50,000-59,999 SparkPoints 51,186

The constructs of December

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

I don't celebrate christmas; haven't done in some 20 years. Seriously, I don't send cards, decorate, shop, exchange gifts, go to holiday gatherings, go to church, donate more than the rest of the year, observe "alternative" December holidays... nothing. Yet, I am pretty well universally expected to do at least some of that, even by folks who know that I don't. After removing myself from the holiday, it became abundantly clear that there is a LOT of pressure on people to conform to the belief in, and the pursuit of, that ideal "magical" time when everything is sparkly and beautiful, everyone loves everyone else, and we all obtain the most magnificent of our material desires. Of course we all know that believing any of this leads to bitter disappointment, but it's propagated year after year anyway.

It is interesting how people react when I tell them I don't "do" christmas. Almost everyone tells me how they don't participate in the commercialism of it, and then go on to describe the limits they've put on all the decorating, gift buying, and family gatherings they have planned, never seeing that having a spending limit most certainly implies participating in at least a little consumerism. A very few people ask me why I don't celebrate the holiday. Over the years, I've condensed my response to this question from a lengthy diatribe to the simple statement, "I don't have to." I have never heard anyone suggest that they had ever before entertained the notion that participation in christmas is not mandatory (even non-christians), although most say they envy my freedom from the expectations and stresses of the season.

So, I guess it's each individual's choice to what extent they will be burdened with the mental, emotional, and financial stresses foisted upon us every December by TV, movies, advertising, and society in general. And, because we are indoctrinated into the christmas mythos so thoroughly, perhaps it's only natural for people to assume that everyone "does" christmas or at least some December holiday.

Bah, humbug!
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    491 days ago
  • RHOOK20047
    As we have gotten older, what we do has definitely changed. This year since we will go to our son's house across state, I don't see the purpose of decorating the house full tilt and spending hours decorating and taking it down packing it up. It is a lot of work. But I do believe in Christmas. For a few days most people do have a more charitable attitude.
    491 days ago
    Many years ago I decided that there is a need for some sort of good-feeling event in the middle of the dark days of winter just to cheer our spirits. The celebration of the Winter Solstice around December 21st - knowing that the daylight portion of the days will start to increase - does it for me. I am trying to wean my family from the gift-giving habit, though I think they just like the idea of sharing, which is all right by me. Our biggest event is a family dinner, since those working at jobs will have some extra time off to enjoy such a gathering. We hold it on whatever day in that general period everybody is available. Its our version of a compromise on all the plans.

    I really think we each have to find our own path to what works for us - and respect whatever choices other people make for themselves.
    491 days ago
    I am with you. I was thinking yesterday how the whole thing is a fairy tale/myth and ridiculous. Think of the time, energy, and money wasted. It's like a month of crazy (now growing into 2 months of crazy).
    492 days ago
    I don't really like to participate in all the commercialism of Christmas such as going in debt for all of 20/20. I gave most all of my christmas decorations away this year.. I don't physically feel good and my husband has dementia who does not really know it is the Christmas season...I have been trying to simplify my life...I do however celebrate Advent and the Birth of Christ and that is just part of my faith.. I like your blog.. you made a choice that works for you and that is a good thing.. It is important to take a stand up for who we are and what we believe..And most importantly not to feel we have to explain our decistions
    492 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

More Blogs by JULIEINKPT