Christmas Season

I love...

  • Christmas trees.
  • Festive outdoor lights.
  • Festivity in general.
  • Being generous to family and friends.
  • Being generous to people I don't even know, through donations.
  • Christmas music.
  • Candy and baked goods.
  • Classic Christmas TV specials.
  • Saying "Happy Holidays!" to people because I want to wish them well but I don't know everyone's holiday affiliation and GUESS WHAT I'M AN ATHEIST so I'm practicing this whole "Joy to the World" thing in the secular mode, with an appreciation for the old pagan vibe of lighting things up in a dark time of year.

I hate...
  • Obligatory gift-giving, especially in family cultures where this leads to passive-aggressive gift-giving (where it's easier to buy a present for someone you hate, due to family pressure, than to opt out, so you put a lot of thought into buying something acceptable that they won't like). I don't do this, but I find it upsetting that a lot of people get pressured to the point of doing it by toxic people who have emotional power over them.
  • The horrifying bullshit of luxury jewelry ads that tell you that your love for someone can and should be measured by the amount you're willing to spend on a shiny adornment for them to wear around so that other people will know they've been showered with riches.
  • Excessive consumerism in general. Do we need so much stuff? A constant churning of stuff in, stuff out, stuffing ourselves? Nope.

So I can get into this holiday, and enjoy it very much at times, but I always have ambivalent feelings about it because things get twisted and unpleasant when there's greed involved. I guess I'm going to lose all of my obscenely wealthy conspicuous consumer friends now... Oh, wait, I don't have any. :)

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