Saturday, December 18, 2010


I think too many people expect "Christmas" to have some sort of profound effect on people as if the day has some sort of intrinsic spirit, when it is just another day, and the only "spirit" the day can have is a direct reflection of the spirit we give it. But having fostered completely unrealistic expectations people end up pissed off and disheartened that "everyone" is still exactly what and how and who they were throughout the year.

Here is my advice on Christmas... Use the day and the season to celebrate those people who you value. Don't worry about all of mankind... we are not all in this together. We are all individuals and as individuals we have to make rational value judgments about the people in our lives. That means the ones you deal with every day, your loved ones as well as that "idiot" that bumped into you without an apology when you were shopping.

Remember, you will have no more in common with the drug addled thief downtown on Dec 25th than you did for the rest of the year, and just because its Christmas it does not mean that his evil actions deserve to be forgiven, nor conversely do they become more evil because of the season.

It's Christmas. Buy something nice for someone nice, spend time with the people you love. Be good to yourself.

You want to know the best part about that idea? If everyone did it, if everyone rationally and selfishly chose to celebrate the people and things in their own lives that made life worth living (every day and all year) then there really would be peace on earth, and we'd get it without anyone telling us the way we got it was wrong or evil.


Jenn Casey said...

I used to hate the holidays--I felt stressed out and burdened by obligations (Christmas cards, gifts, etc).

My mistake was in viewing Christmas as a self-sacrificial duty to my family and friends.

I read a book called Unplugging the Christmas Machine and while I don't agree with some if it, the basic message I took from it was--make the holidays about what YOU want. Do only the things YOU want to do. In other words, be selfish.

Once I did that, I began to enjoy the holidays again. And then we had kids and it became even more fun! I'm glad I got this straightened out before the kids came though--I'd hate to be grumpy about the holidays and full of the feeling of duty to others in front of my kids. Instead, I'm teaching them to be selfish about the holidays, too!

HaynesBE said...

Nice post. Thanks for writing it---and thanks to Jenn for sharing it.

Zip said...

Thanks Haynes and thanks Jenn for reposting.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

It is not in my tradition to celebrate Christmas. And so, being a non-celebrator--I couldn't help but notice that I enjoy this time of year more than many celebrators do. I like the lights and the excitement of the children and the special greetings, and I enjoy them because I feel no obligations toward the day at all. I just let the zaniness and fun in!