It’s the most wonderful time of the year…right?
It’s this festive season where everyone is happy and stressed and running around as though the end of the world will come if they don’t find the perfect gift. It’s this pressure packed chunk of time where everything is weighted down on your shoulders.
If you’re a student, you’re trying to write final papers and finish up exams. If you’re a full time worker, you are trying to finish all your important work before the holidays. If you’re unemployed then you’re expected to get the gifts, wraps the gifts, cook the meal, make the family plans. My point is that no one is safe this time of year, everyone gets a slice of stress pie.
But where did this pressure come from? When did holidays become so filled with expectation and obligation? When did we stop being kids who were fed and got presents and just had to show up? How old were we when we woke up on Christmas morning and we’d slept in?
I never realized when I was young how much work was put into making Christmas in the home. I never had to wrap presents, I never did more than mash the potatoes, I never did more than put a few ornaments on the tree. Now that I am older, I can’t believe how much my parents did in order for me to have a nice holiday season.
Considering all of this, I hate Christmas. I hate that Christmas has become this marketing scheme. When I was a kid, I got 4 presents and 2 of them were socks and underwear. I was so happy with everything I got. I was so happy to see my family and spend time with my family. I was excited to listen to the log channel and sing to Christmas music. I loved helping my aunt bake cookies and when she let me frost some of them. It was not just about the presents, it was about everything.
Today, I see this little kids screaming that they didn’t get the Barbie they wanted or about how 20 presents is not enough. I see parents who don’t have any traditions with their children and instead they just give them presents and feed the the obligatory meal. When I see that, or when I see commercials marketing Christmas specials or Christmas themed toys, I get frustrated! That is not what Christmas is about. Christmas should not be like Dudley’s birthday in Harry Potter!
Let’s finish this off with the fact that Christmas and its meaning is changing annually. The way we celebrated 10 years ago is not the same as it is today and the way we celebrate today is not how we will celebrate in 10 years time. This is because our society is changing. New technologies, new marketing tools, new families, new traditions, new tools, new foods, new expectations, etc.
I guess what I am saying is that even though I am upset Christmas is not the way it used to be, that doesn’t mean it is wrong. It fits the social norm and standard. We have to grow and move forward or we get left behind. I’ll leave you with one piece of advice:
If you are telling your child Santa is real, make sure Santa brings the small presents. Not every family is as fortunate as the next and no kid likes to go to school to find out that their classmate got 100$ from Santa while they got socks.
Merry Christmas!/Happy Holidays.