Christmas Is Here Again, Unfortunately

More than usual, I`m having difficulty working up any enthusiasm for Christmas.  I usually host a big open house a few days before, but last year I didn`t do it because I`d had a relationship break up and couldn`t muster the enthusiasm necessary to clean house, decorate and cook for 40 people.  This year, I`ve started to do some of the tidying up and house cleaning necessary, but the thought of hauling out the tree and the decorations makes me want to lie down on the sofa and sleep until January.  I have a storage locker in the basement of my building, and a neighbour who thinks that any common space (hallways, passages) is a place where she can put the stuff that she can`t fit into her condo.  She is genuinely shocked when people point out that these spaces aren`t hers alone.  Her unconsciousness and her unwillingness to consider other people makes me crazy if I let it.  I spoke to her about moving the stuff and she`s moved the big pieces but doesn`t see why she can`t pile stuff along the walls as long as it`s not in the way.  IT`S NOT HER F****ING SPACE.  Here`s a novel idea:  stop buying so much crap, hire a dumpster and get rid of your excess clothes and old appliances and keep your junk in your own area.  

So it doesn`t make Christmas any more appealing.  The card from my boss wishing "me and my family" a Merry Christmas, when he bloody well knows that I have almost no family.  The family I do have think that if I have two glasses of wine at family gatherings that I have a hidden drinking problem.  How to get through these family gatherings where my cousin`s 30 year-old son (who behaves like a sulky 15 year-old) sits at the end of the sofa and texts all day, his sister does nothing but rock on about how much work her baby is (how have women from countless generations before her managed?), and my cousin and her husband have. in their mid-fifties, been made redundant from low-paying jobs?  I sit there silently because I still have a well paid job with benefits and feel as though I should apologize for having gotten an education beyond high school and am interested in something other than "reality" television.  I have nothing to contribute to their conversations and when I do speak it's usually met with stares of incomprehension.

I've been travelling over the holidays when my schedule permits it, and this year is no exception.  I'm leaving for Scotland on boxing day and stopping in Paris on the way back to see friends.   Next year, rather than wait until Boxing Day, I shall probably leave on Xmas Day so that I can avoid the whole damn festival of forced jollity and confinement with people you wouldn't willingly hang out with at any other time of year, outrageous consumer spending on tat that's usually forgotten about three weeks later and spend time in a place that nourishes me in a way that a new iPhone, some Cabernet Sauvignon or my family never will.

I just wish that this whole season would go away.  
expo67 expo67
51-55, M
4 Responses Nov 30, 2011

I have hated everything about christmas since the day I was born, Dec, 25, 1951

Every year I lament the season. Seriously. Newly divorced, this was my first Christmas morning without my kids and I thought I was going to throw up. But i got through it. What I found, was that the holidays would be, forever more, about redefining HOW I would celebrate life. I never raised my kids on the gluttony of Santa-beliefs. I never went into debt during the holidays and I never over-spent or loaded up the tree with superfluous crap. For many long years, I had a tradition right before Christmas to gather up some of the complete, intact toys (sets, if they were sets) that the kids chose themselves, and we donated them in individual tubs to the Battered Women's Shelter. It was a way of teaching them that excess was nonsense and should be given away to those that have nothing. In the end, it proved prophetic as I ended up utilizing that same shelter. <br />
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I have a friend who tours Asia during the holidays. He detests the holiday season. Though he loves America (he is French), he hates the gluttony of the holiday season, the commercials and the holiday shopping. He worked for a company that had factories in Thailand. One year, they had him there in December and bad weather forced him to remain during the holidays (bad weather in Europe... plane couldn't land there). What he found, was that celebrating life doesn't require waiting for a day, an event or a preplanned holiday. It needs only the heart and the soul and the appreciation of other cultures and people. He started bringing school supplies to the more down-trodden areas in Thailand. Some children toss their crayons about and break them... but a child who has finally in their hands the ability to create art, pictures... to express themselves... a child who never had such tools or toys before... TUESDAY became a holiday for these children. Any day is a reason to celebrate life. <br />
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As for your relatives, try not to equate them with the word "family" if they are not intimately connected to you. Just being your relative happened without anyone's effort. But knowing you, caring for you, and caring about you and your life is an other matter entirely. Your family is the one you make, from all of life. <br />
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Travel safe today. Happy New Year, and many wishes for many many more!

I appreciate the sincerity in your suggestions. I do some of the things you suggest, but others are really not my speed. I wish you the best and appreciate the time you took to reply.

It saddens me that you wish the Christmas season would just go away. Christmas is a joyful time. If you don't have family to share the holidays with, this is sad. Could you volunteer at a soup kitchen and help others? This way you would be around people at Christmas. Perhaps you could volunteer with the Salvation Army Christmas kettles. You could volunteer at a Christmas gift wrapping booth at a mall. Sometimes in helping others we forget our own troubles.<br />
Put on some Christmas music. Read the Christmas story in the Bible.<br />
I know I sound like I'm making things simple. I don't make light of your depression. I've been there myself. These are some of the ways I got through.<br />
I wish you the best during the wonderful Christmas season.