Friday, December 23, 2016

Bah-Humbug! Lots Of Reasons To Hate Christmas

You're supposed to be exceedingly cheerful at Christmas.  That's the demand.

I'm going to break the rules here.  Christmas is not all it's cracked up to be.

Don't get me wrong, if Christmas makes you happy, then great! I'd never want to take away your joy.

I'm just saying that if there are aspects of the holiday you don't like, it's time to rebel against the Christmas dictators who demand, demand, demand that the holiday be just one great big orgy of joy, no matter how you really feel.


I'll start with that Christmas rule: Always be insanely cheerful.

Now, there's nothing at all wrong with being happy. Who doesn't want to be happy?

The problem is the Christmas Powers That Be demand that you be happy. You don't get to choose your emotions. Or feel how you really feel.

If you're starring in that proverbial country song, the one where your wife left you, the dog died, the truck won't start, you got evicted from your house and you're out of beer, too bad! Smile! Ho, ho ho!

Forget decking the halls. If I were in that situation I'd want to deck whoever was demanding that I be happy because it's Christmas.


The other demand at Christmas is that everything has to be perfect. You need to decorate the house just so; you, your relatives and friends must all behave perfectly at all times and complete the humanly impossible task of never making a mistake.

Again, it's all good to try to be nice, try to do your decorating nicely, have nice holiday gatherings, but why the pressure to make things perfect. One of the things I like most about my friends and family is that they're terrific, but not perfect. I'm certainly not perfect, either.

Why can't we all just let people be who they are at Christmas? It's against the rules, apparently


Speaking of perfect, some people are simply mentally incapable of making everything just right. Take me: I have ADHD. I don't use that as an excuse for my mistakes, because I try to compensate for my short attention span and frustrations by working at my strengthts, learning from my mistakes, and doing any mental trick I can to focus.

At Christmas, though, that's not good enough. In the pursuit of perfection, you have to juggle thousands of details to get things just right. Because Christmas demands that you be perfect, dammit! And wipe that frown from your face! We already went over being insanely happy!!

Lose track of one thing, forget one detail, and you've ruined everything, according to the Christmas rules. You can imagine the pressure that bears on people with ADHD.

My ADHD is a minor issue. What about people who have serious mental issues?

It turns out that the idea that there are more suicides around Christmas is a total myth. However, people prone to stress, who already have enough pressures in their life, tend to go off at Christmas, at least from my observations.

That's part of the reason why you have those fatal stampedes on Black Friday as people scramble to get that perfect gift that's almost sold out. (See, there's that damn word "perfect" again!)

I work in customer service. The vast majority of customers I work with are really nice. But a few just go off like CRAZY if we've sold out of something or something has gone wrong with a delivery. Is it really a national tragedy that we've run out of white amaryllis plants but still have plenty of red ones?

To a few people, the answer is yes.


Speaking of torture, holiday music is what sends me off the deep end. It's either so saccharine that I go into a diabetic coma, or it's so maudlin I want to strangle someone. Or the holiday music is off-the-charts stupid.

C'mon. Barking dogs singing "Jingle Bells?"  The song "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" is one of the most popular Christmas songs ever. Really?

Then there are those icky sad songs, because, here we go again, the songwriter is upset that they violated the "Happy, Perfect" rule of Christmas. So we get obnoxious sad sacks crying, "I'll be home for Christmas, but only in my dreams."

Dude, just book a flight home during your next vacation! It doesn't have to be at Christmas, despite what the Christmas fascists tell you.

Then there's, "I'm Dreaming of A White Christmas," which brings me to my next issue:


What's with the obsession with snow at Christmas? It's not Christmas, apparently, unless it's snowing, or at least there's snow on the ground.

I almost never see Christmas images without snow. It must make the people who live in places like Florida feel terrible. (Even though they're not supposed to feel terrible because it's Christmas!)

Frankly, Christmas snow often just gets in the way. The snow grounds that flight that would have taken you to Grandma's house for the holidays. Then again, the trip would have probably been wasted, since old Grandma got run over by that stupid reindeer.

This Christmas, the snow epicenter of the United States appears to be North Dakota, where a holiday blizzard is forecast. Would you really want to get in your car to see family only to die in a frigid whiteout on a North Dakota highway?

DIdn't think so.

Yes, the snow can be pretty and clean and white, but who wants to shovel a foot of pretty and clean and white from the driveway, you know, to make everything perfect?


Then there's the stupid "War on Christmas"  Despite the fact we don't like being told to be happy and cheerful and kind, we try to do it anyway. Can't hurt to make an effort, right?

Well, yes it does! If you wish someone a "Merry Christmas," chances are they're not religious and they yell at you for shoving Christianity into their faces.

So, when the next person comes along, you just wish them "Happy Holidays." Big mistake. Why are taking Christ out of Christmas, they demand. You hate God, they say.

You just can't win.

I feel better after this rant, thank you. Merry Christmas. Or Happy Holidays. Or just leave me alone until Boxing Day, OK?

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