Day 5: Depression Seminar

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.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Day 4: Date Night

Tonight was date night with Cindy, and I took great measures to ensure a romantic evening. I planned a dinner at one of Kensington’s swankiest restaurants, The Vero Bistro Moderne, which boasts a $$$ classification on Urban Spoon, so I expected a purging of my wallet. I even decided to take Cindy to Zoo Lights, which I know will please her out of control Christmas spirit, despite the severe danger it could be to my disgruntled spirit. So, how did it go?

So I figured I would start off the date by appeasing Cindy with a nice gift. Since I know Cindy is a Christmas fanatic, I bought her a Christmas ornament that had caught my eye. Should it matter that the ornament was from the dollar store? It’s the thought that counts right? She was thrilled when she opened it, so our date was off to a good start.

I picked up Cindy and we headed to the restaurant for our 6 o’clock reservation. A benefit to having dinner in Kensington was that I did not have to concern myself with parking since I live there. With an array of mouthwatering (and pricey) entrees on the menu, I was surprised when Cindy chose her usual salad meal. She made up for this by picking the most expensive glass of champagne. As we finished off our meals, the waitress exchanged our plates with a bill. I reached for my wallet, and when I felt myself reaching for air, my heart dropped to somewhere below my navel. Breaking it to Cindy that she had to be the one to pay for this meal was no walk in the park, it was more like running from a masked killer. Another benefit of having dinner in Kensington? I could just run home and get my wallet, while cursing myself along the way.

I was ready to make up for dinner by putting on my most pleasant demeanor for Zoo Lights. Before heading to this merry event, we stopped off at Starbucks so I could grab some of their Christmas drinks. This instantly cheered up Cindy, as she seems to gain a childlike sense of wonder as she cradles those silly red cups. We got to the zoo, and I was treated to the disturbing parade of couples who were cuddling in public. I could sense Cindy’s anticipation, so I held her hand. It was a bad idea, because when I slipped on the large patch of ice, I dragged Cindy down with me. We hit the ground hard, and had showers of Peppermint Mocha and Caramel Brule Latte rain down on us. The night was definitely cut short at that point, a mere 20 minutes into Zoo Lights. I dropped Cindy off, and then decided to wallow in my self-misery by purchasing an ice-cream sandwich at the convenience store. When walking back to my apartment a sign outside the Hillhurst United Church caught my eye: there’s going to be a depression session about Christmas happening next week.

I’m seriously considering going to it.

And that’s another reason why I hate Christmas

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Day 3: Dreadful Decorations

At this late hour I sit in my girlfriend Cindy’s living room, unable to sleep. I’m surrounded by tacky Christmas decorations, and my entire body aches. I can still hear jingle bells ringing in my ear after having it blasted at me all day. I look around at all the decorations that cover the room, recalling every painful moment I had getting them up there. It’s snowing outside, and Cindy is sleeping like a log upstairs.

I spent the entire day helping my delightfully insane girlfriend decorate her house. In October. At this point I don’t think anyone can accuse me of being a Scrooge, because I’m pretty sure Santa Claus himself would flip a lid if he realized some idiot was decorating their house a full two months before Christmas.

When I arrived at Cindy’s house this morning, she told me with a smile that she had a great idea for how we could spend our day. As usual, Cindy failed to register how her perception of “great” is completely different from mine. So when she announced like a maniacal elf that we would be decorating her house for Christmas I let an audible groan slip from my mouth. I instantly registered her furrowed eye brow and fading smile. It’s a credit to my girlfriend that she can instantly make me feel terrible for something I said. So I apologized profusely, and agreed to stick around and help her out.

It started out with her saying she just wanted to get her lights up early, but it quickly escalated. “Since we have the boxes out, we might as well get the tree up”. Eventually, she was prancing around me putting up garlands of holly, while singing loudly along with the Christmas music she blared. She occasionally acknowledged my discontent by encouraging me to have more fun, and saying “this is what Christmas is all about”. I fought the urge to pull a Linus and tell her that this totally wasn’t what Christmas was about, but I held my tongue and tried to perk up while I hung up her dusty decorations around the house.

The whole time I thought about how I had been frequently disappointed by Christmas in the past, how family fights, stupid gifts and strained relationships had tainted my view on the holiday. And I wondered why Cindy would ask me to decorate her house, when she already knew all this. It made her boundless joy seem terribly ignorant. It was a quality I was starting to notice in Cindy that made me uncomfortable.

After starting at 10:00 AM, we finally finished the dreadful decorating by 11:00 PM. Cindy kissed me under the mistletoe- a short reprieve from the painful experience that day. I took a shower and got out to find Cindy already fast asleep. I tried to go to sleep for about an hour, but I couldn’t get my mind calmed down enough to do so.

