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Christmas


Maggie Mae

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Warning: This is kind of ranty and I probably sound incredibly selfish & self centered (not to mention ungrateful). Personal thoughts on Christmas below.

I hesitate to flat out say that I "hate" Christmas. 

But I kind of do hate it. It's stressful. It overshadows all the other holidays. It's so stupidly materialist and terrible.

I remember being a kid and it seemed kind of magical. There were light shows, and it was dark and cold and that was always sort of fun. It used to snow and you could go out side and make a snowman or go skiing or ice skating with family members. Now it seems like snow is a thing of the past. And Christmas just sort of sucks. It's dark and the music sucks and everything is either super religious or super tacky.

But my main complaint is the stupid gifts. I HATE gift giving. I hate the boring conversations that happen after the holidays with my coworkers which is really just a competition over who is the most loved/has the most money, because OBVIOUSLY no sane person can show their love without a display of wealth. I hate that its been getting steadily worse, ever since about 6th grade. The competition over who received the most gifts,  who received the best gifts, where you went for Christmas. It's absurd. Even in college, where I thought there would be other poor people (there weren't), someone made fun of me for getting the "wrong" type of iPod AS A GIFT FROM MY PARENTS WHO HAVE NO MONEY. 

I don't WANT my parents who aren't very wealthy to get me anything. I do not want to have to curate a list with affordable items - they won't listen to my suggestions anyway (I ask for a specific brand of wool socks, and they send cotton, which I won't wear; I ask for an REI gift card, I get a gift card to a restaurant that doesn't exist in my region), and then they end up wasting money. I don't want to have the conversation at work about "what did you do for the holidays?" which is really just a way for the question asker to brag about what they got people, and what they received. I don't care what shitty new electronic or jewelry you got. I really don't care about what fishing gear you received and I don't really want to have a conversation about whatever new possessions I happened to receive as a gift. It's embarrassing and weird. I think this year I might try baking and distract people from that conversation with pie. Oh, my holiday was fine! Here, I made pie. Retreat to office, pick up phone and close door. 

I also hate buying for my parents and SO. My parents are hard to buy for because I don't know them, at all, and they just say stuff like "i don't want anything dear." And anything too expensive would embarrass them, and I just am bad at buying gifts. The SO is also hard because ... well, we sort of just buy what we need when we need it and budget for what we want, and neither of us like having extra possessions, so ... what? He just bought a new hydration pack, which is what I got him last year. This one is smaller, and I would have got it for him. He just bought a new sleeping bag; a tent isnt in my budget right now. He's picky about his shoes; he doesn't need clothing. He just built a new computer, so that's out. Not that a computer would fit my budget. I'll probably get a game off of Steam, but I don't think there's anything he's excited for right now. Maybe 

I wish we could just... not do the stupid gifts. And I really want Santa to stop global warming instead of buying rich kids expensive toys and poor kids less.  Or at the very least, figure out how to help all the kids who asked for better health or for their parents to be alive again. Come on, Santa, you are supposed to be a magical guy. Do something magical. Also, please find a new outfit. Your red velvet suit is in need of a wash. 

 

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MarblesMom

Posted

I get where you are coming from.  For me, Christmas was most magical when my kids were kids, at home.  Since we are now empty nesters, I don't even decorate the house.  Too much work and no one sees/appreciates it but us.

I really dislike the listing of what one was gifted after a holiday.  I did that in 8th grade.

Now, when someone asks "How was your Christmas?" I answer with, quiet, private and lovely.  Which it is.

But Santa... is Santa.  Even in a dirty suit. :)

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Maggie Mae

Posted

1 hour ago, MarblesMom said:

I get where you are coming from.  For me, Christmas was most magical when my kids were kids, at home.  Since we are now empty nesters, I don't even decorate the house.  Too much work and no one sees/appreciates it but us.

I really dislike the listing of what one was gifted after a holiday.  I did that in 8th grade.

Now, when someone asks "How was your Christmas?" I answer with, quiet, private and lovely.  Which it is.

