I used to absolutely LOVE Christmas. I mean loved it. In college I decorated our room with lights, got a miniature Christmas tree, wore a Santa hat, and ate cut-out cookies. We actually made Christmas cards for people on the team (they were sarcastic, back-handed compliment cards, but it's the thought that counts). We had a Christmas tree in our house and we weren't even there five days before or after the actual day. Now, I sit here in my house with not even one decoration. No lights, no tree, no stockings, nothing.
As I try to figure out this jading, I realize that it doesn't even feel like tomorrow is Christmas Eve Day. The anticipation that I felt as a child is replaced by this dread of visiting relatives, and retelling my the career path and objectives and aspirations over and over and over again to relatives who will forget and ask again next year. Maybe that's part of it.
Of course some excitement is lost with the magic of the holiday fading away with age, but it's more than that. It's probably a little anti consumerism that I've developed over the years, where I loath every toy commercial, electric shaver ad, and radio ad for diets after the holidays. It has alot to do with the weather I'm sure. I've come to despise the bitter cold and worse, snow. It's my most feared four-letter word.
In the end, its probably a combination of the weather and the consumerism that puts me off. I hate having the crazy traffic of every toy-crazed, fucking soccer mom in her SUV 8000 that could slide over me in my cavalier like I wasn't even there. She wouldn't even have noticed that I was stuck to her bumper as she justifies parking in three parking spots because there is a dusting of snow, even though she can't get that oversized refrigerator on hydraulics into the lines in the summer either. I can just imagine her utter indifference at seeing my bumper under hers as she yells at the kids to turn off the DVD player in the back and get the ladder out to load presents into the back.
The only thing that disgusts me more is the thought that there are actually 3 American families out there that don't have family members for this holiday because they were trampled by said soccer moms running to save a few bucks in this tight time. It boggles my mind that in the name of Christmas, utter disregard for human decency was replaced by barbarian-like behavior to get that tickle-my-dick Elmo for little Jimmy.
I will go home and make the best of my Christmas by smiling at my socks and undies and belt and wallet that my mom and dad give me, because I get to see them, hug them, and tell them I love them. I will go drink too many Christmas Ales with my best of friends on Christmas Eve after my family goes to bed, as we have done every year without fail, since 1995: nearly half my life. I have rejected all fanfare of this holiday in order to survive it and enjoy it the way I need to do. I suppose sometime down the road in my life, I will have to make a compromise in my belief to placate my family and possibly kids, but hopefully we will have a happy medium in our family philosophy.
"Body for life" is a mantra my roommate lives by, meaning eat and work out in moderation, and avoid junk during the week, and do what you want on the weekends. "Christmas for life" is the mantra I have developed, avoiding material ridiculousness and crazed holiday banter to enjoya slow day of talking, laughing, and loving the most important people in my life. There is nothing I look forward to more than that. It's the best present I get all year and it's not under the tree. It makes me so happy, I almost want to sing Christmas Carols, almost.