There is a particular sort of mania that grips certain people this time of year, I’m not talking about the insane shoppers or festive sweater lady or even the granny possessed by the inexplicable urge to bake 5000 cookies for her family of 6. No I mean the folks who simply can’t enjoy the holiday, unless, that is, it is theirs and theirs alone. These folks can’t sit back in the warm glow of camaraderie and fellow-feeling which has caused wars to pause and bitter enemies to reconcile. No instead they are driven to anger and sputtering bile at the fact that someone, somewhere isn’t celebrating christmas for the right reasons!
The reasons, of course, vary from person to person. Some are deeply offended that businesses *gasp* dare to try to make a buck during a time when people have traditionally bought more shit than ever, others are enraged that Jesus name isn’t branded on the foreheads of every manikin and sweater. Some are reduced to apoplexy by the phrase “Happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. Apparently they wish to withhold any cheer and good wishes to anyone who does not follow their particular brand of worship.
Even the less fanatically religious seem to break out into hive at having to endure Christmas music or shopping mall traffic. They are goddamn furious that their lives are even a tiny bit different for a week or two than the usual run of the mill drone they are used to. Listen to the same drab pop country garbage daily, no problem, hear Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer 4 times in a month, UNACCEPTABLE!!! These folks act as if they are forced a gunpoint to go out and participate in the holiday ritual, they stand in line with an armful of presents bitching to each other about how much it sucks that they have to do this.
Perhaps that is the real gift of the Christmas season, a reason to bitch. It’s a season of kvetching, finger-pointing, self-pity, bitching and moaning, and self-righteous anger. its a yearly vent when we can pout in a big old martyr suit and march around crying “woe is me” along with almost everyone else.
Tis the Season of spoiled cry-babys.
I love it. I really do. I hate to admit the sort of Schadenfreude pleasure I get at watching someone in full control of their life and fate acting like a mean old santa is forcing them to do these things. I forget my compassion and snicker at the “jesus is the reason for the season” billboard which must have cost a fortune (wouldnt that money be better spent doing Jesus’ work and feeding some hungry folks?) and is as universally ignored as the t-mobile sign right next to it. Only one person is deeply affected by those billboards and signs, the person who put them up. He or she gets the satisfaction (grim as it must be) of having put their particular religious stink in “everyone else” face.
I love to pause during the season and think of how amazingly lucky I am to have been born in a time and place where the biggest worry I have some days is which restaurant I want to get lunch at. I’m thrilled that the biggest annoyance in my world is hearing the same x-mas song 3 days in a row. We are surrounded by bounty, wealth, and ease and I try to take that all in and appreciate it at least once a year. Imagine what a gift it is to turn on a faucet in your house and get drinkable water, for most of the world that is a dream. Consider what it means to spend what is a years wages in some countries in a single day here. Anger is a luxury, self-righteous anger is a gift, self-pity is a rare treat to most of the world. I m not trying to make us to feel guilty for what we have, I simply want all of us (including me) to appreciate it for the amazing present that we have been given.
Gratitude is the reason for the season.