It’s finally approached my most hated time of the year.
The older I get the more I realise what exactly it is that I hate about Christmas. On the fundamental level, Christmas for me is forced happiness. It is forced by a variety of differentiating factors.
Forced happiness is developed through a variety of mediums of exposure. From December the 1st, when you walk into the big-chain supermarkets, the torturous Christmas Carol album has been completely flogged to death by the repeat button. The only joyous moment is your actual departure and the mutilation of your ears finally ceases.
What is more poignant is the fact that artists make Christmas albums before their imminent death from the music scene. Oh Mariah, please sing ‘rum a pum pum’ one more time whilst I can still breathe. It is at this point that I can feel only compassionate to the workers at the checkouts. 38 hours a week of Christmas tunes would ultimately destroy my capacity to function.
Forced happiness at Christmas time is not a reality for many Australians. Obviously the peer pressure of presents and ‘family get togethers’ only highlight the fact that a happy Christmas is not realty.
Which leads me to my second point, the widespread commercialisation of Christmas as a source of budgeted income for retailers.
This is what ultimately disgusts me the most. Christmas today is so far removed from its foundations, that no longer is the family gathering the focal point for the holiday. How many Christmas celebrating Christians actually attend a church ceremony?
How can I celebrate something that I do not believe in? What’s worse is the tremendous expenditure of Christmas hooligans in the hunt the perfect gift. Before you know it, you’ve spent $100s on gifts that might not ever be used. I believe that Christmas shouldn’t be about gifts, and expensive presents should be savored for birthdays.
Then there are the Boxing Day Sales, which aim only to insult this theory further. People scramble into stores for the perfect sale, and leave with empty wallets, and much less faith than they came with.
My frustration with Christmas not only is centered on materialization and forced happiness, but on the day itself. Life practically ceases and people are consumed in the celebrations of the day. For me, I’m stuck. Constrained by the closure of life itself. And it is for this reason that I endeavor to be abroad each year.
I often ponder, that perhaps when I have kids, I might actually enjoy the day. But at the moment, the joy of Christmas is nothing but a burden on my mind. Its desolate destruction from its original meaning is frustrating and fraudulent. It is ourselves that need the reality check.
Australians reject the Americanization of Halloween, as adopted from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, as it has manifested itself into a secular celebration of ‘trick or treating’ and costuming. So how has this over sized bearded man managed to slip into the homes of millions?
Globalisation is the answer. Globalisation of the Coca Cola products has ever adapted the face of Christmas into a subliminal message about the drink itself. Although Australian’s do not see the snowy Christmas of our European and American counterparts, we are still as much addicted to the commercialization of the day. The scorching temperatures of the Australian Christmas, only see us to purchase the cola flavoured drink to quench the first.
So in 2012, we are left with particles of the real meaning of Christmas wrapped only by the insane expenditure of gift giving slaves. Perhaps my theories would be less prevalent if I had the millions to spend, but I wholesomely doubt that the gifts I purchase would have any more emotional value.
The pressure of the festive season only leads me further into dissociation with the celebration itself. So until the time in which Christmas actually means something to me other than the burden of forced happiness and solid commercialization, I will still remain detached to the celebration as a whole.
“Be only what you believe in.”