[Originally written 11.27.02]
When you are a child, you look forward to Christmas. You count every day until it arrives. You go nuts with the arts and crafts. You can’t wait to pick out a tree. You write your list for ‘Santa’—who, oddly enough, has the same handwriting as your Dad. You go overboard decorating the tree and have to keep the tinsel away from the numerous strings of lights just begging to set your whole house on fire. You’re happy to have vacation from school. You watch the weather report every day, hoping for snow. You drive around the neighborhood ‘ooing’ and ‘aahing’ at all the lights and decorations people have on their houses. It’s a time for family to get together and enjoy each others company. Eat, drink, be merry…then ravage the presents.
Somewhere along the line, the ‘holidays’ became less joyful and more work. It’s not supposed to be work; it’s supposed to be fun. Who turned off the fun?
It has become so commercialized, it’s disgusting. Christmas spans September to January, and between that time, whatever you were doing in your life has to come to a complete halt when the ‘holidays’ arrive. There are decorations up before the last rotting pumpkin is chucked off your stoop and there are still turkey leftovers in the fridge. You are haunted by Christmas songs on the radio and every time you go to a mall. There is no escape from them. You will learn them and then hum them everywhere you go so that others will pick up on them too.
It’s not just Christmas, either. Thanksgiving used to be fun too. Wake up early to watch the parade on television. Stuff face at aunt’s house. Sometimes I went to my Dad’s house. To be honest, I was dreading this time of year since the Asshole kicked me out. Yea, I know, that’s harsh. While I have relatives, I don’t really feel the same connection to them as I did when I was younger. They are not really my Family, and to me, there’s a big difference between the two.
There’s these people who I am related to that I used to see a lot, and now all they can do is put me on a guilt trip and complain about wanting to see me. Where were you for the two years that I was taking care of myself? I had a phone and an address. You wanted to see me so bad, yet you didn’t call or come visit me. What have my relatives done for me lately? Nothing. Sure, my Dad offered for me to stay at his house, but we know how that worked out the first time. Mom is too concerned with herself and the ex-con boyfriend, and his friend that now lives in the basement.
In all honesty, I am sick and tired of being a part of everyone else’s life. At least the Asshole made a genuine offer to spend Christmas with him and his family again this year, which I do have to admit was kind of nice. Not something I am obligated to do just because I’m related to him, if that makes sense.
Why the attitude about the ‘holidays’?
It’s all bullshit. Your relatives lay on the guilt so you come and see them, because if you don’t they’ll be all hurt. Give me a break already. Just sent my card in the mail and don’t forget the ‘gift’.
Every year, I have wanted less and less for Christmas. Last year, I really didn’t want much at all. This year, I can’t really think of anything I want or need. Except cash. That will go towards my birthday tattoos and the rest is going in my brand new account that I just opened at my Dad’s bank.
It’s not about the receiving anyway. Last year, for the first time, I went out shopping for everyone else. I bought things that they would like, or could use, and felt damn good about it. Even braved the hordes of people to do so.
Oh, the fucking people, with numerous bulging bags in hands trying to push past you while dragging a snotty nosed child behind them. Parents without control of their children that throw fits and tantrums because they want this or that and can’t wait for Christmas. Cramped stores, long lines and just wanting to get everything over with. Songs that won’t go away, particularly when you are shopping and really want to tune it out. Blinding lights and decorations on houses that go up in November and come down whenever. The senseless slaughter of trees for the sole purpose of propping it up in the living room, giving it false hope that it’s still alive, and then throwing the most hideous crap on it so you can say it’s decorated. [Okay, I have seen some really nice tress from time to time, but just feel me on this.] Finding the spare rolls of wrapping paper, hoping you won’t have to go out at the last-minute to buy more. [Last year, I did bags from the dollar store. If it didn’t fit in a bag, it was wrapped in paper from dollar store. Hey, they looked pretty anyway.]
It just seems so materialistic. We go through the same ritual year after year, and somewhere we forget why we’re even doing it. Tradition is something that you have fond memories of doing something as a child, and it still holds its meaning ‘x’ amount of years later. Not because if you don’t your relatives are going to bitch at you. The ‘holidays’ have finally become very cold and meaningless to me.
Wow, I sound like a dear friend of mine. No wonder he gets so detached at this time of year, and to be honest, I can’t say that I can blame him.
Fuck the ‘holidays’. Fuck my relatives. Fuck all of you stupid and blind people who think they are happy being robots. You don’t even know why the fuck you’re carving that turkey.
At least I can be happy in knowing that I have Jon, even if he has a habit of disappearing during the ‘holidays’. Having one person in my life who understands the way I think and feel means more to me than I can put into words. Not only that, but I have been welcomed into a real Circus Family, and I must say that brings warmth to this bitterly cold heart. In the end, they are the ones who matter, and I will be eternally grateful to have them.