Friday Firesmith – I Hate Christmas

There was a time when the holidays, any holiday, had a certain time period that it existed. Halloween started gearing up about a week before the event. Kids got out of school the week of Thanksgiving, and that’s when everything really started feeling festive. Christmas trees went up after Thanksgiving, but shopping didn’t start until the kids were out of school again, about a week before December the 25th.

There was a sense of ease and timelessness around the end of every year. People visited other people, ate too much, but there wasn’t the frenetic activity that is experienced today. There was always more food than we could eat, but now, in some ways there seems to be excess in the name of excess. People buy more food than they cook, and who can blame them? There isn’t enough time anymore. Instead of that feeling of drifting towards Christmas and New Year’s, now there’s a race, a competition of sorts, and may the odds be forever in your favor.

Christmas stuff starts appearing in stores right after the 4th of July now. Stores that you’d normally not think of getting seriously involved in Christmas, like the big box hardware stores, devote a lot of floor space to decorations and blow up Christmas displays. All of this stuff is made in China, all of it is cheap plastic sh!t with a short life span, and none of it really means anything except some sense of excess.

Christmas used to be about decorating in a manner in which might be finished in a few hours, mostly people had wreaths or some sort of manger scene on a table, and it wasn’t unusual for the decorations to be handmade, passed down from family to family. Children were encouraged to make tree ornaments. Simple pine cones were painted and glitter might be added. Some people made crocheted items for trees. It was a time for people to come together without an agenda or something driving them to do something. Parties were casual and people drank too much, but there was never the need for anesthesia the way it’s needed now.

As kids, we knew what we wanted, and we knew what was likely, and we never really considered the idea someone else had more, or would get more, or that we were getting less. Christmas morning was fun, the gifts we received were solidly built, and rarely needed batteries. Books were great gifts, incredible and magical, as were gifts that ran off of imagination. There was a time when the wonder of a gift came from the mind of a child, not the processor inside a machine.

I cannot convey in words language strong enough to tell you how much I hate Christmas. It enrages me that China makes billions of dollars off Americans who are blindly addicted to going to Mal Wart and getting screwed out of their money in the name of predatory commercialism. I hate that children are being raised by television commercials and they’ll spend the day after Christmas on social media, immersed in a world that kills their creativity.

I hate Christmas. I hate the holidays. I grieve for the times when there was time, simply to be.

Take Care,

Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.
 
 
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26 thoughts on “Friday Firesmith – I Hate Christmas”

  1. Sez you: “they’ll spend the day after Christmas on social media”. Edit that to say “spend Christmas Day on social media”. FIFY, You’re welcome. 😉

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  2. For once, I have to agree with you. Christmas falls into the same category as the out of control “Gender Reveals,” children’s birthday party’s for 30-40 people (used to be one child friend for each age of the child), over the top baby showers and marriage proposals.
    Finding pleasure in the simple no longer exists.

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    • F-16, wow! We agree with each other today. You’re totally right, there’s no simple way to enjoy celebrating anymore. I’m all for a few beers, fewer friends, and some music. What else do you really need?

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  3. I agree whole heartedly. Christmas actually makes me sad now, taken over by commercialism, as is Easter.
    Being a migrant family from the UK in the 50’s, and looking back, money was scarce, but I remember my happiest Christmases. Our small lounge room would be full of other newly arrived Australians, we played games, and filled up on Mum’s plates of home made Mince pies, and Christmas cake. The adults would have a glass of sherry, and us kids would get bought lemonade as a treat. Mum’s birthday was Christmas Eve, seemed as if she was bestowed with a Christmas giving nature. With the small extra few shillings she earned cleaning the local cinema, she would have a small gift under the tree for anyone who dropped in, hankerchiefs for the adults, and a toy spinning top or marbles for the children.
    I now know how much of an effort went into those first Christmases in Australia, the adults were missing the log fires and sometimes snow, but they made the best of it.
    Our presents were simple, books, stationary sets, blows up beach balls etc.
    We kept our Christmases fairly simple with our children, but as the years have gone by, I don’t think I’m mistaken thinking that what we give the grandkids will be in the rubbish bins within weeks. Everything is a 5 minute wonder and not treasured like a toy sewing machine I still have from when I was 9, or Annual books posted from the UK by grandparents and kept in bookshelves for years.
    Peace on Earth, that will never happen, but peace to all readers here.

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    • SandG, it’s a lost art, for kids, or anyone, to appreciate a gift not for what it is but for who gave it. Gifts have to wow and do stuff and be something. I can remember getting my first pocket knife. Simple, small, and magical. Books, real books, were awesome. That’s lost now.

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  4. Gosh O Golly Mike, I didn’t know you felt this way, I guess I’ll have to give the new pickup truck full of dog food to someone else. heh heh

    I’m old enough to have warm memories of those bucolic New England holidays gone forever. But now I’m home alone on holidays so the tons of decorations stay in the attic. I should give them to the Salvation Army but I’m lazy and hate to be a mouse home wrecker, especially at Christmas. Like you, I am annoyed by the aisles jammed up with Christmas crap at every retail outlet.

    New Years Eve a few longtime friends come over and we exchange gifts. Back when someone actually needed/wanted something I use to make it if I could. Since it’s more tradition than anything, and none really need anything now, it’s off the wall gifts. I start buying things as early as January(big sales you know), whenever I find something crazy I haven’t seen before. Things like a wood pencil with lead of several colors so it changes color as you write, sometimes in the middle of a word. Nobody needs that but everyone seems to welcome it because it bestows on them bragging rights. I think knowing I didn’t spend a lot but took the time to find them something unique is appreciated. Done by Labor Day at least.

