I Don't Necessarily Hate Christmas, But Black Friday Can Suck It.

With Black Friday around the corner, another seasonal excerpt from the old blog that I thought I'd share...

I've only gone Black Friday shopping a few times in my life, and each of them was with a couple of once friends who loved to shop. They used to laugh at me because I'd refuse to go anywhere before first getting a 16 oz. coffee, and I'm pretty sure they thought it was because I wasn't awake yet. But I'd been a very early riser for years by then from having to work East Coast hours. The truth is coffee is my drug of choice, and you need to be some kind of drugged to brave the insanity and inhumanity that is Black Friday.

It's taken a divorce, a few other relationships left behind, and many years of being misunderstood as an unfeeling or unsentimental person, to finally surround myself with people and an environment in which my minimalist approach to Christmas is understood or even appreciated. 

I don't hate Christmas for the togetherness or general sense of warmth and goodwill that seems to permeate the season (except at Walmart and Target on Black Friday). I don't hate Christmas for the observation of family traditions. I don't hate Christmas for the red and green color scheme, as they are two of my favorite colors.

Just 2 gifts per kid, and it's still more than
they can appreciate fully...

I hate Christmas for the thoughtless commercialism and consumerism we have unconsciously and unwittingly allowed to take hold. I hate Christmas for youtube videos of little kids acting like assholes when they get books instead of electronics, and the parents who shamelessly broadcast those videos as if they're proud of the fact that they're creating materialistic monsters out of inherently easily pleased children. I hate Christmas for that bullshit e-bay commercial where that chick is essentially calling out all her family members for the crappy gifts they got her last year and directing them to her self-absorbed e-bay wishlist instead. I hate Christmas for the fact that people put themselves into debt and stress that lasts for months, sometimes years, after a given Christmas because they've bought into the idea that their worth and ability to love as a human being is tied to how much money they are willing or able to spend. And I hate that that warmth, togetherness and goodwill aren't enough for some people who are so emotionally attached to things that they can't respect someone else's decision to celebrate the season without buying and exchanging more things.

Don't get me wrong. I love that Christmas makes my kids giddy with anticipation and excitement. I love that we're working on our tissue paper Charlie Brown Christmas tree together, little by little, looking forward to its completion. I love that no matter how you celebrate, or if you even celebrate the same way every year, there is tradition built into the holiday season. And I love that even if we don't believe in its religious underpinnings, the observation of the holiday allows time and our little microcosm of the world to stand a little stiller, if only for a few days.

And so as I sit here on Black Friday, in the comfort of home, my son beginning to sleep in like the teenager he's fixing to be, my daughter watching Alton Brown and waiting for a break in my writing so we can work on our Christmas tree, my man listening to music for inspiration with our clingy furbaby nestled into his lap, I can say that I actually am looking forward to a simple, meaningful, grateful, connected, and very merry Christmas.




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