The amount of ads pushing messages of “jolly holidays” and happy families around the blissful Christmas tree or in front of scrumptious meals, the exponential increase in people ordering and buying “stuff”, the extreme sensory overload “eeevery where you go” are indirectly proportional with my “good cheer” at the arrival of “the season”. If I had a choice, I would vote December out of the calendar. Or at least vote it … a regular month of the year.
I get it, the legend says that years and years ago, in a manger … etc. etc. etc. At least the Christian legend goes so. Nice story. I find it highly hypocritical though to demand and fake absolute joy at the thought of something which may or may not have happened (and about which some of us have a completely different story altogether), while at the same time moving our attention away from the obvious reality around us.
December is a “for show” month. We don’t care about refugees all year, heck, we close borders and we give them the evil eye, we forget that there are elderly nobody remembers in homes, kids in orphanages, animals dying of starvation – mostly because we couldn’t truly give a rats’ ass about the environment, we jump at each other’s throats with every chance we get and we struggle to not get lost in a myriad of duties, routines, challenges and false hopes. And all of a sudden, December rolls in and all anguish takes a break (just to come back on January 1st, twice as ugly). All of a sudden, we love each other, we care for the orphans and we buy a puppy, we get gifts for people we otherwise couldn’t care less about, because … “it’s Christmas” and ” ’tis the season to be jolly”. Wow, really?
As a child I can hardly remember jolly Christmases. From the communist times when food and heat were scarce, through the times when something always went wrong on Christmas in my family. Someone got ill, someone ran away from home or was in jail, or on drugs, or had a fight, or … , or … or … And all of this while the world kept blinking their lights at you and insisted in their mad hysteria that you must, by all means, “deck your house” and sing “joy to the world”. And I remember myself buying into these stories and picking even more at my wounds about what was actually going on in my reality – I must be so dysfunctional, I would think, if everyone is celebrating and I am here crying in a corner … . To my 13 year old self I am happy to report, no, you are not dysfunctional, it’s just that everyone fakes it better.
How about we drop the “show” out of December? How about we live it as just another month of the year? Now this means either of two things: that we remember the orphans and the elderly and the sick and the endangered during all months of the year, that we care enough to listen to others and really look at them and see them and simply continue doing this during the last month of the year, or that we just stop pretending to really care just because it’s Christmas.