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Bah Humbug!

December 24, 2008

I hate the holidays.  To anyone who knows me this will not be a surprise.  I think the last time I actually enjoyed a holiday season was 1993–15 years ago–which is saying something.

I like the idea of a giving season, but what I don’t like are the societal obligations put on Americans, in particular, to spend, spend, spend until they are so deep in debt that they can’t dig out…then the credit card company raises your rate to 29.99% and you’re beyond screwed. 

I like giving gifts; I just don’t like being obligated to give gifts, especially to people I don’t like or only see once a year (and there are a couple of people that fall into those categories).  I’d much rather give donations to causes close to my heart or to people in geniune need than spend that money on gift cards and video games. 

This year, the Maryland Food Bank is getting a monetary donation from me.  Food banks can do a lot more with your money than they can with your canned goods.  They can buy a lot more food with your cash than you can.  They use their connections to get that same can of food for $.19 instead of the $.75 you might pay in the grocery store. If I didn’t have to buy/make so many presents this year, the food bank would be getting much more.  I hate that I am forced to spend those much-needed funds on consumerist gifts, especially this year when there are so many in need.

Another reason that I’m such a Scrooge is the glut of time that all of these holiday endeavours eat out of my daily life.  There is no ‘me’ time during the holidays and I am someone who desperately needs ‘me’ time to maintain my sanity. 

I am forced to make a lot of my gifts either through baking or crafting because I am not a rich person and my gift-giving list seems to get longer every year (it’s a whole page long now).  And while I am a very artsy/craftsy person and I tend to enjoy making things, there is something about the rush that takes all of the joy out of creating something to give.  And, to be completely honest, I’m sick of coming up with new ideas.  I’ve given homemade candles, soaps, herbal bath sachets (where I actually grew the herbs the summer prior), jewelry, baskets, herbal oils and vinegars, bath salts, iron-on t-shirt decals with rude sayings (for the nephew for several years running), black bottoms, challah, herb and cheese rolls, shortbread, brioche, truffles, and cookies of all types. 

These gifts are usually well received, but by the time I’ve given them, I’m so exhausted that I don’t really get to enjoy the recipients’ appreciation of them.

Another of the reasons I don’t like the holidays was well put by another holiday-hating blogger that I read regularly so I’ll quote intellectualbabe on this one as she said it so well:

Please refrain from telling me I should be grateful. I’ve discussed this before, but let me bring it up one more time since the “grateful” tends to go hand-in-hand with the whole “How can you hate Chriiiiiiiiistmissssssssss???”. For everything that I do have (friends, roof over head, employment, blah blah blah), there is always going to be a metaphorical hole in my alleged heart that is not going to be filled by friends, roof over head, employment, hobbies, blah blah blah. Platonic love, such as it is, will never satisfy me. Being the wacky asexual sidekick/third wheel doesn’t make me turn cartwheels of glee. I don’t “need” a partner/relationship. I want one. But because of whatever (anonymous commenters like to point out that I’m “angry” and that’s why I’m kryptonite to the male population of the universe), it doesn’t appear to be in the cards. […] I understand that I am not 99.99999 percent of the universe’s bag. I get that. But don’t tell me that I shouldn’t have moments of sadness, that I shouldn’t be a touch resentful, and I shouldn’t be ANGRY that I ain’t feeling too great about being alone. Mind you, I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself, I am able to function, entertain myself, travel alone and I won’t be sitting in the house every weekend and I will make do until I kick off. But I will rage about it and I will raise hell about it until the day I fucking die, and if that’s problematic for you? Tough titty says the kitty. If nothing else, feel free to use me as your own lesson in gratitude. (However, I do charge for the privilege. I have PayPal.)

Amen to that!

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