Holiday? Celebrate?

The impending holidays are all a bundle of unrelenting stress...and I'm neither Jewish nor Christian so I should technically not feel any obligation to purchase anything at all or be involved at all. This seemingly hardline stance is made much more difficult by O's constant commentary.

"Santa Claus is going to buy me a Batman and he can get you a
Barbie mommy."

I feel cruel telling him that we don't celebrate Christmas when all he does is answer back, "Well, I think so. I like Christmas."

How do other non-Christmas celebrating parents deal with this? It's not as if the Ayamm-i-ha camel means anything to him at all at this point. Last night, we watched the Charlie Brown Christmas special and he started asking whether or not we were getting a Christmas tree. Obviously, we aren't getting a tree. Toussaint would probably try to climb it and then end up with a few broken bones or something. Not a celebratory vision there, that's for sure.

Then there are the incessant commercials telling me to shop and save while simultaneously ringing in the holidays with a new Lexus or Mercedes. Shouldn't I be getting a new diamond ring or a new fur cape? These wonderful little trinkets are 50% off at Macys. I'd be a fool to not take advantage of such amazing sale prices. Right?

All the thought that is going into this is a little ridiculous since Christmas was originally a pagan festival of the winter solstice, celebrating the soon to return warmth of the spring weather. Then it got absorbed into Christian tradition, then the materialists and consumers took over. Big corporations have encouraged Christmas spending for a hundred years, getting rich off our desire to give a gift that will make the faces of our friends and family light up with joy...and erase all the guilty feelings and hurt that lies beneath the surface facades we present at these holiday get-togethers. Sure, making people happy is great. There's nothing wrong with that. BUT after they open the present, there are still all the remaining issues, like the fact that they drink and smoke too much and the fact that they think you were a spoiled brat when you all were little. None of that gets talked about...but it should at some point.

Every year, E wants to send some token presents to his family...and it is all guilt based. He feels guilty and thinks that if he doesn't send anything, his family will think that it's just another sign of him leaving them behind, being disconnected, and him thinking he's better than they are. He could draw the best piece of cartooning for his nephew C. Even if that were incredibly unique, we all know that C would prefer the piece of mass-produced peice of junk. O would prefer the piece of mass produced junk.

I feel a little hypocritical because I had no problem dressing up for Halloween and then trick-or-treating and decorating the house. Yes, it's certifiable. I'm a fool. Or, as my mother now classifies me, (and anyone related to me) I'm bi-polar. Bi-polar on the holidays! I think I like my self labeling.


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