Christmas is a time of magic for so many people, but there is a tendency among others to look at the whole holiday as a mess of pointless celebration and meaningless spending. The way they look at the holiday goes further than not celebrating it themselves, they will actually openly sneer at other people for celebrating the holiday. This is unfortunate, because for many people the Christmas holiday is something that allows a real warmth to enter their relations with others. Perhaps ideally that warmth should always be there, but having a reminder of it is no bad thing, surely?
The tendency to be cynical about Christmas is something of a result of the overall increase of cynicism in society. We have a tendency to see things for their price and not for their value. We look for ulterior motives in the simplest of actions, and consider what might have motivated people to carry out a random act of kindness. This is a loss of innocence – and although innocence is something that can be dangerous in too-large doses, it is something that is still desirable in some cases.
If you want to opt out of Christmas yourself, then the likelihood is that you have your reasons for doing so. That is more than fair enough. But the people who spend time laughing at others for having a good time at Christmas are really the ones that are missing out. Is there any harm in taking the excuse to enjoy yourself and show goodwill to all?
When Christmas Gets Hijacked
The Christmas holiday has become somewhat commercialized over the years, to the point where a great many people who claim no religious affiliation and would be insulted if you suggested it to them still celebrate it with great enthusiasm due to the presence of presents. This is understandable, and to be honest the whole festival of Christmas is in place as a result of an earlier pagan festival – so to complain about non-religious people celebrating it would be somewhat misplaced. However, there are some people who take cynical manipulation of Christmas to extreme lengths.
This can be seen in the marketing of some films, books and music releases. You will find that in the weeks following Christmas, the new release list will be somewhat threadbare. This is because the organizations responsible for setting release dates will take the films, books and CDs ready for release and line them up for the stores and cinemas in the run-up to the holidays, when people are more likely to spend their money. After Christmas, when money is in shorter supply, the inevitable result is that the schedules will be barren.
Often, these releases will have nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas. Even this, however, is far more acceptable than crowbarring in a mention of Christmas in the title, the storyline or in one of the songs. Although we may all have accepted that the concept of Christmas has been hijacked, some things should remain sacred. Re-releasing a poorly-selling album with a Christmas carol in the track listing – well, that’s just tacky.
Decking The Halls And Trimming The Trees
Decorations are a major part of Christmas, as we all know. However, there is a tendency among most of us to find the actual act of decorating quite irritating and unpleasant. Not only that, but taking down the decorations when the holiday is over is viewed by many as one of the most depressing pursuits they can think of. Once the decorations are up, it is beautiful to behold, but getting them up there in the first place requires a very patient or persistent individual. For many of us, there is a mounting sense of dread as the time draws near.
Into the attic we go, to find the boxes in which the decorations are stashed. When we take those decorations out of the boxes, we are almost certain to find that the lights are tangled, the tinsel is falling apart and no matter where we look we cannot find the angel. Once everything has been disentangled, trimmed and found, we plug it in and flick the switch, and half the bulbs are not working. By this time, only the most upbeat of celebrants will still be smiling, and everyone else will be suggesting an alternative place for them to stick their angel.
Eventually, it will all be up, and we will look at it and agree that it looks very Christmassy and sweet, and we will let a little bit of light enter our hearts from then until the end of the holiday period. And why do we do this? Because we love Christmas.
Christmas Songs – A Mixed Bag
The moment that most people begin to feel that Christmas is really on its way will be the moment when they are walking through a shopping center and they hear one of their favorite Christmas songs. After that point it is hard to resist the fact that the holidays are coming. For many people however, the Christmas music industry is tantamount to the arms trade or drug dealing – a horrible industry that makes money from rotting people’s brains and spreading anger. Of course, that is just the cynicism talking. Everyone has a favorite Christmas song, even if we are loath to admit it.
What we will generally agree on is that there are certain Christmas songs which, if they were sung at any other time of the year, would be the subject of derision and mocking from everyone. They do not need to be named, because we all know them, and by naming them we will inevitably start to hear them in our heads. And that way lies madness. However, some Christmas songs are actually good, independently of the season.
To say which Christmas songs are good would of course start a new debate. But surely, if you open your mind and your heart, you would have to admit that you have a favorite Christmas song. When you are walking through a shopping center and hear the one that you love, it will mark the beginning of the period where you can allow yourself to get excited about the festivities. But by the end of the Christmas period, you will still probably be sick of it.
Liking Christmas TV – More Difficult Than It Should Be
When it comes to the day, and the presents have been opened, the dinner eaten and a bottle of something strong has been poured there is one more thing to do. Sit down in front of the television and select the TV schedule for the evening. Doing this can lead to some debate, as due to the large numbers of people in the room you will find consensus difficult to reach. But the simple fact of the matter is that we will have to reach a decision, and some people are going to be underwhelmed. This is a Christmas tradition.
Some of the programs on the Christmas schedule are, if we are being honest, absolutely atrocious. Due to the premise of the holiday, we have programs which are filled with Christmas references to the detriment of their usual quality. Instead of the well-crafted jokes, the dramatic scenes and the intelligent characterization, we have poorly-marshalled references to the holidays and saccharine storylines which are supposed to be uplifting but really seem cynical.
Of course, by this time we are usually sated by food, drink and the passive happiness of the day, so we will let it go. We end up enjoying it, no matter how much we might cringe. And even if we feel a little bit disappointed in ourselves the fact is that, in the end, we all enjoy feeling part of a Christmas celebration. And if we don’t, most of us have probably received a few DVDs in our gift haul anyway.
By stevepb from Pixabay