Christmas is commonly considered the most beloved holiday. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, to get cozy together with your nearest and dearest… However, more and more people exchange this sentiment for quite the opposite: they hate the season. And, frankly speaking, it’s not out of sheer meanness, to my mind.
Like all kids, I used to enjoy Advent and Christmas immensely. Playing in the snow with friends for hours, reading books with a cup of hot cocoa or finding little treasures in the Advent calendar my grandmother made for me – it was all part of Christmas spirit. Now, however, I have mixed emotions – I find quite a lot of things annoying, spoiling the impression of the picture-perfect festive season. I feel Christmas is becoming more of a show and much less of a festival with deeper meaning.
First of all, I’d like to ask you: aren’t you annoyed by the amount of obnoxious Christmas ads everywhere, from the Net to any shopping mall? Doll-like angels and reindeer, baubles and candy canes, stars and snow flurries start pouring out of web banners, leaflets and billboards in October, if not earlier. It’s also not at all infrequent for malls to put up Christmas trees and decorating shop windows with Christmas ornaments while it’s still autumn. I’ve noticed that being overwhelmed by such amounts of decoration – being, literally, haunted by Christmas symbols since fall – makes you so fed up with these visuals that when December finally comes, all the festive splendor is already a blur. I’m convinced that people don’t really need to be reminded that Christmas is in four months – they remember it quite well by themselves. And they will go to malls and buy those pretty blankets which are a special offer anyway, because they know they’ll need them as gifts in several weeks’ time, but not just because there’s a cardboard reindeer prancing around the shelf.
Speaking of the latter, many people find that Christmas is becoming more and more about commerce, losing touch with its essence. No one is denouncing the spiritual meaning of Christmas, of course, but commercial campaigns appear to be more aggressive each year. With such load of offers, it can be hard to discriminate between what you really need and what you may buy to probably give off at Christmas. It might appear not a problem as such – if you are prone to shopping euphoria, just plan well ahead what you need to purchase and what extras you can afford. However, it looks like this solution is not obvious to everyone, judging by hordes of avid customers and lines at the checkout…
And it’s what I really hate about Christmas – the shopping frenzy. Not only do you waste time because of crowds and standing in lines, but due to traffic congestions as well. People get more tense each day, work extra hours to be able to afford all the gifts, grow even more nervous, have trouble sleeping, concentrating and thus become less effective in all tasks. Instead of slowing down and enjoying the comfort of home they get stuck in another rat race. Consequently, come Christmas they’re too exhausted to celebrate, go on family trips, party with friends, or, in more severe cases of burnout, too apathetic to even look after themselves.
It might strike you as rank pessimism; but I cannot help resenting the whole lot of things that make Christmas now totally different from how I remember it. Well, I guess, no one can change the way it is; but we can do what’s in our power to make Christmas nice and cozy for ourselves and our families.