So I wound up going to that depressing depression meeting I saw advertised at Hillhurst United Church and I was not let down. It was pretty depressing. Most of these people shared my own woes about Christmas’ commercialization and extravagance. They just implied it in different ways through their stories. The first thing that caught my attention was –me. I was the youngest person among all these “elderly” people and it got me thinking, aren’t these people old enough to not let Christmas bother them? The meeting featured everyone sharing stories in small groups, and then offering advice to the entire group. This was where I did most of the talking because these people baffled me.
Before I get to the most interesting part of the workshop, I want to tell you a sad story an elderly couple in my group shared. When everyone else was lamenting about presents, money and dealing with their annoying relatives during Christmas time, this couple’s main concern was that they couldn’t spend the holidays with their family. This hit me hard because it reminded me of how I’ve never really celebrated Christmas with my family. Even though my parents were present, they didn’t really believe…well, my dad didn’t really believe in Christmas. So, it was just a normal day for us.
Despite the fact that I was the youngest one there, I held nothing back as I snapped at these total strangers (the pastor could barely get a word in). It was a bit of an awkward situation, since I was much younger that the rest of the people, and I found myself offering the same advice that my parents had given me all these years. I basically told them to shut up, stop worrying about worthless presents and have a good dinner with their families. Didn’t they understand how fortunate they were to even have a roof over their head, and someone to celebrate their holiday with? Christmas isn’t about spending loads of money on worthless gifts. It’s about intimacy- we’re supposed to reflect on the lives and share memories with our family.
When I finally calmed down, the pastor gave some tips on how to deal with the Christmas blues, but I was too pissed to decode what he was saying. I think he said something about sticking to your budget while buying gifts so you don’t end up in debt while I muttered to myself how we shouldn’t have to bother about gift giving in the first place. I left the meeting feeling a bit let down. I had spent the evening rolling my eyes at most of these people’s problems, and now I am ending the evening the same way I end most. Sharing with you dear reader,
Another reason why I hate Christmas.