Christmastime is here yet again, and, like every single year, the lights go up, the trees are erected, the presents are bought. Everyone seems to throw up Christmas the minute November first rolls around. Families are already planning the decorations and DIY gifts they’ll do with their kids. Teachers are planning finals. Students are thinking of studying for those finals, possibly failing them, and then going home for a month to happily gorge themselves on caramel popcorn and chocolate ornaments.
What’s not to love about Christmas?
For me? Most of it.
I know, I can already hear the loud gasps and the horrified stares. But let me explain.
I worked retail through two Christmases. And at 16 years old, with a thirty-year-old woman yelling at me because the sale she wanted expired or a fifty-year-old man deciding I am a horrible human for making a mistake with his shoe run, the holidays don’t exactly appear like the happiest time of the year.
I’d always had a problem with how much greed seems to permeate the air around Christmas, but in working retail, I saw it in action, and it was being hurled against me. Suddenly I couldn’t wait for Christmastime to be over. I couldn’t wait for all of the mean-spirited people to go back to their holes, and I couldn’t wait for the rush to be over.
It’s not entirely the shoppers' faults. Christmastime is loaded with high expectations, obligations and a timeline that always seems way too crunched for anyone’s liking. The capitalistic drive that seems to spike near the end of Halloween becomes the only thing on anyone’s mind.
And every time I say that Christmas isn’t my favorite time of the year, there is always someone who tries to offer me some way to get the "spirit of Christmas” back. Or there is someone who simply gets personally offended by my opinion.
I don’t want to try and make anyone else not like Christmas, I don’t want to bring anyone down or be a scrooge. I just want to express why I don't really like it, and why I wish that was more acceptable.
Christmas isn’t my favorite time of year and hasn’t been for a while. I don’t go crazy for the decorations, and the only thing I really look forward to is the after-Christmas sales. (And when I say all this, for my sake, please don’t riot.)