Every Christmas I become a Grinch.
The holidays being around such an uncomfortable tension. There is an expectation that everyone is cheerful, that romance is in the air, that Christmas is the time to get together and forgive all transgressions etc and it’s just not realistic.
For one, capitalism has corrupted the spirit of the holidays by turning it into a soulless money grab where they sell us the cheerful feelings that we can no longer create on our own. Instead of producing our own, we’re encouraged to outsource it to products. This is also being performed on the backs of low income workers who are required to sacrifice their own holidays so that others can have Starbucks on Christmas morning. (Also, stop shopping on major holidays so eventually corporations stop doing this.)
My personal problems with Christmas go back farther. As materialistic as I am, I prefer simpler Christmasses. I just like going to church and hanging out at home with my family. Now that my family is broken, having us all together is a rarity. It’s even more rare when my family is all together and we are all happy. That basically never happens but I would like that so much more than whatever they’d buy me.]
And I have such a difficult time with gift giving all together. I suck at giving people presents because it’s usually a confrontation with how little I know the people close to me, and how little they know me. And I’m so insecure about the gifts I give. I never feel like they’re good enough and I always feel so off-the-mark.
I do think all the pressure to manufacture a great Christmas is what causes so many people to commit suicide or self harm. Every year it’s a brutal reminder that they are failing at having a “good life,” because the whole Christmas season is a commercial for the ideal happy and secure family. It’s isolating to those who are already isolated. And it’s cold and dark out and people are dicks.
So as a person who is already super unstable, this is not a particularly good time of year for me. Also, mass extinction is happening because of human greed and that’s going to bum me out forever. The greatest Christmas gift will be if everyone takes a stand against big oil. big agro, global warming deniers, Trump and his entire cabinet. Some fun ways to start doing this are to:
-Stop eating meat, or at least eat less. More land is being destroyed for livestock than any other product. The Amazon rainforest is being traded for burgers. If you don’t feel like you can give up meat entirely, start doing meatless mondays or something like that. And when you do buy meat, check to see if it’s coming from an ethical source (grass fed, farm raised opposed to factory farmed, etc.) It’s a little more expensive, but it’s better for you, the animal, and the planet so you can write it off as an investment. I mean, when I buy eggs I buy the $7 certified humane and pasture raised brand because then I know that the chickens each have 140 cubic feet of space, outside time, their beaks and feet aren’t clipped off, and they are treated well. It’s important to me, and I think makes them taste better.
-Recycle and use less plastic. I bought reusable straws at Target for $5 and take them with me everywhere I go so I don’t have to use a throwaway plastic straw. If I ever have to use plasticware, I save it and clean it and use it as much as I can before recycling it. I never buy plastic water bottles and I use reusable cups whenever I get drinks or whatever. Also I don’t go to places that use styrofoam if I can avoid it. (Sad anecdote: I was driving yesterday and saw someone straight up litter in front of me. They opened their passenger door and dropped a wrapper or something. I was so mad I cried and I gave a little honk at them, but was too scared to loud honk because I’m scared they’d shoot me like this guy.)
-Donate to programs that prevent poachers and save endangered species. These aren’t hard to find at all, but if you need a place to start try the WWF.
-When I have the means to do so, I want to get an electric car or hybrid so I can stop bottoming for Big Oil.
-Be aware of products that cause environmental damage. Things like microbeads in facewash are totally worthless and do a lot of damage in the ocean. It’s just a matter of switching to a brand that doesn’t have them. Stuff like that.
This is all just a start, but change truly starts with the plebeians. If everyone gets on board we can really change things.
All that being said, I do love some things about Christmas.
I am pro-Santa. I love that we all enthusiastically participate in perpetuating a lie directed towards kids. Not even being ironic, I like it. The only problem I have with it is that no one has found a way to explain to kids why Santa is totally okay with wealth inequality. Like, why would Santa give wealthy kids so many great presents while poor kids might not get any? I am pro-communist Santa where all kids get the same stuff.
I also love “All I Want for Christmas” by Mariah Carey.