While you deck the halls and eat Christmas cookies in your Christmas sweaters and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas, I play violent video games and eat raw meat. I tried my best to be merry, but it was like trying to choke down a plate of liver and onions-it was painful and I only did it because I felt obliged by my parents. My attempts at holly-jolliness were failures, turning my Christmas spirit into more Christmas rage. Finally, I have accepted myself for who I am…a Holiday Hater.
Why am I this way? Why does my heart shrink three sizes?
One of my earliest memories was the Christmas my parents bought the family a puppy. The dog’s name was Morgan, an evil mutt most possessed by the Demons of Christmas past, present and future the teething pouch could not resist chewing on the stuffed animals, fuzzy socks and dolls I received that year and she destroyed most of my gifts. The sight of my new stuffed bunny slippers disemboweled of their stuffing, marked my first use of the “F” word. “Mom, the mother fucking dog chewed up my mother fucking bunny slippers”.
With time, the obligations that came with getting older outweighed the fun of getting legally shit-faced at Christmas. The worst is having to spend time with people I hate. It was tortuous when family members asked the same questions, despite obviously not caring about the answers. Whether it was a family gathering on Christmas eve, or Christmas dinner, anyone who asked me my age or my favorite subject at school never listened the last time they asked and never will.
For those of us who live far from home and don’t get to see our families, the holidays can be heart breaking. Oddly, there are many days I miss those innocuous questions from in-laws. Most of my family lives in the United States. I quickly grew embittered by those who shared photos of themselves with their families decorating Christmas trees. To symbolize my anger, I taped ornaments to a mop and called it the “Shit Tree”.
Now that I have made new friends away from home, I make an effort to go to their parties. But, even that can sometimes feel like chores. Often, I see people at these parties whom I see exclusively at that SAME annual Christmas shindig. And we plan to go for coffee…but that coffee never happens.
So why do I attend these stupid parties? I go to see the friends I love…and free eggnog. One of my closest friends has a massive Christmas party. Although her other friends and have virtually nothing in common, I love her, and she owns Dance Dance Revolution (Yes, I am that cool). Yet, the other attendees are into “cos-play”, a pass time where adults play dress-up. Some of them are even Bronies, grown men who love My Little Pony.
But, I write this article not to bitch, but to help women cope with the burden of celebrating a “perfect” Christmas. You are very likely to burn some cookies, fight with a sibling or see an ex at a party. Life is never like the Charlie Brown Christmas where everyone learns a lesson. What am I supposed to learn from seeing an ex and his fiance at a party…that I hate my ex even more?
You are allowed to ignore people, ditch plans and spend at least a few nights over the holiday season doing things YOU enjoy. Go Christmas shopping and buy gifts only for yourself. Or if you hate cooking, go to a potluck and bring a log of store-bought raw cookie dough. If you hate parties, hang out with those whom you truly love and ditch the loud parties.
The holidays can be a wonderful if you embrace the aspects you love. I will admit it is difficult to be away from family and not receive TONS of gifts. But I can watch my favorite movies, spend time with the friends I love and avoid debt. Plus, my family’s buttery food will not turn me into a “Festive Fatty”.
Listen to all Christmas Cards and have a “Holly Jolly Christmas”, but make it the Christmas you want. Trust me, it is a luxury gift that fits you perfectly and will not need to be returned on December 26th.