Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Why I Hate Christmas
Yes, the title is real and straight to the point. My explanation isn't meant to gain sympathy, just understanding. I have spent years trying to understand it myself and only now are things coming to light...
Santa never came to my house as a child. I really never believed in him anyway. My mother tried a few times and like a dutiful child, I humored her attempts. Instead of cheer, there was anger and yelling. Instead of feelings of love and joy, there were painful things said and done. I remember not having a real Christmas tree. Instead, we had a "tree" made of Christmas cards from previous years (my mother was creative at least).
By the time I was 12 years old Christmas seemed moot despite the fact we could now afford one. By then it was about the biggest and the best, not about the thought of the gift in the slightest. And Jesus?! Forget it! Oh we had a Nativity but without the Gospel it meant very little to me and I suppose even less to my family.
From age 17 on I was in and out of my house, but mainly living on my own, only coming together for appearances to make it look like we were a "real" family. I was most certainly gone for the holidays. Either because I wanted it that way or because I had been thrown out of the house by the time Christmas came along.
I have been alone on Christmas more times than not. I have been evicted and fired on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or the day after a total of 5 times. Eventually, I gave up. The last time I was evicted I decided to live in my car for six months rather than be thrown out again. (*Note* I must let you know I was never the greatest of tenants and most likely deserved to be evicted. It just all added to my sour attitude).
Even when I finally found the Gospel and how it fit into my life, Christmas was lonely, awkward really. Sometimes I would be invited to other families festivities, but I felt so strange standing around watching these people love and care for one another genuinely and openly. It took three years for me to start feeling comfortable around one particular family, but then I got married and had to start all over with a new family.
Having lived in this truly magical place for the last year has opened my heart to many possibilities...including Christmas. I was feeling the Christmas spirit and happily singing along to the songs when I heard some family traditions shared by a friend. I knew of the hardships and sadness experienced by my friend with regards to their family but their stories of Christmas were happy and joyous, and I felt...ANGRY! I couldn't understand why! I sat and prayed for days trying to understand my feelings when it finally hit me: JEALOUSY!
I was SO jealous to hear of hardships and sadness just to be erased and forgotten for at least one GLORIOUS day: Christmas. I heard stories of groups and individuals secretly or openly giving gifts and trees. Of Christmases that were sure to be doomed by poverty just to be rescued by kind, loving souls. I hadn't had the luxury. No one saved Christmas for us. No one showed us kindness or blessings. The most I remember our family receiving was the annual meat and cheese tray, which later turned to See's candy boxes from an aunt and uncle. These were savored for as long as possible.
I know I could have been more charitable through the years with my attitude toward Christmas and her patrons, but I had too much pain and darkness within me (not having to do with Christmas but more to do with traumatic events in my childhood) to look past the anger and jealousy.
I know and understand Christmas to be more about the Greatest Gift of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ than it is about the retail side of things, but I hadn't been in a place (physically or mentally) to rejoice and celebrate the holiday freely with that in my heart. And to try and blend both the Spiritual side and the temporal side of Christmas has been nearly impossible. For me, at least. I don't think you can blend something you absolutely hate with something that gives you a reason for living, and get something good out of it.
So this year I understand myself better. This year I am truly feeling the Christmas spirit more. Not because someone saved Christmas with presents and food, we were able to do that for ourselves this year thanks to blessings given by our Father in Heaven. Blessings that are too numerous to name. My heart if finally filling with the joy and love the Gospel brings and pushing out all the hate and hurt from years gone by.
This year and all the years to follow, I hope to carry the true spirit of Christmas with me, ALWAYS. I hope it grows and strengthens. I hope to pass this feeling along to everyone I come in contact with. I hope my son never feels the way I did. I hope he understands and knows all the joy, magic, and love this season can bring into so many. I hope to help even just one person erase all the bad in life even for just one magical day.
So, I hope you'll forgive me and my Grinchy ways. I hope you understand just a little bit more of why I was that way. I hope you will love me in spite of my hurt and hate, and know I am trying. It's a lot to hope for, but I think I'm up to the task!
Posted by Unknown at 3:55 PM