So here I am dear reader, sharing with you once more my frustrations with this holiday. Can you honestly blame me?

That’s another reason why I hate Christmas.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Day 2: Christmas Music

My neighbors are still playing the freaking music. The Christmas music. In October. Now, October is a fine month. It’s filled with great things, like Thanksgiving and Halloween. I get to stuff my face, and watch girls parade around in cat-themed lingerie used as Halloween costumes. Really, it’s a great month, and I’m sure most men would agree with me. If not, they are probably lying.

So here I am, in the middle of one of my favorite months of the year, and it’s being wrecked by Christmas. In the middle of this fine month, my manager feels the need to start adding Christmas music to the store’s playlist. Not only do I hate the place I work at already, but they now feel the need to torture us by starting the Christmas Music!!! Now, I’m not one to complain for no reason, but I’m pretty sure Christmas music before Halloween is reason enough.

So what is it about Christmas music that gets on my nerves? In a word, repetition. Because it’s hard to get annoyed at something that you only encounter once. But if you have to suffer it over and over and over and over again, you might just get what I’m talking about.

Now, Wonderful Christmas Time is a great song, and Paul McCartney is great singer. But if you had listened to THAT song in excess of 5 times over the course of one day, then you would be haunted by that twangy synthesizer, as it slowly drives you mad.

My neighbors have their house decked out in Halloween decorations, and yet just the other day, I saw them hauling their Christmas decorations out of the garage. What kind of sick joke is this? Am I in danger of having Christmas take up the last three months of the calendar, erasing all the lingerie-clad revelry and aforementioned mouth stuffing?

If I get my hands on the guy making the song choices in my store, and in the malls everywhere, there’s a good chance I’ll hold him hostage till he sets things straight. Maybe I’ll tie him to his chair with sparkly, itchy Christmas garlands. And play him Wonderful Christmas Time 30 times in a row. How’s that for Christmas cheer. Asshole.

And that’s another reason why I hate Christmas.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Day 1: Christmas is dead to me….

Christmas is dead to me…

While the majority may think this is the best holiday of the year, I tend to disagree.

I hate Christmas.  Call me a Grinch or a Scrooge but it’s the truth.

I.

HATE.

CHRISTMAS.

I was at the mall this afternoon, and as I passed the Build-A-Bear workshop, I saw my father for the first time in 10 years. My father left me and my mom when I was twelve. Prior to his leaving, my father was a strict man. He never really saw the point of the “traditional” western Christmas. He encouraged me to be prudent, save money and work hard. In short, Christmas at my house was just another day. Once he left, my mom started to celebrate it with me. But my mother was a woman of high moral standard. She saw the real purpose of Christmas and the need to love one another. She took me to volunteer at homeless shelters and Feed the Hungry events. My experience with this season has always been subdued, and I soon grew to be astounded by how most people celebrate it.

My father was at Build-A-Bear with my two step sisters. That I have never met before. And as I looked over at them, I overheard their conversation. I heard one of the girls beg my father for a teddy bear that was overpriced. She said she wanted it as a Christmas gift. And I was shocked when my father willingly obliged. Who was this man that was so bizarrely joyful? How could he so hypocritically buy into the same nonsense he had criticized?

Christmas is a pompous, extravagant holiday filled with greed, commercialism, unmet expectations, annoying Christmas music that makes my ears bleed, tacky Christmas decorations, awkward dinner parties, drunken work parties, crowded airports, family fights and don’t even try to give me the Jesus was born BS because he was born in April… NOT December.

This is a season when emotions run high. I guess my emotions are starting to boil over. I can’t take another month of vapid smiles, and fake “cheer.” So this year I will take all of my cynicism towards this Christmas holiday and share it with you, dear reader.

I wish I could boycott the whole damn thing.

In the next coming weeks, I am going to have to submit myself to the torturous traditions of this holiday. Take buying gifts for instance.

This holiday is such a marketing scam to get people to buy crap that they don’t need, for people who don’t really appreciate it and just end up re-gifting it to some poor sap next year, just to make yourself feel like you are giving something to others to show them you ‘love them.’

Since when does love need to be associated with a gift???

“It’s a time to celebrate!” People exclaim.

What’s there to celebrate?

Celebrate the amount of debt I go into to buy gifts for people? Do we, in this industrialized Western population NEED all this STUFF????

Tis the season to relive the 12 Hates of Christmas.

Oh by the way, the tenants upstairs have picked this opportune moment to start playing their Christmas music.

This is why I hate Christmas…..

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment