*There are a few profanities in this post- not a lot, but there are some!*
In the last three days, I’ve seen no less than
25 34 (as of Tuesday morning) angry and bitter blog posts, Facebook rants, backhanded Instagram comments, and other pot shots at people celebrating Christmas right now. TWENTY FIVE. And I don’t have that many people in social media to draw from. And to that I have to say… Congratulations for shitting on people! Congratulations for going out of your way to make people feel bad. Congratulations for being an asshole! The holiday season makes me happy. It’s as simple as that, it makes me happy! So yes, I have started watching Hallmark Christmas movies, and I have started trying different Christmas cookie recipes, and I have started listening to Christmas music in my car. It makes me happy, and I didn’t realise that being happy was such an awful thing.
I am in a wonderful group on Facebook, for people who love Hallmark Christmas movies. There are almost 4,500 like-minded folks there! And I also participate in the Christmas subreddit where there are nearly 40,000 of us who enjoy celebrating the season together. I have yet to see one person state that they are watching movies and baking and decorating and wrapping to spite someone, or piss someone off. Believe it or not, we are just doing it because it makes us happy. That’s it, that’s all. I understand that it’s now cool to be an asshole who hates on everything, but before you spread your anger and irritation, maybe stop and think.
I personally hate Halloween. I think it is a stupid holiday that is so far from it’s origins that it doesn’t even serve a related function. It’s cold (at least here in Winnipeg) and people have to spend a ton of money on candy to give out and it’s a lot of work for about 3 hours. However, if you want to celebrate Halloween because you enjoy it, I hope that you decorated your house, made witch’s hat cookies, made a pyramid of carved pumpkins, and scared as many people as you want! Why? Because I want you to enjoy the things you love, and it doesn’t matter if I don’t like it. You don’t need to hear my thoughts on it while you are getting on your costume or setting things out for your Halloween party. So why do people feel compelled to do this with Christmas?
“Stores put Christmas lights and ornaments and presents out too early!” “Why are window displays up NOW?” “I’m tired of these commercials already.” Retail companies put things out for sale based on research and past trends. They put Christmas things out in September and October because people will buy them in September and October. They wouldn’t continue to put it out if it wasn’t selling. Just because you aren’t buying it doesn’t mean someone is. And when I say this to people, I often hear “People are sheep and will buy what stores tell them to buy.” Uhhh, no. I have free will and am purchasing specific items on purpose because I have put thought and research into it. For many people, it is also sheerly a budgeting issue- I can’t afford to put out that much money in 2-3 paycheques, so I get started in July with presents and October with decorations. I actually wish that ornaments were available a little bit earlier because it doesn’t give me much time to buy them if I am sending them internationally!
In any case, those stores aren’t setting their seasons according to any of us- it is down to data. And in case you haven’t paid attention, it isn’t just Christmas stuff that comes out early. When I worked at a clothing store, we were receiving short sleeve tops for spring in the middle of February when we had 8 weeks of snow left. And school supplies come out in June for September. And Halloween stuff usually comes out in August… Just because you don’t seem to think that planning ahead is a viable option doesn’t mean that the rest of us want to wait until an item is desperately needed to purchase it.
Also, in regards to the commercials thing- you are a better person than I am if the only commercial that annoys you is a Christmas advert. There are commercials that irritate the life out of me year round, and somehow I manage to stay alive. I don’t know how this miracle has happened, but I’m still kicking.
The Holiday SEASON
For those of you who claim that Christmas is one day only, or it’s the twelve days of Christmas, or only December, historically, you are wrong. Not sure what history books you have been reading, but historically the holiday season started in November and ended in mid-January (aside from Scandinavian countries who admirably extend it to February). I will have more posts coming on the history of the holiday season, but the holiday season has never been just one day. Never. It is a season, because we are heading in to the darkest and coldest part of the year, and these celebrations would help you buck up to face the winter coming. It didn’t come into being to anger or annoy people. It developed over time to bring people together to be happy and joyful and bring light and greenery into a dark time of dead plants… (Follow up posts on the history will be coming but I would recommend reading Christmas in the Crosshairs by Gerry Bowler to get started.)
What I love most about the holiday season is that when people are people are happy, they give more! They give to philanthropic causes, they give to the people around them, they give food and items and time, and that is wonderful. How many people suddenly remember in December that their local food bank could probably use donations? And how many people give scarves and mittens and blankets in the winter to shelters? Those food banks and shelters still have very high need levels year round (albeit different needs), but I’m happy to know that people are at least thinking of them in the holiday season. Most holiday drives (including the Shoebox Project) are doing their drives NOW, not in December. (Because the donations are given out in December, and these organisations need time to organise and get them out…) And as someone who has organised drives in November, have some holiday music playing and Christmas cookies available puts people in a much better mood, which means they typically will donate more.
I try to be very thoughtful with my Christmas-ing and holiday-ness. If I know that someone hates the holidays, I won’t shove it in their face. I won’t go out of my way to invite them over for holiday movies and baking and crafting because I recognise that it isn’t their thing, and I respect that. I know that there are someone people who are quite abrasive with it, but for the most part, most of us elves are happy to celebrate in our own little bubble.
How about the next time you talk or post about a sports season that isn’t starting for 6 weeks I remind you that I think you are an imbecile for trying to get into the season early? And the next time that you want to celebrate your 33rd birthday week, I’ll be sure to make comments around you that I think anyone would do that is an ass. And National Coffee Day or whatever made up day you are celebrating, I’m going to make a passive aggressive post making sure that you know what I think of you. That’s what thoughtful adults do, right? We go out of our way to be intentional assholes and crap on the things that make people happy? Okay, as long as we are all on the same page!
As a wonderful poster commented on my Christmas post last year, “You know, if you took out all the Christmas, your post would still be perfectly relevant. Stop and think before you blast another human for living happily.”
So, to the (self-proclaimed) Grinches and Humbugs out there, I promise I won’t bug you with holiday things. You may have to unfollow me on social media, but I promise I won’t send you links or invite you to holiday parties or try to change your opinion, because I appreciate that you’ve put thought into it. I hope that you have a wonderful November and December, whatever that means for you!