I’ve had enough. Enough of Christmas, Yule, Solstice, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, whatever.
Where did all this bah humbug spirit come from? Eh, not going to get into it…but I will tell you what exactly is wrong with many who celebrate Christmas. No wait, how about the whole “holiday” season in general. Yeah. Equal opportunity animosity, that’s what I say.
Christmas never bothered me too much in recent years. In fact, there’s some good memories attached. Back in the end of 2007, I had arrived back in New York City. Needed money asap, so took any job I could get. To my own horror, I got hired at Macy’s. The flagship store over at 34th street. It wasn’t a glamorous position, mind you. I was selling Christmas decorations over at Holiday Lane. Anyone who personally knows me, I’m the last one to exhume any sort of blatant holiday cheer. Also humiliating, cause it was something already done back in 1992.
To my surprise, that temp gig wasn’t as bad as previously thought. Some of my co-workers were some of the kindest people I’ve ever met. As it turned out, a few of us shared spiritual beliefs that wasn’t exactly ‘Christian.’ One co-worker in particular, she would point out the paganism/pre-Christian symbolism in a few holiday ornaments. Gradually I realized working at Macy’s had been a much needed relief. After my summer of hell in the Midwest, it was nice to be treated with respect. I got hired again the year after that, doing temporary visual display at Macy’s. A step up from basic retail, but it wasn’t the same.
The next three years I found myself getting into the holiday spirit. Yet some cynical observations crept in.
One of my main beefs regards the Christmas tree concept. Never, ever understood the need to cut down real trees just to decorate it for a few weeks. Always thought that was such a waste. Apparently, there’s been some debate about real trees vs fake. Whatever. Honestly, I don’t care. I’m not anti-earth, but I’m not one of these anal-retentive environmentalists either. Besides, I like the obvious falseness of the plastic trees. I like the tacky non natural colors. Give me a blue or white tree any day. ‘Cause if you’re gonna go for tacky, you might as well go all the way. Hell, recently I saw an all black Xmas tree for sale. If that’s not brilliant, I don’t know what is.
More piques about this season is the overt materialism, the illusion of piety, and the bullshit notion being ‘nice’ this time of year. Nothing is more irritating than people thinking they should be good and generous only during Christmas. Meanwhile they’re complete ass wipes the other 364. This is the same attitude of those who attend church, temple, mosque, whatever, but still find it okay to be a jerk for the rest of the week. Cause another of my observations is that judgmental people are usually also the most hypocritical. Hypocrisy’s not my thing.
As a whole, I now find the concept of Christmas to be a complete sham.
All venting aside, I do appreciate whenever someone sends me sincere holiday cheer. It’s appreciated because it comes from the heart. That’s where the real magic comes from. Recently I was asked to come back for a real quickie interview for a local radio show. It was a year end review, and it was nice to be asked back (as opposed to being blacklisted). A friend from my psychology class took the time to get me a holiday present. That warmed my little black cynical heart. Oh, and recently I re-visited Macy’s Holiday Lane. Said hello to someone who still works in that section year after year. That person instantly recognized me, giving me the biggest hug. When this person found out I was about to purchase this black ornament with the words BAH HUMBUG in bold text, she took it out of my hand, and brought it for me. She wanted to offer it as as a gift.
Those three recent incidents represent the true meaning of the holiday spirit. It’s remembering those who’s been cool throughout the year, and remembering those who’ve been good to you, period. True holiday spirit is not about how well your house is lit, or how much you spend, or whatever you believe in. It’s the small sincere gestures that counts. It’s the memories that’s shaped you. It’s spending it with people that matter in your life. Even if you dread spending time with your dysfunctional family, afterwards you can spend time with folks that actually care. Take that with your spiked eggnog.
Merry fucking Christmas everybody.