What do Christmas and the Holidays mean to me?
Christmas means poverty. It is pain and sorrow and isolation. It means those without families are even lonelier than before. It is a constant reminder that we are NOT a secular society. Christmas and HOLYdays are expected to be embraced by even the most vehement of atheists.
Christmas is a reminder that even my closest friends do not understand me. “Why can’t you just relax and enjoy the holidays?” Because THIS is the holidays. Relax and enjoy pain and suffering and loneliness and theocracy and hate speech? How could I do that? WHY would I do that?
I have years when it gets to me less, but I get sick of people dragging me into their ‘head in the sand hate-fest.’ I get sick of being reminded every day how alone I am in my absolute detest of this whole thing. Every time sometime tells me Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays I get just a little sadder and a little more alone. I respond politely with “you too” and what I want to say is “yeah, fuck you too”. Every time I get a Christmas card, it’s someone spitting on my face, dragging me into their world because it’s so much better. Every time I get a Christmas gift I am reminded that I could never really participate even if I wanted to. That I’ll never have money. It makes me feel selfish and greedy and ground down.
I finally explained to someone once after years of trying that accepting Christmas presents and only refusing to give them, means I participate but only in selfish greedy ways, and that doesn’t bring me joy. Your holiday presents do not bring me joy. And then there are those who try to get me presents at Christmas but no they aren’t really Christmas presents, and pretend that makes it ok? Why don’t you know me better? Why does no one know me? Why am I the only person in the universe who feels this way?
Suicide rates go up in December. Stress levels are through the roof. Most people don’t even really enjoy it. They are saddled with obligation and love the idea of Christmas, but the reality is crazy people they don’t even want to really spend time with, and being made to feel inadequate and shitty. The image of Scrooge and Grinch are of greedy selfish people who discover through Christmas that greed and hate are bad, and therefore Christmas is good. I’m the opposite of that. Greed and selfishness and consumerism are bad, therefore Christmas is bad.
There are two elements of Christmas. The spiritual and the commercial. I am not spiritual. I am an atheist. I have consumerist tendencies but I don’t celebrate them. That leaves nothing. I want no part of either aspect of these ‘holy days’ and that makes me a freak. An outspoken hatemongering greedy selfish Grinch/Scrooge miser character that wants children in workhouses and starving in the street. Fuck that.
I want respect for my beliefs. I want someone to get it. I want someone to know that I feel like I should find my own country through most of December. I want my belief that Christmas is a contemptible horrid experience to have the same credibility as those who thinks it’s all warm snuggles and candy canes. (By the way I hate mint, and therefore hate candy canes too).
Some years I actually get to apathy. I get to ignoring the pain. But I never get to not feeling it. Christmas is NEVER pleasant. Christmas is NEVER a good thing for me. EVER. Ok sometimes I snicker of laugh or enjoy a Christmas special, but that is as far as it goes. And I like those specials more in April or August. I even do it. I make traditional movies to try and make it better or more bearable. But it doesn’t really work.
Why does it bother me so much? Because I am FORCED to participate. How many times has someone said happy holidays or merry Christmas to you in the last week? Imagine if every time you heard that, it made you feel like crap. Imagine if every single time you heard that, you were reminded that the world is an inhospitable lonely place full of starvation pain and death. How would you feel by the end of December?
I wish there were a war on Christmas. I’d be on the front lines. It’s probably the only war I’d be pretty cool with. But there isn’t one. There’s just this one crazy guy screaming at the top of his lungs “GET AWAY FROM ME”. And no one hearing him.
Have a nice Thursday.