Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holiday Haters

Dear Answer Phone:
Christmas is a time of warmth and sharing. When family and friends gather together and speak freely of their love. Why do some people hate it so much?

People who hate Christmas are either smart, faithless, or a combination of the two. Christmas, and all wintry holidays, share a primeval focus
on togetherness. As the weather gets inclimate, the human soul turns to hearth and home. We must bundle up together and share resources to survive.

We need to put the chains on, go save the girlfriend's sister, the girlfriend's sister's boyfriend, and their two dogs from their snowbound one bedroom apartment, stock up the fridge, and hope the cognac supply holds out until the next thaw.

We need to pop down the front stairs with our shovels in hand to dig out neighbors that we have lived next to for years but never even so much as nodded hello to.

We need to alternate our anxiety attacks so someone is capable of providing comfort and reassurance at any time.

At the end of it, when you are splayed out across cushions with a nice buzz and are trying to goad anyone into playing your new electric shock-inducing game, it feels pretty good.

However, 15 days before, when you really should be trying to think of the perfect gift and fetching it in the crowded mall, when you are scanning two week forecasts hoping that a tropical storm melts all the snow between here and your hometown, when you realize that you have double booked yourself for holiday parties and have had to give all your good wine away as presents, it all seems so impossible. The faithless do not believe that everything is going to happen in the correct order and you will find yourself spending Christmas eve huddled in the cab of a tow truck with your iced fingers jammed into the heater vent.

The smart Christmas-hater looks down at the requirements in time, money, and ability to tolerate difficult relatives. They compute that the costs severely outweigh the benefit. Sans the electric light-bound foliage and treacherous travel, we can have ourselves some fine togetherness. And perhaps June would be a better month for the entire population of the United States to drive to the airport to switch coasts for a few days.

Christmas hating is not endemic to all smart or faithless folk, but it does indicate the presence of one of the two conditions.

1 comment:

  1. In your next followup, I'd appreciate a treatment of this question: Why do we go to such pains to decorate the outside of our homes when the weather is the worst and there are fewer people out and about to enjoy it? I suppose this is upper-USA-lattitude specific, but it's still a large question.
    And I note it's not just decorating "Christmas." Our neighborhood has one house bereft of any linear lumens but sporting two bulbous snowpersons, continuously inflated and illuminated, humming away 24/7.