Friday, November 28, 2008

MUST I Be Happy, Merry, Holly OR Jolly This Time Of Year?!?

I didn't write a *Thanksgiving* post...after glancing at my GoogleReader (but unfortunately NOT having sit down time to truly READ some wonderful MS blogger posts...sigh), it appeared y'all had that topic covered. And KNOW me...I'm not one for writing *traditional* posts. Unless they contain some sort of jolt at the end or the word "poo" in them. I think it is apparent, BRAINCHEESE LOVES to talk about bodily functions. LOL

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



For years and years, I've actually dreaded the holidays. I'm one of those - it doesn't make me smile or jolly, it makes me withdrawn and tearful.

I hated being forced to tell relatives what good things were going on (assuming there were good things going on) in my life. I also despised that an aunt or two would inquire about the boyfriend arena. This was after I had dated (and thought I would marry) a guy from my high school for over four years solid in college. I finally stopped crying during holiday seasons and my relatives finally stopped asking.

But now I'm in a similar situation that with each big day (ie birthday or whatever holiday) I become increasingly sad. For instance, I thought for sure that on or before my 40th birthday that my Sweetie (who has been by my side during and after MS diagnosis) would FINALLY present a ring and pop the question. I was fighting back tears when this apparently WAS NOT on the agenda and I had to smile for our mothers who came to celebrate.

However, this week we (me and Sweetie) broke all traditions and escaped to the beach for four nights. Our Thanksgiving meal was seafood which turned out to be difficult to find since turkey was served at most places. We had a very nice time. But it still was ringless.

It's hard to be 'happy, merry, holly, or jolly' when trying to limit the amount of sadness that could spill over into visible territory due to disappointments.

So with that - I wish you increased amounts of inner peace. Be sure to put some in the freezer so that it's fresh when you need to replenish your supply.


OK, Linda
I realize that I just dumped all over you unintentionally. Or maybe it was intentional so that you might not feel alone in your 'don't tell me what to do or how to feel'-ness. Anyways, you can save that comment for personal enjoyment and laughter or publish it here so that now 'everyone' can see what a [xxxxxx] I am. [fill in the blank] I apologize for dumping and am surprised at the stinkyness of my rant. I'm sorry (I guess).

have myelin said...

Oh for pete's sake! Merry Christmas and send me some of that snack mix Scrooge!

*pout* I still believe in Santa.

I saw him with my OWN eyes. So there.

Jen said...

I love Lisa's comments! I love ya, Lisa, you sentimental sweetie....These sorts of comments balance my rational, businesslike, I-have-no-feelings comments. Thank you!

Enjoy your peace and faith, Linda, however you want..... I love Thanksgiving, but I have a big family on my mom's side. Just used to a big gathering, I guess. I like Christmas and Chanukah, and my nephew celebrates both. Not much money for either this year-- oh well! People will get what we can afford, but thankfully no one in my family expects too much anyway. We just exchange with the immediate relatives. I'd love to get everyone together at the beach and take a big family photo. That I think would have meaning and not set everyone back a million dollars.

Ahhhhh--- the dreaded commercialism that the holidays produce. I think I'm gonna read my nerdy Little House on the Prairie books (I'm the BIGGEST geeky fan of these) where people are more concerned about making it through the winter storms and not starving to death..

Spaz Attack said...

Good for you for seeing the hypocrisy in combining religist beliefs with nationialistic tradtions and stories.
Personally I do believe everyone has the right to belief what they want, I just wish they'd be a bit more informed and acknowledge most traditions were brought into "Christianity" as a means to gain more brethren -- which is not to say more believers -- simply more money for the paid clergy.
Recieved free so give free.
Off my soapbox now...or as some may say, "i'm off my rocker."

Spaz Attack said...

Lisa...have you mentioned to your guy how dissapointed you are he hasn't presented you with a ring?
I hope he truly loves you and sticks by you.

Joan said...

I HATE THIS TIME OF YEAR! For all the reasons you stated and I agree with Lisa. And because I HATE shopping and visiting and traveling and noise. I will be writing more about this on my blog once my anti-depressants kick in.
Love you all but hate the holidays.