Wow! Can this AmericaBlog post be true? It’s on the internet, so it must be. Chris in Paris reviewed the literature, and found that studies show that millions of Americans just wish Christmas would go away.
Some 45 percent of those polled said the holiday season brings so much financial pressure, they would prefer to skip it altogether. Almost half said their level of stress related to holiday expenses is high or extremely high.
Knowing that I’m not alone makes me jolly.
My normal way of relating to holidays and religion is, ‘any excuse for a party.’ I really like having time off and celebrating stuff. If I’m too seasonally depressed, tired and broke to want to stand in line at a cash register– please understand me. I’m not saying everyone has to be a Scrooge. In fact, it would not be possible to gather around the Yule log if someone didn’t light the fire. Parties are a good thing, and bless the Ladies and Lords who offer hospitality.
But this compulsory shopping–screw that.
My large family was saved years ago by my sister, who organized us to each pick a family for one gift, instead of running around for hundreds of trinkets. Still, one year I got my oldest brother, and he got me. Two Scrooges face to face. We agreed to skip the present thing altogether, which was the Greatest Christmas Gift of All. I don’t think that will be made into a movie. People might get ideas.
I think the excitement of gifts is a pleasure that begins for most at the age when it’s possible to distinguish the gift from the wrapping, and has passed its peak when one begins to drive.
So delighting children is a winning strategy, college kids not so much, adults– who knows?
If Charles Dickens could come back this season as the Ghost of Social Justice Past, he might bring Discomfort as well as Joy. All that Bob Cratchit was asking for was a day off with his family and enough of a wage to care for Tiny Tim.
Yo. Bob is still fighting for health insurance, and he was probably working at HellMart on Black Friday. If Bob got time-and-a-half thank a Union.
I’ll bet Charles Dickens would not be glorifying the Black Friday rush. He might be pre-Occupied with the Solidarity Economy.
I am not knocking anyone who enjoys shopping, or anyone who looks forward to giving and receiving special gifts at Christmas. There really is a lot of beauty and generosity this time of year, and colored lights are already appearing to grace my neighborhood. It’s not the shopping– it’s the compulsory nature of it.
So would it be a very radical proposal to just say, ‘follow your heart’? Stay warm, be kind, take it easy and have fun.
We Pagans are earth-centered, so we know that these are the dark days. Give yourself and others some slack, because no matter how insulated you are, it’s Winter. It’s okay to hibernate a little. You can’t be blooming all the year. Spring will come in its season.