But Santa... is Santa.  Even in a dirty suit. :)

I think it's also that I'm not religious any more, either. I mean, the scene in Home Alone when Kevin goes to the Church and there is the choir that is singing? That brings back so many memories. Smells, even. I have no desire to go to Church, but I do miss the acoustics of a good cathedral and some of the traditions. Like dressing up for Midnight mass, going out into the cold wearing a dress and a nice coat, coming home really late; waking up in the morning and going to visit my now deceased Grandmother and having a big family breakfast. (It's also Grandma's birthday.) Then we could go skating or go home and it just felt different. But now it more or less feels like any other day. I guess I'm sort of morning the loss of my childhood; and also I still really hate the listing of gifts. 

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MarblesMom

Posted

Just now, Maggie Mae said:

I guess I'm sort of morning the loss of my childhood;

This!

Things were great when we were kids, at least from our perspectives.  IT WAS CHRISTMAS and AWESOME!!!

When those memories are tainted with current adult life, and reality, it is like watching a silver or copper pot tarnish.  We can polish them, sure... but so much work just to get the original shine back, even if for a few months.

 

 

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clueliss

Posted

I go hot and cold with Christmas.  The last 2 years were bitter, cold years.  This year is luke warm.  This is a high-stress time of the year for me at work.  I hate gift giving.  I hate shopping.   Some years I can't stand Christmas music or decorations.  This year it's okay.  

7 or so years ago I told my mother and sister that since we are essentially exchanging money to not spend on me, I wasn't going to spend on them and go buy yourself a present instead.  This worked fine for a few years until Mom wandered down the dementia trail and then the cards that would show up with a gift card (delivered 3 weeks late because it went to a wrong address and I'm an apartment dweller in a college town), or cash (OMG, MOM) or a check (received 2 - one for me and one for my awol sister which mom sent/it came back so she sent to me then I sent and it came back).

I hate the how are you spending your holiday/how was your holiday questions.  (quiet - I like quiet.  I like not going anywhere or worrying about the weather for travel).  

And I hate the annual 'let's have a holiday food day' which has popped up again at work.  I'm busy, I'm stressed, I'm trying to lose weight and they want me to cook.  meh.  

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CTRLZero

Posted

There are no small children in our extended family at this time, so a few years ago I discontinued the gift exchange.  My MIL still likes putting out the Christmas stocking for our 30-something "child", so we do a low-stress Christmas morning brunch.  (We don't know how much longer MIL will be with us, so...)   I do a couple donations to some close relatives' favorite charities, maybe an angel tree present if I'm feeling motivated, but we don't travel, no gift unwrapping, mostly because no small children.

Oddly enough, I do like (some) Christmas music.  And pretty lights in the gloom of winter.

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I am not as excited about Christmas this year as a usually am. I woke up with a headache and I am trying to motivate myself to clean my house so I can start getting it ready for Christmas. I know my six year old is going to come home from school and ask if we can start decorating tonight.  She will likely get bored quickly and I will end up doing most of the work. I will also be the one who has to put away all the decorations. I remember feeling frustrated one year when my mom did not want to do a cookie baking marathon. Now I get that she worked full time and was tired.

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ClaraOswin

Posted

I hear you on the gift giving! Thankfully a decade or so ago, my siblings and I stopped giving gifts to each other. Then a couple years ago we all decided to stop giving presents to the nieces and nephews. (Overall, I am happy about this but at the same time it's kind like...hey...I bought gifts for your kids for 10 years and now that I have a child you never have to buy him anything.) My parents typically give us money and then a few smaller items. I never know what to get them so I just get gift cards to stores and restaurants they like. It feels like a cop out but at least I know they'll use them.

As for my husband and myself...we haven't really bought each other gifts in years. These days we either buy nothing. Or we end up buying ourselves things and just wrapping them for each other. Ha! For the most part, we just buy what we want throughout the year.

I've always hated gift giving though. It's way too stressful to figure out what people want. And if you get them something they don't really want or won't use it just seems to wasteful.

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