Editor's Note: Under the Tree

Under the Tree

"I am finding myself having, for the first time ever, negative feelings toward the holidays. Instead of searching out the radio stations that have gone All-Holiday, All the Time, I find myself skipping them. I see holiday decorations popping up, and I grumble. In short, I am something of a Bah Humbug this year. These things happen."

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Believe me, friend, you're not the only one already sick of Christmas. I haven't been "big" on the holiday for years (I don't buy or want gifts, just send a card or two) but lately I'm just rolling my eyes at every commercial.

The retail industry (in which I am employed) can blame itself for a good portion of these bad feelings. Why? Because they keep foisting Christmas on us earlier and earlier every year. This year my workplace played "Silver Bells" on October 10th. OCTOBER TENTH! How long before we're hearing some washed-up singer's rockabilly version of "Silent Night" on July 5th? "Remember, only one hundred and sixty-two shopping days until Christmas!" This insistence on getting us in "the holiday spirit" before we've even packed up the shorts and sandals is doing a lot to burn people out on the whole thing.

But hey. That's just one antisocial misanthrope talking. ;)

I'm not sick of Christmas, I'm just sick of the "holiday season," if that makes sense.

Definitely. That's where I was. I just wasn't feeling the Christmas/holiday spirit yet, and the fact that every mall, radio station, TV commercial was throwing it in my face made me ill-tempered.

I just needed some friends and family to remind me of the Real holiday meaning, and I was set.

It really seems that the whole US here is heading for emotional depression. Either that or it's just me seeing things as I feel. It's pretty normal for me to get a down-turn in my emotional well-being starting in about October and reaching nihilist proportions in late November or early December. Holiday blues maybe? I dunno.

I agree with everybody that I hate the absolute commercialism of this time of year. Black Friday? Cyber Monday? How about the Overhyped Great American Shopping Orgy instead? And then there's the insinuation that these purchases should be the thing that gives us great joy. The commercial that comes to mind is that Best Buy one where the girl's talking about how much she hates her parents for not letting her get piercings or a tattoo or whatever then instantly reverses her stance as soon as she sees a gift in her father's hands outside with a Best Buy tag on it.

Anyway, I'm rambling so I'll cut it off here.

Is it just me or does the christmas spirit consist mostly of anger, stress and general hostility towards your fellow man? The only enjoyable part is (usually) the food that you've painstakingly made and stocked under great duress and quite a bit of growling towards other family members. Getting gifts from people who have no idea what you'd like or, even more likely, don't care is just awkward (mainly because the same goes for you towards them). Christmas music is generally garbage. How many more remakes of the "classic" christmas songs do we actually need? Some originality wouldn't hurt. The only record I can genuinely enjoy now is a jazz/folk music interpretation that sort of approaches a true feeling of calm and peace and... Oops, got positive there for a moment ~~

I'm just glad I don't live in the US so I don't have to deal with the political/religious bullshit concerning the merry christmas/happy holidays-thing. : /

I lost it a little bit this year when the stores switched to Christmas decorations *two* weeks *before* Halloween. This is exiting ridiculous and entering into the darkly comic.

I have to agree with the sentiment of this thread: the main problem is that the "holiday season" has been starting earlier and earlier. I've been drinking Cokes out of their holiday cans since mid-October. Wal-Mart and a few other places tried to make an "early Black Friday" around mid-November, not realizing that the reason Black Friday ever worked was because everyone was off work and sick of their family and just went shopping instead.

I just avoid it, but I'm Jewish so I can get away with it for the most part.

I lost it a little bit this year when the stores switched to Christmas decorations *two* weeks *before* Halloween. This is exiting ridiculous and entering into the darkly comic.

Damn. I thought it was bad when I saw my local mall putting up a Christmas tree on Halloween day.

Anyway, yeah, the commercialization is pretty bad, which is why I'm looking forward to this movie: http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/whatwouldjesusbuy/trailer/

Unfortunately, I somehow doubt that will become nearly as big as Super Size Me or any piece of trash by Michael Moore.

As for the holiday spirit, I've always loved the true idea of Christmas. I even like the gift giving when the gift is a genuine surprise (which is harder in my family now that everyone lives apart and doesn't know what other people already have). The only time I got something from my grandparents I didn't ask for was when I was a little kid, and my grandparents got me Mario Paint. They must've been looking in video games since I ALWAYS asked for video games, and when they spotted that and knew that I also loved to draw, it must've just clicked: "This would be perfect: his two hobbies in one". That's probably my favorite Christmas present from them simply because it was a genuine surprise that showed they knew me.

Unfortunately, the biggest problem with the holidays now is my family can't celebrate one without an argument. I hope things can be different if I get my own family one day, so holidays can feel like what they're supposed to.

Since we don't have snow here, and people don't care about christmas that much, and since all we get is the business side of the whole international Santa Claus movement, I feel safe. :/
That said, when I move to England, which I do from time to time, the way the whole country is involved in the holiday affairs is so baffling, it looks like the government has spent half of the yearly overall budget on christmas decor alone.
Makes me want to enjoy the sort of spirit and stay on the other side of the channel for the month, while for you, it looks like it's all about saturation and you seem to be asking for less.


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