I hate Christmas. Never was much on it and have come to dislike it more each year.
I once bought a big artificial tree (half price) because, well, if you’re a grownup with your own home you’re sort of supposed to. The happiest I have felt about Christmas in decades? Was when I dumped the tree and of all my Christmas decorations. Yesss!!
That’s one reason why I’m going to be very disappointed if my scheduled trip to Thailand doesn’t happen. I was so looking forward to escaping half of the horrible month of December, and I ain’t just talking about the weather in Denver. I wasn’t going to be gone on the day itself but happily absent during most of the pointless hoo-hah leading up to it.
Dayum, I had finally booked a December getaway, and now the Thais have hung out the “GO AWAY” sign. I am staying tuned to see if they can get the Bangkok airport opened for business next week and I can take my trip.
Maybe I can get a last-minute deal and go to Mexico instead.
Mary Winter’s column in today’s Rocky Mountain News explains it very well, although I don’t share her interest in changing a huge economic and cultural phenomenon. Or skiing. Entire column is below the fold if the link doesn’t work.
Merry little Christmas? Bring it on
By Mary Winter, Rocky Mountain News
Published November 28, 2008 at 3 p.m
Americans are scaling back this holiday. Lavish office parties are taboo; potlucks are trendy. Credit is out; cash is safer; expensive gifts carry an odor of ostentation and desperation.
Society is embracing simpler celebrations of the season, and, with sincere apologies to retailers and restaurateurs, some of us couldn’t be happier.
The holiday craze is not just a cliche anymore. For too many people, it’s a trauma, an open wound through which dysfunction enters our homes and blossoms brighter than a Christmas cactus.
Soon will begin the onslaught of articles about how not to put on 10 pounds during the holidays, how to deal with in-laws you can’t stand, how to avoid overspending, how to cope with those old Christmastime blues.
We’ll read again that alcohol and drug abuse – like frayed nerves, road rage, violence, suicide attempts and visits to counselors’ and doctors’ offices – are up this time of year.
When are we going to figure out that the presents are wrapped but there’s nothing inside?
For years, my generation has lamented the crushing commercialism and forced gaiety of the season, but we never do anything about it. Every year, we pile up debt and stress and epic expectations. No matter how smart we are, we get sucked into the myth that if we buy more, decorate more, throw bigger parties, the Christmas spirit will fill our hearts and peace will reign.
Some of the most thoughtful, rational people I know hate what Christmas has become. They dread the season. But to voice such thoughts is almost un-American. Christmas is to be cherished, not trashed. We’re for Christmas, right or wrong.
Well, Christmas has become wrong.
Which is why I’m hoping the current economic crisis may bring with it the unintended consequence of a saner holiday season.
Less buying, more baking. Less partying, more singing. Less shopping, more conversation. Less drinking, more skiing. Less festivity, more faith.
Cutting back, consuming less, recycling, reaching out to the lonely and the poor and the dispirited. Looking back on November and feeling proud and humbled and awed by this great republic’s power to inspire the world.
We can change Christmas.
Yes, we can.