On Friday I posted this selfie on Instagram of myself on Main Street in Downtown Littleton with the caption “I love this time of year!” and I am telling you know that I lied.
I love the lights and pretty decorations. Now that I have new tires and my car is no longer a deathtrap I even like the snow. I like some Christmas music, although I think most of it is overdone, exhausted, and often stupid.
I love Christmas itself. I’m a fan of Jesus and his earthly parents, I like the nativity story, I like going to church, and I like that it’s one of 3 times in the entire year that my whole family will get together despite avoiding each other for the other 362 days of the year.
Christmas itself is great. What I don’t like is Christmastime, the 30-ish days before Christmas Day (Although it keeps getting pushed earlier in the year) and the next two weeks after Christmas.
If you haven’t noticed, every year the radio stations begin to play Christmas music earlier and earlier to try and expand the season so that people will ultimately buy more. Thanksgiving is a little hiccup that gets in the way of 2 months of solid Christmas marketing, and now it’s slowly being erased by becoming a prime day for Christmas shopping. Big retailers start to put out Christmas sections while the Halloween stuff is still out so that people will start to buy Christmas gifts at the same time they’re buying costumes. And people like Christmas and they let this all happen because Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of year and they want to feel that as soon as they can.
This all really bothers me, I don’t have enough money to buy presents for everyone, no one really appreciates my handmade gifts, and I have to pick and choose what parties to go to, who I can afford gifts for, and who I have to leave out because I simply cannot afford to participate in Christmas.
The expense of the holiday season causes many people to work extended hours and get additional jobs to be able to afford it, and anyone who works in retail or food or any frontline job knows that people get particularly shitty this time of year. Which does not make sense because generally people are nicer to each other yet take the time to be emotionally abusive to anyone who is working. These people do not seem to realize that they are the reason we have to work. No one needs Starbucks on Thanksgiving Day,yet it’s open because the people demanded it and because Starbucks can make money on it. (Also, if you’re the kind of person to go shopping or eat out on holidays, for the love of the baby Jesus DO NOT mention how glad you are not to be working to a person that is working. Like, are you even for real?)
Basically, corporations have bought Christmas and are selling it back to us. I have a real problem with that and I’m angry that more people don’t seem to notice or care. Christians tie themselves in knots telling other people to “Keep Christ in Christmas” yet set no example to be Christ-like through the season. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Jesus was not down for capitalism AT ALL. When he saw that there were merchants selling goods in the temple he shut that shit down because he would not allow people to make a profit off of the faith of others. How is the commercialization of Christmas any different? Even if you are not religious, I think the point still stands that Christmas itself is not a product and should not be sold.
I also don’t blame anyone for wanting to go out and buy presents and enjoy this time of year. It should be a joyous time for everyone. I do ask that people reconsider going shopping or going out to restaurants or movie theaters on Christmas Day (or any other major holidays) so that the employees who work on those days will eventually not have to. I ask that people are patient and kind to others all year, and that generosity of spirit isn’t an annual event.