Christmas is right around the corner, except not really. Still, the Christmas season has somehow been beating us over the head for an entire month already. It really is time someone put this rampant Christmas addiction in check.
They say, “Christmas comes but once a year,” and within the most literal confines of this statement, it’s true. However, when people are busting out the coloured lights and Mariah Carey Christmas album before the leaves have even finished turning, you’d never know it.
The rampant consumerism of Christmas doesn’t even play a role in my dislike. The way I see it, materialism is like the wind: it blows, but there’s not much you can do about it. So I try not to get too riled up over it.
What does gut me is the veneer of sentimental yuletide fluff on everything I encounter. People just love to deck your halls whenever they can, so much so that when they don’t get the Christmas cheer fix they feel entitled to, they flip.
When Starbucks took the holiday imagery off of their beloved red cups in November, it caused a social media firestorm — almost as if you can’t enjoy coffee or Christmas if the cup doesn’t bombard you with season’s greetings.
Similarly, Saskatoon has become centre to an annual debate about whether city buses should read “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” For my money, the best solution seems to be not having the buses read anything.
The reason for my bitterness is that I don’t need a bus to tell me how to feel. By that same token, if my coffee doesn’t remind me that it’s the most wonderful time of the year, I’m not going to lose my sense of time or feel robbed of the holiday spirit.
The season just drags on forever too. When two whole months of the year — about 17 per cent or so — is treated as the Christmas season, it’s actually not a special time of year whatsoever.
We’ve all got that one friend who makes their birthday into a week long hooplah. It’s terrible. Christmas is even more insufferable than that. I mean think about it: up until you finish grade 12, two months is your whole summer vacation. It’s a hell of a long time — too long to spend worshipping at the throne of Santa Claus.
It’s not an original basis for criticism, but when Christmas With the Kranks is on TV before you’ve even had a chance to get your poppy for Remembrance Day, more than one thing in the universe has gone horribly wrong.
What a hellish two months it is too. From home to school to work, Christmas imagery stalks you wherever you go. You can’t set foot in a store without hearing Michael Bublé or someone equally as gag-inducing belting out some holly jolly garbage, you can’t turn on a TV or open a newspaper without getting swallowed into a void of Christmas advertisements — and God help you if you don’t like peppermint.
You can call me Scrooge or the Grinch all you want, because I am. I really, really am. I think we would all do well to pump the brakes a bit on our feverish worship of all things Christmas themed.
To be fair, there are obviously a number of other holidays in the month of December, so it doesn’t have to be all Christmas’ fault, but Coca-Cola doesn’t decorate their cans with dreidels and menorahs and your workplace hasn’t been droning on and on with Kwanzaa music since two days after Halloween.
On that point, it’s also worth noting that my gripes with Christmas have no basis in religious convictions either. Still though, for a holiday that many now view as being detached from its Christian origins, a lot of people sure seem to treat Christmas like it’s a religion in itself.
While I am almost certain to get a lump of coal in my stocking this year, it’s worth it for getting all this off my chest — and who knows? Maybe this will be the year Santa finally brings me a heart.
Image: Jeremy Britz / Graphics Editor