Hate the holidays

It’s nearly Thanksgiving, and after that, there’ll be nothing on air but Christmas commercials, Christmas music, and people bitching about the so-called “War on Christmas.” I hate that. I hate December for all of that. I hate the fact that if I tell people I hate Christmas, I get accused of being a Scrooge (Christmas reference) or Grinch (Christmas reference) rather than someone who’s simply fed up with a holiday (read: holy day) that has nothing to do with me and that I’d much rather avoid completely though it does afford me some time with my family because EVERYONE is forced to take off work for the majority religion’s precious holy day. I like being able to spend time with my family, but I do that at the 4th of July, New Year’s, Thanksgiving, etc., which don’t require me to listen to a bunch of insipid songs about someone else’s “Son of God” and the horrible, horrible remakes of those songs by pop artists and incredibly lame department store adverts. Though, to be fair, even if we could get rid of the ever-present holiday songs from Christmas, I’m sure pop artists and department stores would start making up lame music for the other major holidays that are left. Commercialism is a powerful force, after all.

Regardless. To the “War on Christmas.” There isn’t one. This perceived “war” is simply the result of a minority of people finally having the means (media, internet, texting, etc.) to finally voice their opinion that they’d rather not celebrate the holy day of the majority. We don’t care. We don’t believe in your Jesus Christ. We don’t want to attach so much importance to a day that the Christians stole from so many previous pagan religions (the celebration of the Winter Solstice has been around FAR longer than the birth of Jesus, which pretty much everyone agrees was in the summer anyway) and that the Christians refuse to even acknowledge having stolen. Don’t want Christmas Trees renamed to Holiday Trees? Then don’t rename the pagan holidays as your own and market it as a new idea. Christians stole the Spring Equinox and fertility celebrations in the spring by converting it over to their Easter (which, by the way, comes from a pagan goddess’ name), even using the pagan iconography with the rabbit and eggs. Seriously, if you’re going to steal everything from other religions and claim it as your own as a way of promulgating your message to new crowds, at least have the decency to admit that your marketing campaign is as unoriginal as modern department stores absconding with Christmas music and re-purposing it to sell shoes and computers.

Christians are like spoiled only children whose parents suddenly have another child after years of turning the first kid into a rotten brat. Christians have been the majority for so long, have had their way for so long, have had their say for so long, that they are upset that someone else has come along asking, “Please, I don’t share your beliefs, do I have to share your holy day? Can’t I sit this one out?” The minority of people who don’t celebrate Christmas or other Christian holy days have never had the opportunity to speak out before. There weren’t social networking sites before. There wasn’t much in the way of national media that could spread their discontent before. There weren’t expansive communication networks that could easily spread their plea for non-involvement before. Now there is, and now the minority is asking, “Can we not celebrate your holy day with you? After all, we don’t believe in it, and our involvement with it is only going to cheapen and distort it as we’re forced to find ways to make it more tolerable by altering it even ever so slightly by changing ‘Christmas’ to ‘Holiday’ so we don’t feel so awkward having to observe your celebration.” The spoiled child that is Christianity has never had anyone stand up to them before because there was no way to do it. Within a community, it was hard if not impossible to express difference of opinion without being ridiculed, mocked, shamed, driven out of town, harassed, abused, imprisoned, or even killed in some extreme cases. Now that there’s a way to voice our opinion outside of the closeted communities around us, we’re speaking out, asking not to be involved, to have even just the little dignity in not being forced into something we don’t believe in, and we’re being told that we’re causing a war. What war? What weapons do we have? We’re just telling the spoiled brats who’ve had their way all this time that we want no part of it and could they please tone it down for the rest of our sakes?

