Skip to content

Guest Post from my Younger Self 2: Why I Hate Holidays

October 24, 2012

Why I hate holidays

Posted on January 1, 2011

There’s a line in Scarface that I love that goes, “Every day above ground is a good day.” If you’re more hippielike you may prefer the classic, “Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a dream, today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.” Yes, it’s almost unbearably cheesy, but it still gives me chills. It helps that I hear the voice of an endearing elderly tortoise saying it.

So when it comes to the holidays, ANY holiday, and any not nationally recognised “special” day such as birthdays and anniversaries, I really don’t see why people make a fuss. Well, I do, but I don’t like it, because to me, every day is equally special. Why would you wait to give someone a gift you know they’ll like, just because it’s not the right date?

Here’s the best example I know to illustrate my point. Father’s Day. He was in hospital, as a result of cancer that proved to be terminal. I knew two things: he disliked having facial hair, and he was two weak to hold a razor. I bought him a rechargable shaver. My mother told me to give it to him for father’s day. I gave it to him when I got it because I wanted him to have it, it was something he could use immediately.

He thanked me for it, and got rid of the beard he’d grown through not being strong enough to shave.

He died two weeks before father’s day. If I’d waited for one special day, I would never have shared that moment with him, seen that smile, felt that gratitude.

It’s an extreme example, perhaps, but it doesn’t change the fact that this moment should be shared. We may not have cancer, but that doesn’t mean we’re guaranteed to make it to our next birthday, or Christmas, or Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day in particular annoys me, because couples should express their love EVERY day, but having a day set for that allows couples to get complacent because they know they can make a little effort “on the day,” and that gets them off the hook for a while, at least until their anniversary (where the same should be the case.)

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are good examples too. People leave it until then to make new year’s resolutions. But the point of power, where you can make decisions and change your life course, is right now, this moment. Why wait until two weeks away to decide to lose weight?

Especially if you’re like most people and cram crap food into your face every Christmas. (That may sound condescending, but I include myself in that group.) Yes that’s enjoyable, but if you made the decision to watch what you eat from now on, on, say, December 10th, you’ll be in much better shape before Christmas, and if you did eat too much, you’d regain some weight and be back where you started perhaps, but that’s still better than putting on more than you started with and having to repair that damage. Besides which it will get you in better habits to give you a better chance of succeeding with your resolutions.

As for Christmas, I prefer to give people things “just because” throughout the year. If I know someone wants a certain thing and I can give it to them, I do. I don’t care if it’s the week before Christmas, if I can find them something else for the day I’ll give them this thing now, just because. I only give gifts on the day at all because it’s a social norm and feelings will be hurt if I didn’t, but I make it clear to my friends it’s unnecessary they get me anything. I don’t tell them not to because some people enjoy giving and appreciate the excuse of a birthday or Christmas, and that’s fine, I love giving too. Problems arise when people feel obligated and get things that aren’t thought through or with no effort, just tokens for the sake of giving SOMETHING. That, to me, is against the spirit of things like Christmas, and giving gifts in general. It’s meant to be a GIFT, not just a THING. So perhaps that radio bottle opener you saw at the petrol station on the way over isn’t such a great idea.

Another thing about a set day is pressure. I’m unemployed, so it’s easy for me to complain about this I guess, I do appreciate that it’s the only time almost everyone is off work, but the stress in a household if you put too much pressure on making it a perfect day can ruin the day. My mother stressing and shouting put me off eating dinner, so I explained this and made to leave, which sparked a huge row. The same happens almost every Christmas. On the 19th however, my girlfriend (I told you I don’t shut up about you, hon) came over and we had an early Christmas because she was going abroad on the 22nd, so we gave her the gifts we got her, she gave me what she got me, and I suggested we do Christmas there and then, properly. The mood was very positive, the energy was good, but my mother said no, it’s not the right day. The real Christmas came along and because she was so stressed it was a disaster.

So don’t call me a grinch for not getting in the Christmas spirit. That annoys me because in my mind it suggests that I’m actively trying to bring everyone else down, something my mother accuses me of every year, which is not the case at all. Of course, it also suggests I’ll eventually come around, but I’ve already tried that and it still collapsed like a flan in a cupboard. I simply want nothing to do with holidays, special events, or celebrations.

Celebrate every day, celebrate life. The only exceptions are things like graduations, big job promotions, births, that kind of thing, that actually is a big deal that takes work. I’ll gladly show up with a bottle on those days. Even a funeral to me is worth showing up to more than Christmas, and that doesn’t even make sense to me.

At least there are no decorations.

 

Update: I still can’t read this without choking up. I miss you, Dad.

Advertisements

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: