28 December 2014

Not My Holiday

I've posted before about how I don't do christmas and how I consider thanksgiving to be just another Thursday.  I was glad this year to see Angie at Angie Eats Peace post about how she doesn't celebrate holidays. Because often it feels like I'm the only one.

To me, holidays have come to represent nothing more than absurd, out-of-control consumerism, obligation-fueled-guilt, expectation-induced-disappointment, the depression that those who can't afford or are alone (because we're told it's the worst thing to be alone for the holidays) experience and SO. MUCH. STUFF.  It saddens me greatly to see such an emphasis put on toys when so many are in such great need for basic necessities. 

Just thinking about how many trees were killed to produce the shiny paper used to wrap all those presents...so many of which were not what people wanted or needed but were given because...well...you have to give *something*.  The stress, the expense, the waste...for what?  I mean, really, why do people do it?  The pressure to do enough...be enough...BUY enough...I just don't get it.  Perhaps if more people stood up and said, "Actually, no, I'd rather not. It doesn't bring me joy or happiness.  Honestly, I just want to take a nap (okay, maybe that part's just me!)," we could start a movement away from the madness of it all.

Mind you, I had a great childhood with very happy holidays and there are traditions my family has that I cherish. But from a rather young age I thought it was very excessive and wasteful.  I've tried to convince my mother of this but she still insists on buying far more than we need.  My father has always been on board with me. 

One of my favorite scientists started a firestorm by tweeting,

On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world. Happy Birthday Isaac Newton b. Dec 25, 1642.
Which is true. But apparently sharing the celebration the birth of your deity with a fat man in a red suit who delivers toys (or coal if you didn't behave) is okay but mentioning that the man who discovered the laws of motion, the universal law of gravitation, and invented integral and differential calculus - all of which served as the mechanistic foundation for the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries - was born on that day is somehow egregious.  Seriously, if your religion is so fragile that it can't stand up to a 125 character tweet about Isaac Newton or someone saying they don't celebrate the holiday (which is seen as some sort of world evil based on my experience of expressing my lack of celebration) then ...well...maybe you need to reexamine your faith.  

I'll stick to calling 25 December "just another day" and saving my sanity and bank account the terror that is rampant, senseless consumerism.

How do you feel about the holidays?


  1. Yes. Yes. Yes. I am with you all the way on this! The STUFF sickens me.

  2. Thanksgiving has always been really hard for me. I used to ask my grandmother all the time if we "needed" that extra turkey and why are we making so much food only to throw it away...why? WHY?

    I do like giving presents and we only wrap them in wrapping paper that has already been used at least once (which still isn't great) and/or newspaper. Wrapping paper does make me a bit crazy - think of the trees!

    1. I love giving presents but I can't stand the requirement involved. I want to give someone something because I saw it and thought they'd like it; not because there was an obligation. For years I wrapped in the packing paper from all my moves. Then for a couple years I simply didn't wrap anything. This year I wrapped in newspaper comics.