Personally, I hate Christmas. Even before finally getting rid of the antiquated belief system that I never fully believed in, I hated Christmas. Yeah, getting stuff was fun, but it sure wasn’t fun having my birthday in December. Why did my presents have to come in Christmas wrapping paper? Why did I have to get Christmas ornaments and Christmas decorations for my birthday? Christmas decorations are good for a month out of the year, but cameras, board games, dolls, etc. were good year-round and wouldn’t have been collecting dust like so many of my birthday presents did. It wasn’t every year that this happened, but it has happened often enough in my thirty-one years that it has left a decidedly bad taste in my mouth. Katie, Tommy, Sarah, and Simon have never had to put up with shit like this. None of my coworkers has ever had to put up with shit like that (I’ve never worked with anyone else whose birthday is in December). My friends in college never had to put up with shit like that (not that most of them remembered my birthday anyway falling between Thanksgiving and finals as it did). So yeah, my hatred of Christmas may have a lot to do with how differently I was treated when it came to my birthday in comparison with my siblings. It colors my hatred a slightly different tint from the other “I don’t like Christmas” people, but it doesn’t invalidate my dislike for the season. It’s just a personal reason to hate Christmas. If I were Ian, I’d hate high school basketball sectional. His birthday always fell during the end of basketball season around here, so he never got a proper birthday because everyone left to go to the ball games. I’d associate basketball with a lack of typical attention within a family and would therefore never like basketball. Ian actually has more of a dislike for birthdays as a result than a hatred of basketball, but it’s a similar idea. I suppose I don’t like my birthday much as a result of it being in December, to be honest. After a while, it stops being a birthday and starts being a hassle. Thanks, Christmas. You suck.

Speaking of how people typically celebrate holidays and special occasions, Christians don’t even agree how Christmas should be celebrated, either from sect to sect or from one time period to another. Christmas trees weren’t always used in Christian celebrations, and what’s funny, their Bible can be interpreted as saying that Christmas trees are bad. Jeremiah 10:11:1-5 reads, “Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.” (By the way, the punctuation in this Bible and probably most Bibles is rather ridiculous and strange.) Yeah, in other words: “There are these people who get trees, stand them up in their homes and decorate them, and they’re stupid for doing so. Don’t do that.” If there’s no “correct” way in celebrating Christmas beyond the obligatory “go to mass” routine, then don’t tell everyone how not to do it. In fact, if there’s no one way, then everyone’s way should be fine. If you’re not fine with everyone doing it their own way, then it should be a strictly personal event that takes place in people’s homes and churches, NOT ON EVERY TELEVISION STATION, ON EVERY RADIO STATION, IN EVERY NEWSPAPER, ON THE LAWNS OF COURTHOUSES, IN PUBLIC LIBRARIES, IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS OR IN PUBLIC AT ALL. Mad that Christmas is commercialized? Take it out of the public eye where it can be commercialized. Mad that Christmas is being questioned by people who would rather not have anything to do with it in the first place? Stop forcing it down people’s throats and they wouldn’t choke on it and cough it right back up at you. Keep it in your pants.

So, yes, I think that at large, Christians are like a spoiled only child who suddenly gets a younger sibling and is mad that things change, that they can’t keep doing things the way they’ve been doing them, that they have to share and take someone else into consideration for the first time. The minority aren’t trying to stop Christians from celebrating Christmas at all; we’re just asking to be left out of it. Make it a religious holiday again that is celebrated at home and in the church and not on every network or street corner. The privilege of majority status does not give you the right to dictate our lives or what we do with them (*cough* oppression *cough*). Christians aren’t used to having the minority stand up to them because we haven’t been able to for so long now. Christians aren’t used to being questioned. Christians don’t even like questions. I recall on far too many occasions having been told in religious study classes to “stop asking questions” and “that’s just the way it is; accept it.” Well, this isn’t just how it is. Christmas wasn’t always celebrated on this planet. Christmas wasn’t always celebrated in this way on this planet. Christmas didn’t even used to use evergreen trees. This isn’t just how it is forever. This is just how it’s been for a while, and now it’s time to change because a lot of people out there really want it to and really need it to if they’re going to find any peace or harmony within the majority. There are people out there who don’t want to celebrate Christmas. I’m one of them, and if anyone gives me lip about wishing someone “Happy Holidays,” I’ll kindly point out that I don’t care. They’re full of shit if they think that my saying “Happy Holidays” is going to stop the majority from cramming their nonsense down my throat, but at least saying “Happy Holidays” makes me feel like I have even the tiniest control over what is essentially a national problem over which I have no influence whatsoever. I’m standing up. I hate the winter holidays. I don’t care if anyone thinks it’s a war or not. What harm can I do? I’m one person with a handful of pebbles against an army with machine guns. I just want to be left alone. Is that really so much to ask?