Maybe it's just me, but I HATE Christmas. I mean, I just can't stand it. I have to be in town every day as I work there and have to go through to get to college, and I just hate Christmas shopping. It's the time of the year when people are most rude and selfish. People push and fight to get a present just so that they'll get one back. I always walk past people saying "Oh I'll give it to her early so she knows to give me one back". It's horrible and mean.
I don't like the cold because I'm anaemic and there's no way to escape it ever! And it doesn't snow, it just slushes or hails and that's horrible and ugly. I don't like not being able to wear what I want because of the weather - I have a beautiful summer dress which looks silly now.
I don't like the songs and I don't like that they're forced on me. If I hear a song played in a shop, I will leave it. And guess what? They're gonna put some on the music system at my work. Hooray. There's even talk of us wearing Christmas hats, but I'm going to refuse if they do that.
I hate that it's a holiday where people pretend to be nice to each other. It's like it doesn't matter that you're a bastard for 364 days of the year, as long as you buy someone a nice pressie from the Boots 3for2 sale, you're a saint. Why can't we appreciate people all year round? Why do presents have to be for Christmas? And why, for that matter, are people so against the idea of buying anything for yourself in December. Maybe you just want it.
I'm not looking forward to Christmas day as I have to go round my aunt's house. My aunt hates me, always criticises me for dying my hair and for being vegetarian. She makes me cook my own food cause it's too difficult, and I end up not eating anything cause she's cooked it all in meat fat. Oh and I hate roast dinners anyway, especially gravy. I don't like being criticised by someone I never see and being yelled at cause I'm not smiling (even though I am).
And as a Pagan, I have a lot of arguments with people this time of year. Whenever someone claims that Christmas is losing its original meaning, or it's not about Christianity anymore, I just HAVE to point out that it wasn't about Christianity in the first place.
What I just hate about it is that it's forced down your throat and if you don't like it, you're horrible. Is it so wrong that I appreciate my loved ones every day? Or that I don't like stupid songs, or cheap bits of sparkly plastic? Why do I HAVE to feel happy and pretend to like people I don't, when all that's doing is betraying who I am?
Does anyone else feel that way or am I just evil and nasty?
I hate the whole Christmas shopping and greedy side of it. People are so pushy and grumpy on the streets and that's not what Christmas is suppose to be about.
I think the period before Christmas Day is nicer, before everyone starts stressing out about cooking, or that they don't have every single person in the room when someone is opening a present. I've got certain family members who criticize me too. A certain someone asks every year if I've "found a real job yet", and acts really snooty about it - I have been in Uni for the last 4 years and I have been working hard as a journalist, photographer, filmmaker and a variety of other things.
I do like spending Christmas with my close family though, I've appreciated that a lot more since moving away from them. I like fairy lights, snuggling up warm inside while it snows and taking walks, all wrapped up and looking at the Christmas lights and trees in people's windows.
I'm an atheist, so I don't actually celebrate "christmas". I grew up in a catholic family, so I still have the traditions from that, like the food and the presents etc. When I lived back in Ireland, I hated being dragged around all the relatives houses and being made go to church. Since I was 16 I have worked in retail, so I have seen it all, people do be so rude and crazy!!!
The worst was in Tesco, the queues were just madness!!
This will be me and the boyfriends 5th christmas away from home and it has been great being able to do it our own way. We basically use it as a time to eat great food and relax. Of course everyone still expects cards and pressies from us, which I don't mind I suppose ;)
I do enjoy this time of year, especially in Iceland were its so dark and cold and cozy indoors
My parents and younger bro and sis are visiting, so this year will be different for us all.
I think a lot of people put a lot of extra pressure on themselves and each other though, it would be nice if it was a lot simpler and less commercial. I suppose we shall just have to try to change it slowly ourselves.
I was wondering outloud why people calling in to my work were being so pushy. It's supposed to be the time of year where we are nicer, remember family, and slow down to appreciate a home cooked meal.
