Christmas is near: trees decked with holly and ornaments, twinkling lights that line city streets, malls crowded with lines in an effort to see Santa and buy presents, the smell of pine in the air, and Christmas music playing in stores. For many Christmas is their most favorite day of the year. For me I hate Christmas.
As a child I remember my family tussling over where we would celebrate Christmas. Doors were shut as people yelled as if we couldn’t hear them. Mumblings under the breath about each other while everyone was offended by the other’s comments. So many other unmentionable events. Days, weeks and if not months of pain just to experience a few hours of opening presents. It seemed without fail some small altercation will blind my memory of the good times we actually had on Christmas.
To this day my most favorite Christmas of all occurred in 2006. Jolene and I got married on December 17, 2016. The next day we traveled to London for our honeymoon. We spent Christmas in London. I still remember turning on the television to watch the Queen’s Christmas address. I didn’t have to experience the hassle from choosing one home over another. It was my hope that that first Christmas together was going to be a new beginning for many fun Christmases.
Unfortunately, the holiday’s that I experienced as a kid still happen to this day. Each year we try and take a family photo that we place on our Facebook page. We and many others attempt to capture that picturesque Instagram photo in an attempt to show everyone how things are all great. All the while masking what really is going on behind the scenes on Christmas. What’s going on? Family matters.
For years since we have to choose one family to visit or the other. The alternative decision is to choose to visit multiple families over a two day period. In the process people’s feelings are hurt because we spent more time with one or the other. Each year I sit waiting to see if the family members I care about most will even show up or not. Then wether or not they choose to stick around. The last few years we now have to experience not fully being around my family as my sister has shunned me. Which then extends to the rest of the family picking and choosing if they want to be around me at all as it shows preference. When in reality we all know who the chosen child is. What did I do to garner such resentment? Not join my sister’s business. Such pettiness and unfortunate circumstances for my son’s first Christmas.
Each year I beg to spend Christmas just with my wife and kids. Each year I’m turned down. So each year I sit uncomfortable in my own dizzying thoughts and disarray. For what? Each year I’m told to just be happy and smile for another photo. Telling a depressed person to be happy is like putting a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
This entire post I have yet to even mention Christ. Growing up in a Christian home I can’t help but visually see the absence of what Christmas was about. Yes, on Sabbath we saw reenactments of the manger scene. Only to go home and see the lack of Christ in Christmas. Even in my home we are more preoccupied with putting up a Christmas tree, and opening presents than Christ.
What happened to Christmas? Why can’t family just get together for one day and forget their narcistic personalities for one day? It is my hope that my daughter and son don’t have the same negative feelings when Christmas is around. I hope they don’t go in the same directions as I have with my own family. Hopefully they will place more emphasis on Christ, and less on the mas (more).
Christmas should be fun and entertaining. Family should get together and forget their differences. It should be more about spending time with each other rather than counting the clock till you have to leave. It should be less about taking photos than creating memories. Christmas should be about Christ and celebrating his birth.
So if you hate Christmas like me, you are not alone. Someday the good times will out shadow the bad ones. I hope.
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