In the United States, our *traditional Thanksgiving* day holiday has barely come to a close and ALREADY absolutely EVERYTHING I see and read is about Christmas...well, for the Christians, that is. It amuses me to no end when I hear the term "Black Friday" used to describe the absolute horror of glutony *we* Americans engage in the day AFTER Thanksgiving, all in the name of *Christmas*. (Does anyone ELSE see a problem here? When people are in total disregard of their fellow man, trampling them sometimes to the extent of injury, JUST to be first for a consumer bargain of CRAP they probably don't need anyway?!?) I imagine somewhere in the Jewish population, there's been a switch to Hanukkah. And, since *we* really only RECOGNIZE two religions in this country, I suspect the collective *we* thinks *we* have this time of year covered.
Here's the thing. It irritates me when people wish me a "Merry Christmas", making the assumption I celebrate their same tradition/religion. It irritates me when I walk into a store and hear religious Christmas music blaring loudly in the background and I note half the shopping population is dressed in *traditional Muslim* garb, uncomfortably looking around...I imagine it irritates THEM, too! It irritates me when my ears are bombarded with, "Oh, Come All Ye Faithful", music when I'm staring down Christmas Land Santa's Place, where children are lined up to get their pictures taken with some dude who's probable only line of work he can find in this economy is SITTING IN AN OVER-SIZED CHAIR WITH SQUIRMING CHILDREN WHILE PRETENDING TO SMILE FOR A $50.00 OVER-PRICED PORTRAIT! And it REALLY irritates me when I drive by someones home who has both a Nativity Scene neatly lighted in their yard with a blow up SANTA CLAUS on their roof!!!!!! Can *we* please keep our MYTHS and RELIGIONS separate?!? Pick a team already, for...well...Christ's sake!!!
"Ah," so you say to yourself. "BRAINCHEESE is a Scrooge (or anti-Christ, or Atheist, or smoking crack...pick one)."
Oh, quite the contrary, dear reader...quite the contrary. I just don't like being TOLD I have to be merry or happy this time of year. That comes naturally for me. Just like I don't have to have a huge, sickening feast on Thanksgiving to be grateful for all that I have. I generally feel "merry AND happy" all year long...and I don't just reserve *traditional Christmas time* to give gifts or donate to charities. As a matter of fact, I tend to DECREASE my charitable giving during the winter season, choosing to spend my monies and time during those "other" times of year people are less giving...during those times of year the needy are STILL in need...not just at *Christmas*.
It IS true...I DO make a truckload of Grandma Goldie's Holiday Snack Mix for the many work minions I share time with...I oddly, ENJOY this, which is more about honoring the traditions of my Grandmother than honoring a holiday season. And I DO send my niece and nephew gifts in honor of THEIR celebration this time of year. And I DO give an assortment of other items/foods/small donations to friends and acquaintances who celebrate BOTH Christmas and Hanukkah...because I certainly don't want to offend or discount THEIR traditions.
But please...for the love of all things Holy...STOP insisting I somehow be "Merry, Happy, or filled with Joy" this time of year. It's really stealing my inner peace...LOL