My co-worker pointed out that people are stressed, trying to do everything, and want their presents to already be wrapped and ready to go.
Where is it that you work Eien?
I think the problem is that people have too high expectations and we feel we've got to live up to, or exceed, previous years gifts. People aren't happy with just one gift, they expect multiple gifts that add up to a certain value. The worst thing of all is, it'll just get worse and worse.
I work at a luggage and baby item store. I man the internet and bills for them. I used to also take photos and do photoshop for them for the website. But I hardly do that anymore. It unfortunately developed into yet another customer service job. It's not terrible but I keep ending up dealing with customers in my job which I don't want to do anymore. It got old a couple years ago.
Kati(a member of this site) doesn't like christmas that much either). I actually do like Christmas so you probably wouln't want to read the blog I wrote on it!
I live in Australia so at xmas it's really hot and lots of people go to the beach of christmas day and have BBQ so we can wear our summer dresses! I actually should probably get one for xmas.
I know how people saw xmas is too materialistic but it's only materialistiv if you make it. There are plenty of xmas things you can do that aren't materialistic and it's the best time of year to help out and donate to charities. It's a shame that people get so stressed at xmas and that everyone is so busy but well that's just part of it. I just find it all quite humourous rather than infuriating.
I can totally relate. Until my kid was born I was very anti. But it's hard (at least in the States it is) to escape the grip when you have a kid. So what I try to do is "take the christ out of christmas" so to speak ... partaking in and explaining where the traditions really come from, and why people all over the world, or the Northern Hemisphere at least, like to have a celebratory time of togetherness and sharing before the worst dregs of winter hit. And maybe I'm getting soft in my old age, but I kind of see the point of that now. But yeah, like you, it really gets under my skin when people talk about "the meaning of christmas" as if it was anything but putting different wrapping on the older traditions.
Thanks for sharing!
Shivi I don't have a problem with people liking Christmas at all! I wish I could, but I don't.
My main thing is that I just don't like that I'm deemed this horrible person for not liking it.
Last Christmas was really hard for me. My dad asked for an air rifle gun, which although it isn't a real gun I still really didn't want him to have, and neither did my mum. He basically said that if my mum didn't get it for him then he'd just get it for himself and be angry at her. He watched us cry over it and just didn't care. Knowing the way I felt, on Christmas Day he kept waving it around and pointing it at people. It got to the point where I just left the room whenenver he made a move to it. I've had a lot of problems with my dad about that gun which have lead to me losing all faith in him. So I guess I still associate Christmas with that. However, I'm getting a bit ranty now. Save it for the blog!
I think if I could spend it with someone I loved, it would be okay. My friend's coming round though to give me an early Yule which should be nice =)
And Eien, I hate working around Christmas too! I work in a clothes store so people are all trying to get outfits for things or rooting round the sale or buying things for other people and it's just horrible
Oh yeah. Working retail during the holidays is hell. I used to work at Barnes & Nobles (big U.S. bookstore chain) and have lots of xmas horror stories.
Now here's something fun that I just stumbled across. Maybe all of you on the other side of the pond know about this, but I didn't:
Tonight is Krampusnacht!
Says the Rotten.com library of the occult:
Krampus is one of those quirky survivals of a pagan tradition that preceded Christianity. Much like Santa himself. Or Jesus. Oops, did I say Jesus? Never mind.
Santa Claus is a Christianization of a handful of traditional winter solstice figures, who morphed into St. Nicholas after the Catholics swarmed into Austria.
Santa was most heavily influenced by the Norse Thor, who had a long white beard and cheerfully rode a flying chariot. The enemy of good in Norse mythology was Loki, a figure usually depicted as falling somewhere in the range between Satan himself and Carrot Top.
Loki was a devil-trickster figure with big horns. (Of course, most Norse gods were wearing horns on their hats if they didn't have them growing out of their heads.) While the noble Thor was a good candidate for transformation into a Christian saint, Loki was not so much. But old gods never die, they just fade away. The lingering afterimage of Loki became part of the template for Krampus.
