Ah, Christmas. With its delicious foods and beverages, joy, and love, Christmas is probably the most popular holiday of the year. It's the one time of year when people actually get along; when people are friendly, open, and kind to all.
Well, at least that's what we like to think.
We all have a tendency to romanticise Christmas - myself included - and to think it's this wonderful time of the year when, in reality, it's not. While it's true that we do tend to be nicer to our friends and family, and we may occasionally donate to the Salvation Army on our way out of the grocery store, Christmas time is hardly the nice, giving season we make it seem like.
First of all, Christmas is not the Godly holiday Christians think it is. It's actually formed from the pagan - that's right folks, PAGAN - celebration of Yule, when they celebrate the "rebirth" of the sun and the surrendering of dark half to the light half. The Christmas Tree specifically comes from this; people put up Yule logs, or Christmas trees, if you like, during the celebration. It seems that Christians have a way of claiming this season as theirs when in fact, Christmas is a mash up of many other religions' celebrations. Not to mention that there are other religious holidays that happen at the same time, including Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa, and many more.
Secondly, people aren't super nice around the holidays. This season has a way of stressing people out to the max, and stress leads to people doing and saying things that they wouldn't any other time. If you've ever gone shopping for presents between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you have probably experienced rude shoppers. People who don't watch where they are going, who see you coming and take that last package of what you were looking for, people who don't smile back at you when you're trying to be friendly, people who push and shove to get to what they want - the list goes on and on.
Don't get me wrong - I LOVE the idea of what the holiday season could be. I love the concept of people being kind to one another. I love the concept of helping those less fortunate than you are (which is something we should be doing year-round, but that's a discussion for another time). I love the idea of spending quality time with friends and family. But the reality is that these things don't happen. There are some people who make an effort to create the idealized holiday season - and kudos to you for doing that, you are a wonderful human being - but the sad truth is that for a lot of people, it just creates unnecessary stress. I believe that we can create that warmth and generosity we seem to crave this time of year. We just have to be willing to do it.