I’ve been trying to figure out what triggered it. I remember looking forward to Christmas as a child. But now, I love Jesus, but I hate Christmas.
I don’t know if it was years of working holidays in retail managing stores for Starbucks. I worked twice on Christmas day. My store was chosen to be the only location open in the county due to it’s movie theater proximity.
I don’t know if it’s the pressure I’ve felt since becoming a parent to make the season “magical” with Pinterest worthy activities and an elf that moves locations daily, 3 different advent calendars, 25 story books to read each day of December, or a tree that never looks like magazine photos. It may be the fear that somehow, I’ll disappoint my boys and this is the year they will stop believing in Santa because I didn’t have the neighbor write the gift tags or they find a shred of the “Santa” wrapping paper or wrappers from “stocking” candy in the trash.
Maybe I hate Christmas, because of unrealistic expectations I have from too many Lifetime and Hallmark movies, where the relatives are all sober, warm and compassionate and no one makes passive aggressive comments under their breath.
Knowing how much I dislike Christmas has made it more difficult for me to keep up the traditions and all of the activities that are supposed to create life long positive memories for my children.
This year, I didn’t hang lights outside. (Mostly, because the day I chose was 2 degrees Fahrenheit.) I haven’t baked cookies. We stayed home the night of the church Christmas party, because I had a migraine, and my husband had back spasms.
I’ve wrapped presents. I’ve sipped eggnog by the fire, and watched It’s a Wonderful Life. I’m still not feeling the love for Christmas.
I just want Christmas to be over. I don’t want you to think it’s because I haven’t focused on “The Reason for the Season”. I have. We’ve done a daily advent family scripture, act of service and song to focus on Jesus. I love Him.
Honestly, I think He’s watching most of the frantic holiday chaos, and saying, “Hey, what about me guys? Ummm, it’s my birthday, but you’ve kind of forgot to invite me to the party.”
I’ll have a white Christmas. There’s been another foot of new snow since yesterday, and more on the way. There are snow berms so high I could be buried alive and hidden until March if the snowplows accidentally scooped me up. (Part of me is hoping this will happen.)
Maybe, just maybe, you hate Christmas too. And that’s okay. You’re not alone.
Maybe you hate Christmas, because it reminds you of the year there was no Christmas Eve dinner, because your bi-polar stepmother didn’t leave her room for several days. You huddled in your car to eat a microwave burrito dinner and share a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream with your brother from the 7-11, because everywhere else was closed.
Maybe you hate Christmas, because it forces you to acknowledge that relationships with living people, especially ones you’re related to, are hard. They can be disappointing. They can be painful or non-existent. Family time can be overwhelming when you throw forced merriment into the equation.
Maybe you hate Christmas, because it reminds you of loss. You miss people you loved to share it with the most.
If this doesn’t ring true with you now, that’s great. You can fa-la-la and deck the halls some more. But, this year, while your busy stuffing your stockings, take a moment to look in the eyes of the people around you. Acknowledge that though you may think that “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”, but not everyone else does.
It may not mean that someone is a Grinch or a Scrooge. Maybe, they love Jesus, but just hate Christmas.
Genealogy Jen’s challenge of the week – Look for someone who needs a little extra TLC this week, and give it to them in the form of a delicious baked good, hug or your time.