Why Some People Don't Like Christmas

Why Some People Don't Like Christmas

It's not so holly and jolly for a lot of people.

Honestly, I really don't see Christmas as "the most wonderful time of the year" for more reasons than one -- and I'm sure there are other people who feel the same.

Every year when I groan about Christmas music, I get people who ask me, "How can you not like Christmas?" or they accuse me of being a Jesus hater for not being appreciative of the celebration of His birth. My answer is this:

Christmas isn't about having the nicest stuff; it's about Jesus. But the problem is that we have created an expectation for our society which says that we are defined by how much we get or give for Christmas. For people with major financial issues, it can be really stressful in a sense that those families get reminded, once again, that they are less because they have less. Some people struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis, so when it comes down to it, how should they be expected to splurge this one time of the year when they can barely afford to put food on the table anyway?

If Christmas were more about Jesus than competitive commercialism, I really believe that it would be a much happier holiday. Ironically, Jesus taught more about sharing and caring rather than fighting to the top and seeing who can get the best gifts. It seems like Jesus has kind of been sucked out of His own birthday, which is sad. Because although several people know what Christmas signifies, they don't celebrate it for that reason.

There's a condition called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which makes people feel more depressed during a certain seasonal change, typically in the winter months. This means that while stores are blasting Christmas music about it being "the most wonderful time of the year" and having "a holly jolly Christmas," the people with SAD are only being dragged further into their pits of despair. What's worse than being depressed, is being depressed while seeing everyone else so happy. Christmas music makes it ten times worse.

Ah, yes, but Christmas is a time to get together with your families and have a good time -- unless you're one of those people who either doesn't have a family or doesn't have a "normal" family. With divorce rates being so high, there are likely a lot of kids out there who don't get to celebrate it with their families as a whole. Instead, they get the pleasure of living out of a suitcase on Christmas break, being reminded that they don't have one big happy family.

Realistically, death doesn't take a break on Christmas, either. There are a lot of families who have experienced the death of a loved one on or around Christmas. Heck, even if the death wasn't experienced on or near Christmas, people still grieve. There are parents who have lost children -- or even children who have lost parents. There are widows and widowers. You can bet that grieving people don't forget about their loved ones on Christmas, but are instead, reminded of their losses.

In my case, I lost a parent at age five on December 30 -- just five days after Christmas. The traumatic experience reenters my conscience every year around Christmas time. To me, Christmas isn't a cheery time and, personally, I wish people would respect that, rather than putting me on trial for not enjoying the holiday season. This isn't to say that everyone else should stop being happy during the holidays to please people who don't like Christmas. This is a simple inquiry to be more compassionate to the people who struggle throughout the holiday season.

Cover Image Credit: Hand of Jesus Ministries

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10 Things To Do In The Lehigh Valley During The Spring

A list of things to do in the Lehigh Valley once the weather gets nicer.



It’s mid-January, and most of us have one thing in common, “Cabin Fever.” We are all waiting for the temperatures to rise, the snow to be gone, and Spring to be ushered in! Here is a list of 10 things to do here in the Lehigh Valley when the weather gets a bit nicer:

1. Take a hike through Jacobsburg State Park

2. Visit Bethlehem, Easton, or Allentown

3. Take the family out to an IronPigs ball game

4. Taste the ice cream at Klein Farms in Easton

5. Take a hike throughout Columcille Megalith Park

6. Shop for fresh local produce and snacks at the Easton Farmers Market

7. Experience history firsthand while walking on the Bethlehem Steel Trestle Walk

8. Take a hike through Illick’s Mill Park

9. Eat at the Bayou in Easton or Momma Ninas in Bethlehem

10. Head over to the Saylorsburg Flea Market to find all sorts of treasures

These are just a few of the countless places to explore, eat, hike, or shop in the Lehigh Valley, what else would you add to the list?`



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What Christmas Means To Me: An Atypical Prayer

You are where my life began and continues to grow, and the love is always unconditional, never ending, and felt as soon as you walk in the door.

This last Christmas, my grandfather gave me the opportunity to write the grace and prayer that is read before Christmas Dinner. Though it may not sound much like a typical prayer or a traditional grace, it sounded a little something like this:

"When I think of Christmas, I think of this moment right here. The one where we are all gathered together, bound together by love in a place where so many memories have been made. It’s the time that we get to spend together that makes Christmas so special, not the presents, not the food (though it is delicious and I’ll never say no to another one of Grandma’s cookies), but instead the bond that we continue to strengthen each and every year when we come together.

So this Christmas, I am thankful to be surrounded by a family that loves me. As I said in an article of mine that came out earlier this week, “never is the love in my house one-sided”, and that rings true here today. God has given us this holiday not only to celebrate Christ’s birth but also to remind us that the love of this family is never one-sided. It reminds us how special this family is, and how lucky we are to have one another.

I could not ask for better people to have in my life. I could not ask for better grandparents to teach me so many life lessons and to be there whenever I needed someone to turn to, parents that raised me into the strong, independent, and loving young woman that I am today, and a sister that I’ve become so much closer to this year and am proud to call my best friend. I could not ask for a better aunt and uncle that have never failed to make me feel loved and are always there to support me in everything that I do, and cousins that always take time to make sure I’m ok and give life advice that has helped shape who I am as I grow up. I could not ask for better little boys to be my little boys and bring joy and laughter to my life, and a dog that makes me happy to come home and I can always count on for kisses.

Christmas is my favorite holiday, but not for the reasons many people may think. It’s not because of the presents, or the cookies (though I do love them so please make as many as you can Grandma), but because of the love, I get to experience on this day. Family is where life starts and the love never ends, and in this family, this rings true. You are where my life began and continues to grow, and the love is always unconditional, never-ending, and felt as soon as you walk in the door.

Merry Christmas, I love you all with all my heart."

Christmas may be over, but the words in this prayer still ring true. Though people change and every holiday is different in its own way, these words will forever ring true.

Cover Image Credit: Nancy Summer

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