I’m Starting to Dread the Holiday Season
It is sad to admit that, more and more, I’m starting to approach the holiday season with feelings that are a mixture of anticipation, joy, dread, irritation, and frustration.
The anticipation and joy come from having time with family and remembering the birth, life, and atonement of Jesus Christ. It is certainly helpful to make a special effort every year to be more focused on remembering His coming, and to look forward to when he comes again.
The other feelings come from the fact that people are forgetting why we have Christmas in the first place.
First, the commercialism of Christmas has gotten out of control. We’ve gotten to the point that it doesn’t matter what we get for Christmas as long as we get more of it than someone else. I have family that insist on buying me a gift of a certain price point even when I tell them that I don’t need anything. What is the point of spending the money? I create a budget and budget for Christmas all year long, and then when the time comes to buy, I feel that I must spend the entire budget even if it is on junk that the recipient won’t really want.
This is one part of this season that I’m starting to dread – the complete waste of money. Money spent on things that will become the recipient’s trash before summertime comes around. It has become a season where people save all year so they can come before the big businesses and trade their money in for junk. What is wrong with us?
I am starting to despise the calculated messages in the media that are trying to cause us to forget why we have these holidays in the first place. These messages are even being taught to children. They tell us not to forget the reason for the season, at which point they inform us that the reason for the season is to be with friends and family, or to be kinder to our fellow men, or to marvel in the wonder of lights and decorations. They pitch the “hustle & bustle” of the holidays as exciting and fun, not irritating. I’ve even heard some of these messages suggest that the reason for the season is to receive gifts!
The reason for this season is entirely religious. I don’t care whether you are Christian or not. If you believe in Thor the thunder god, and celebrate him on August 10 (or whatever), just because I don’t believe in Thor doesn’t change the reason why you might celebrate on August 10. The reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It does not matter whether you believe in him or not. It is a flat-out lie to suggest that the reason for Christmas is anything else, no matter how ennobling.
I’m frustrated because I want this to be a religious occasion. I’m upset that I worry about how many gifts a person is giving me, and that I have to give them the same number of gifts back, and for a similar monetary amount, even if the gifts are junk. It feels like it isn’t enough to give for the sake of giving. It feels like if I’m not giving my significant other a diamond ring or a new car I’m under-gifting. I hate that I feel like I work all year long to blow money on junk at the end of the year. And for what? Just so recipients can feel that I care – but not because of what I gave, but because of how much I gave and how much I spent.
I don’t know what to do about this exactly, but I don’t like it, and I feel justified in not liking it. I may do something drastic next year – like cut my Christmas budget.