I used to be one of those people. You know the ones. Maybe you are one of them, too.
You see the Christmas decorations appearing on department store shelves at the start of October and get all cranky about it. It’s MONTHS away! What are they playing at?
Scrolling your Facebook feed and seeing friends putting up their trees on the first of November? RIDICULOUS!
Christmas trees up in public places before it’s even December? It’s a flippin’ OUTRAGE!
“It’s too early for Christmas stuff!”
Seeing Christmas stuff for sale a couple of months before the day bothers a lot of people. It’s spreading rampant consumerism. Retailers are squeezing cash out of us at every turn. Were bon-bons always this expensive? Capitalism, greed, competitiveness, pressure!
In previous years, that’s how I’ve felt. I’ve gotten ranty about how much we spend for just one bloody day. I have gone down the path of mostly handmade gifts (lovely, but holy shit, THE EFFORT!) and tried to limit the spending. I’ve stood in the middle of the shopping centre wondering why the hell I am parting with a small fortune to celebrate a Christian holiday steeped in Pagan tradition when I am an atheist, raising kids without religious affiliation.
2017: It’s been heavy
I am sitting here trying to type a list of everything that has been heavy this year. Terrorist attacks, the hideous national debate on same-sex marriage, our abandonment of refugees on Manus Island, to name a few. And the growing wave of allegations of sexual assault as so many survivors find the courage to come forward. It’s impossible to list everything without missing something, but I’m sure you know what I’m getting at. I think many of us are feeling world-weary and just tired. Tired of the bad news, the sad news, the outrageous and horrendous news. None of this goes away because it’s Christmas time, of course.
Time for an UnGrinching
All these shitty things that have happened won’t change because it’s the holiday season. No amount of tinsel will stem the flow of people in need. There aren’t enough baubles in the world to end racism, sexism or homophobia. You cannot fix everything with fairy lights. Even Christmas is bound to attract controversy, with the usual annual claims that the Muslims are stealing it or that retailers are trying to erase the Christian aspects.
But I had a little lightbulb moment this year. In retrospect, it was bleedingly obvious.
A Christmas Epiphany
My epiphany? Maybe I should stop my grinching and just let people enjoy things. Perhaps it is capitalism and greed and rampant consumerism. Or maybe people are just feeling the tension and stress of a difficult year and are finding a little bit of relief and light in early festivities. Maybe they’re enjoying planning a day of delicious food and catching up with loved ones.
So, friends, it’s not quite December and I’m loving seeing pictures of your Christmas trees. Bonus points if there are happy faces and/or pets included. Cover your house in fairy lights, start meal planning and buy or make as many gifts as you want to. Buy glitter for your beards and brace yourself for shopping centre car parks.
I will not offer an ounce of criticism- not even in my own head. I’m never not going to be creeped out by your Elf on a Shelf pics, but have at it, anyway. Blast your Mariah Carey Christmas album if you want to- I won’t say a word! These are my issues- not yours!
Get into the spirit
Do something nice for yourself.
Even better, do something nice for someone else, if you can. I’ve got my Share the Dignity #ItsInTheBag contribution ready, just for starters.
It’s been one of those years. A lot of negativity. Let’s give ourselves a break and get our baubles out- who cares if it’s a bit early?
IBOT @ Capturing Life.