I hate Christmas. There I said it. But why? Why would any sane person hate a feast that’s entirely dedicated to love, family, giving and peace? I know it’s crazy, in fact it doesn’t even make sense to me, but I do, I hate it, and only now that it’s over, can I breathe (and write) again.
Every year, not only do I have to survive the season of forced gaiety, but also a barrage of questions asking me why I’m so down and dull in the run up to Christmas day.
So let me try to explain.
Irrational sadness starts to build up from weeks before the big day. I struggle to keep it hidden and under control, until one day, instead of anticipating the exchange of gifts and the togetherness, I start to anticipate (or rather precipitate) the anti-climax that invariably follows the holidays.
Over the years I’ve come up with various excuses to rationalize my dread, but in my heart of hearts, I know that it’s not because Christmas music is bad, I know that it’s not because of the materialism and waste, I know that it’s not because the season starts too early or because it’s too cold and, I know that I don’t have some bad experience to blame it on.
In my heart of hearts I know that my reaction to Christmas is simply an irrational, unexplainable feeling that I just have to live with, and that is the hardest thing about it - accepting that I can have a completely unfounded feeling that is entirely out of my control.
You see, I don’t particularly like shopping but I don’t hate it, I love getting together with family and friends, and when it comes to food and drink I’m usually right there at the forefront of things. But when the theme is Christmas, I just want to go into a deep self-inflicted coma and wake up on Boxing Day.
For the sake of those around me I try to smile through the whole thing, but I don’t always manage. Those who know me can see right through me and those who know me well don’t even ask me why I’m grumpy anymore. Those who know me really really well, disregard the feast all together and just see me through it with a supportive shoulder.
For as long as I can, I try to fool my brain into ‘not noticing’ that Christmas is coming along. I don’t set up a crib, I don’t own a Christmas tree, and until yesterday I didn’t own a single bauble. But of course there’s only so much I can do to dupe myself into believing that it’s not Christmas time again, and at one point, no matter what I do, no matter how far away from the screeching carols I stay, it hits me, straight in the face.
At that moment, it feels like six Santas just sat on my chest.
But as miserable as Christmas makes me, when it’s over, I can finally see the positive side of my yearly debacle with irrationality.
Every year, the lack of control that takes over my brain, humbles me. I tend to live my life in the false security of rationality and I don’t usually have time for people with sentimental behaviours.
I’m usually rolling my eyes into my forehead at the sight of people taking decisions based on emotions, I don’t entertain the supernatural, and I have no patience for the unexplained or even blind faith. In other words, when fake snowflakes haven’t infiltrated my nostrils and lodged themselves into my brain, I’m all rational and practical, but then comes Christmas and I become as illogical as people with clown phobias!
Then finally Christmas day comes and goes, and those blessed Santas start to get off my chest. One by one they leave, relieving me of unexplainable wretchedness, melancholy and gloom.
The last Santa gets off me on the morning of Boxing Day, when I can finally breath normally again. That’s when I can enjoy the happiest day of the year - the day furthest away from the next Christmas.
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