Christmas is rough for me.
An unpopular opinion, I understand.
While it poses a lot of stress for people, the beauty of it usually outweighs the chaos.
But not for me.
If you are a Christmas lover I think that is great.
I would never disrespect your choice.
But this is how I view Christmas.
It started in elementary school, when we would go back to class after Christmas break and take turns in the classroom sharing the things we received for Christmas.
For me, that was torture.
I quickly realized there were kids who didn't get much, if anything.
I could see their discomfort.
I could feel their pain.
I remember asking Santa for an item one year for a young boy in my grade.
I was so excited about my idea I wanted to scream.
Of course, Santa never brought it as it was a very (for the time and our rural community) gender specific item.
& how on earth were my parents supposed to know I wanted it?
Then when I was eight and on my way to a Tim & Faith concert I found Santa's wrapping paper in the back of my Dad's car.
Side note : I got tickets to Tim McGraw and his opening act, Faith Hill, for Christmas that year.
They started dating soon after and married that October.
It was his first tour, Spontaneous Combustion.
It was the beginning of 1996.
I am a long time fan.
Aunt Linda bought me this brown suede outfit with fringe to wear to the show.
It was one of the coolest nights of my life.
That is a good Christmas memory. I do have them! :)
Back to Santa.
Obviously I was devastated.
& found out the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy were some idiotic tradition too.
BUT I WAS STILL SUPPOSED TO BELIEVE IN GOD.
& MY PARENTS LIED TO ME.
Now maybe this doesn't pose a problem for you, but if you are a fellow INFJ on the personality spectrum you will understand.
I felt defeated.
I felt betrayed.
Was it okay to lie?
How is God real but Santa isn't.
Are they lying about God too and just don't want me to know yet?
Fast forward many years.
Christmas became even harder as I aged.
I started to form thoughts that were my own and became more comfortable with not adjusting to social norms. (Kind've rare in my neck of the woods.)
It is a holiday for Christians celebrating the birth of Jesus.
Yet somehow, Santa and his commercial extravaganza have overtaken the meaning of it.
I don't believe in celebrating Christmas by showering people with gifts.
If I find something that reminds me of a person in my life or feel like I want to give to somebody or something, I do so at any time during the year.
Rather, I choose to give people my time.
To share experiences with them.
I also don't identify with Christianity.
In fact, i'm still working that one out for myself.
I believe there is some higher power holding us all together.
I don't necessarily believe it is a man in the clouds placing judgement on certain things we do.
I believe in entanglement; that we are all connected through energy.
I believe in loving one another no matter our differences.
I believe in something.
With those two things out of the picture for me, it makes Christmas difficult.
Do I love spending the time with my family? Absolutely.
Are there great things about the Christmas spirit? Absolutely!
It just makes it a bit harder to connect with people this time of year because what is important to them is not to me.
I don't identify with the two main reasons people love Christmas.
& that's okay.
I respect their choices and I expect the same in return.
THINGS I LOVE ABOUT CHRISTMAS TIME
* While there are many aspects about Christmas that give me discomfort, there are also some really great things about it.
Spending time with my family.
That people want to do nice things for me. I am thankful for what I receive but never expect it.
My parent's Christmas tree. It is filled with memories from our life; not one of those don't touch it, perfectly spaced bobble kind of trees.
Baking treats and sharing them.
That we allow ourselves a couple days to reflect on the year and how good it's been.
Kid's reactions to their gifts; damn they can be funny.
That we all take the time to get together. If it were up to me, we would do this frequently and without the pressure and stress Christmas brings. It always feels good to connect. It doesn't have to be day specific because of some wild tradition.
Lastly, click HERE to the perfect (in my eyes) Christmas tradition I shared on Facebook yesterday.
Stay tuned for how Keith and I will be contributing to the Christmas spirit this year, it's pretty special. & it isn't happening until January. :)
Tomorrow we are talking about what I did to minimize my Christmas anxiety.