    Most of my Christmas effort goes into making my own Christmas cards which is fun.
    But the bottom line is it ain’t like it used to was and hating don’t help nohow.

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  5. As a kid, xmas was fun because you got toys and things. Now, it’s all being offensively cheerful all the time, if you don’t have a big stupid smile on your face and say the right code words you get shrieked at like a pod person. “OMG, that cup is RED! That’s insensitive to…something. But I’m still noisily offended on behalf of a group I’m not part of and that don’t care about it!”

    December 26th is my favorite day of the year, the longest possible time before more xmas. Almost seven months! Then ‘xmas in july’ starts, which isn’t as bad as the real thing, but is still irritating…

    And all the saccharine sickly sweet Victorian xmas songs and stories, nostalgic for a past that never actually existed, where the happy ending is ‘the kid dies’.

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  6. I’m right there with you. I’m not sure if it began when I was a bartender, worked in a grocery store, or worked in a large name hobby/retail chain. All three are horrific at this time of year. Boo hoo, I can’t go home for Christmas, I’ll get shitfaced instead, and you’ll have to deal with me. Great, I’ll cut you off before that happens. Nope, I’ll go to a different establishment and come back to you when I’m obnoxious. Yay!
    Let’s go out shopping all day with the whole fam damily and all the kids, and stop at the grocery store on the way home to pick up that special we saw in the paper. What do you mean you’re out of that at 9 pm? I’ll scream at the cashier for that, it’s obviously her fault they were all sold before I could drag all my crotch goblins in here to get whatever it was. While I’m at it, I’ll let them break three or four items, and not even offer to pick them up. Yay!
    I know lets all run to that hobby store and get that item we saw on sale. What! There’s only one left and that lady has it in her hands. I’ll just snatch it away from her, no worries. Oh, I can handle myself in a fight, besides, I wanted it first. Yay!

    Yeah people turn into some kind of horrible bog creature, and that’s doing a disservice to the creature. I’d rather stay home until about January 15th.

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      • Lucky you. I still have a few years before I can retire, I have to go into the world with all the phony good wishes, and people asking for donations and help for this or that. I always ask them why they don’t help ALL year. People are still hungry in the summer, as are animals, which is where my charity goes.

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  7. I love Christmas… well, at least like it very much. It’s more about celebrating with family and friends than it is about presents and the commercialism of it. I will admit that I buy into some of that but that’s not nearly as important as the family and friend stuff. And the older I get, the more I feel that way.
    I like buying gifts but I don’t like HAVING to buy gifts. If I see something I want to get someone then it’s great. Up until the last year or two, I always enjoyed going out on Christmas Eve. (I don’t think I did it last year.) I don’t want to HAVE to go out find something but I enjoy being out in the last-minute rush. People are usually in such a good mood.
    Merry Christmas!

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  8. I don’t think people hate Christmas, per se, I do now like Jonco, but I used to really love Christmas, but alas as a Paramedic reality has set-in. I even went for 10-years without decorating. Mom always wanted a tree, so now that she is gone, I honor her with a minimal tree.

    If you really hate Christmas, I have enclosed something for you to think about. As a Paramedic, I have seen a lot of these in some form or another and they are the reality I speak of here.

    When you partake in your Holiday festivities this year, try to remember a few things.

    When you eat a bite of dinner, think of an volunteer firefighter who, at 4:00am, on Christmas Day, gave up his sleep and with a prayer on his lips, asking God to help him remain calm while battling a fire that tears through a families home destroying it.

    While you enjoy the warmth of a home, take a moment to think of the frozen roads and unsafe conditions making it much harder for emergency personnel to reach someone safely.

    When you welcome your niece’s new girl-friend to the table, remember that she’s your sister’s daughter and she has bravely come out. Hasn’t she suffered enough already?

    When you scold your misbehaving grandchild, think of the young man whose only knowledge of his father will come from stories told by family, because Daddy died in a tower on 9/11/01 while he was still in the womb.

    When you fetch your wife another glass of Sangria, think of a young wife whose police officer husband died on Christmas Eve after being struck by a drunk driver while sitting in his patrol car during a traffic stop.

    When you invite Grandpa to say grace before the meal, think of the family who has just lost their Grandpa on Christmas Day to Cardiac Arrest.

    When you sit at the table, think of a family who is barely scrapping by due to economic misfortune. Also remember the families that lost their homes in Puerto Rico due to hurricane Maria.

    If you’re traveling this year, think of the passengers on a bus which overturned on Highway 101 on Christmas Day.

    When your boys fight, as boys will do, remember the boys who died in Iraq just before Christmas.

    If a loved one can’t make it to the gathering today, think of the woman living in her car after escaping an abusive relationship.

    While your kids play in the living room in the afternoon, think of other kids not much different, going hungry because their family just doesn’t have anything.

    If you have bemoaned the layoffs of friends and co-workers in today’s economy, think of the Navy SEAL who lost every single one of his teammates on a rainy night in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.

    When you take a shower on Christmas Day, think of young mother whose kids aren’t so fortunate because her water was turned off, even though she has 3 jobs at minimum wage, her medical bills cost her a basic necessity.

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  9. Mike, I’m in the crowd of Christmas doesn’t start till the day after Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, the retailers don’t feel that way. You’ll be happy to know that the Halloween crowd is fighting back. There’s even a Reddit sub now, r/creepmas. A place where you can celebrate everything spooky about Christmas. And complain about the fat man showing up earlier ever year.

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    • Kevin, I’m pretty sure there’s a subreddit for everything these days. The last thing I need is another place to go online. I hope they can stuff that fat guy back up the chimney until at least December the 1st.

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