Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving's Departure Welcomes the Grinch in Me

It’s official. Thanksgiving is next Thursday. I’d like to say I’m excited, but that’s not entirely true. Undoubtedly, I’m ready to stuff my face with delicious food. I’m also eager to spend the day with good friends. However, I know that once Thanksgiving is over there’s no turning back from Christmas.

I actually love Thanksgiving. It’s Christmas I loathe. I hate the music, the decorations, the shopping and the gifts, but most of all I hate the nostalgia. When I inform others of this fact, they tend to stare, blink and assume I am a heartless, soulless woman who hates puppies and babies. Only part of this is true. I hate babies. Okay, I’m lying (a little), but the truth is Christmas does bring out that heartless, soulless woman in me.

There are two relevant reasons I do not like the holiday season. First, I am not a Christian. Christmas is meant to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Regardless of what anyone says, this is the purpose of Christmas. Second, all the damn gifts that seem to be expected make my head spin. It seems many people just want the gifts and forget about what Christmas means.

Sure, I could go around and say, “Oh Christmas is about spreading joy and cheer to those around you.” While technically this is a large part of Christmas, it is not what Christmas is any more. Spending time with family and friends is great, but isn’t that what you’re supposed to do year-round?

I make a valiant attempt at hiding my cynical nature and tell my friends I love them throughout the year. I call my mother to reminisce and gossip during the entire orbital period of the Earth moving around the Sun. I smile and talk to strangers waiting in line 365 days a calendar year. For four seasons, I give the homeless money.

Christmas has become the time of year when many people feel obligated to spend with family. Charity becomes a requirement instead of a kind-hearted, year-round act. Attending church becomes urgent and mandatory because we have to tell Jesus we remember this is about him. The meaning of Christmas has been lost.

Everyone only speaks about what they want for Christmas. Kids clamor onto Santa’s lap to tell about the new $300 gaming system they want. Wives ask husbands for a new pair of earrings.

If this is what Christmas is about, then I’d rather do without.

Meanwhile, I’ll pretend to enjoy Christmas for the sake of my children, and teach them to hold onto that holiday spirit everyday of the year. My inner-Grinch will remain, but the kids will be none the wiser.