The tradition is primarily an Austrian thing, although it spread erratically around Europe. There are two takes on Krampus, one being a secular humanist approach and the other being a magic tradition angle. If you put any two Austrians in a room, they'll soon get into an fistfight about which interpretation is correct.
In the secular humanist approach, Krampus and the observation of Krampus traditions are pretty much just the antithesis of Santa Claus. On Dec. 5, the eve of the feast day of St. Nick, Austrians celebrate Krampus by running across the city in grotesque masks and generally scaring children. This is an extension of the good-cop, bad-cop theory. St. Nick makes his rounds on Dec. 6 rewarding all the good little children, a task which is made easy since Krampus has been out the night before, punishing pretty much the same children with a good switching.
In other variations on the theme (and there a lot of variations considering what a relatively small geographical area we're talking about here), Krampus is one of Santa's minions, who follows along obediently passing out presents or switches depending on the moral turpitude of the child in question. Presumably, this would make the pointy-eared Krampus kind of the template for Santa's elves in later Rankin-Bass productions, but the jury is still out among the scholarly community on this subject.
Then, all the adults go out and gets drunk, and much hilarity ensues.
The other interpretation of Krampus is more mystical. Under this theory, people dress up in the hideous masks of Krampus in order to scare off evil spirits. ...
The Krampus masks benefit from being particularly grotesque, or to be more accurate, stupid-looking. Let's just say Hindus have a better aesthetic sense than Austrians. Krampus masks suffer from the silliness of the whole Christian devil image, but occasionally he's presented as passably scary looking. Especially if you're eight years old. ...
One of the relative benefits of paganism over Christianity is that paganism usually has holidays devoted to wild orgiastic excess. The Celts indulged in this behavior around Easter, which led to the adoption of the Easter bunny as mascot for the Christian version. Austrians liked to keep warm during those cold winter months, if you catch my drift.
Once the Christians criminalized orgiastic excess, the Krampus-fertility nexus evolved into more of a taboo-stalker kind of scenario, in which the devilish figure, traditionally depicted with a swollen foot-long red tongue, malevolently thrusts himself on nubile women who are eternally "protesting" his advances. But not protesting too much. After all, he had a foot-long red tongue.
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For more see: http://www.rotten.com/library/occult/deviltry/krampus/
That last line was the funniest thing I've read in AGES.
That's so beautiful =)
Haha Loki was the guy who owned the mask that took over Jim Carrey in The Mask!
I love hearing about the different traditions around the world! Sounds like fun, for the adults anyhow ;)
Over here in Iceland they have some mad things going on too.
The Yule Lads, or Yulemen, (Icelandic: jólasveinarnir) are the Icelandic santa clauses. Their number has varied throughout the ages, but currently there are considered to be thirteen.
The Yule Lads were originally considered to be very bad news - they were pranksters that tortured the farmers, as can be seen from their names.
The Yule Lads are said to be the sons of Grýla and Leppalúði, vicious trolls that live in the mountains. Grýla is ancient - her name is even mentioned in Snorri Sturluson's thirteenth century Edda. Grýla is said to wander down from the mountains in search of children that she puts in her sack. Grýla is definitely the dominant member in the relationship and generally considered more terrifying - even sometimes said to have hooves and a tail. Another prominent member of the family is the Yuletide Cat, a beast much feared by children. It was said that the cat would eat any child that didn't get a new article of clothing in time for Christmas. This belief lingers in the Icelandic language in the form a saying: "You don't want to go to the Yuletide Cat."
In modern times the Yule Lads have taken on a more benevolent role as they slowly merge with Santa Claus. In some cases they have taken up his costume, and nowadays little children in Iceland place their shoes in the window for thirteen days prior to Christmas, and each night a little gift is left in the shoe from the Yule Lad that came down from the mountains that night. If the children are however naughty the get a potato instead of a gift.
Go to the link to read all their crazy names lol
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