Aftermath: ten potent reasons to hate Christmas/giftmas/xmas/etc...

Kapkao's picture
  1. You(I) are an introvert
  2. You(I) are coerced OR outright forced to deal with relatives you'd rather have little to do with
  3. You don't care for these pointless, highly kitsch "cards" you receive and are expected to give a shit about
  4. Don't care for the trinkets people give you that you are expected to give a shit about
  5. You have something much more fun and rewarding to do with your time
  6. You'd rather NOT have a winter holiday locally as opposed to... say, in Calgary or Bahamas
  7. You don't like how commercialized many holidays like giftmas have become
  8. You don't care for how disingenuous/facade-like "family friendly" holidays like giftmas have become
  9. You don't need the stress of travel arrangements, gift ideas, contacting long distance relatives, finding a convenient spot to gather at, work parties, and the like
  10. BAH HUMBUG! (all of the above)

There ya have it folks, my top 10 reasons why I tire of such "holidays" meant to somehow promote "(Christian) charity and good will towards men"... from my PoV, they do the exact opposite.

I'm sure the same is, at least, partially true of most of the people posting to RRS. Yea? Nea? And (most importantly) why? Respond here!

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)

Brian37's picture

I hate several things about

I hate several things about this holiday, but not all things.

I do hate the religious superstitious stuff people buy as if it is the "true meaning".

But I hate the "consume consume consume" especially now when the economy is so bad.

But what I hate is how SOME people have to make a huge production out of it and then flip out if one single thing goes wrong. My mom used to treat holidays and birthdays like that. It stressed me out to no end. She is much more relaxed now. But growing up it was all a production and had to be "perfect".

I have no problem with people when they are relaxed and are not trying to put on a show and "go with the flow". I don't mind the gift exchanges although I don't see a need for one special day to do nice things for others. If it is just treated as an excuse to hang out with people you like or love and have fun, fine.

But when it becomes a production and you flip out because things are not perfect, you've got problems.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37

cj's picture

Depends

No-this isn't bathroom humor.  <BUGSPRAY in advance of any wise cracks.>

My idea of the holidays is - time off work.  I don't care what holiday it is, whose religion, etc.  If I have a job, paid time off is the best.  If it is time off without pay, that is second best.

For the rest -

This year I didn't want to decorate the house.  Some years I do want and I get as glitzy as I feel like.

I buy presents and send cards when I can afford it to those I want to buy for.  I try to make the present practical or meaningful in some fashion.  But that is how I buy presents year round.  This year, I couldn't afford much more than a few cards.  Everyone who I call a friend and my relatives understand.  Most of them don't celebrate any more than I do.

We have a nice dinner.  Just because.  I like left over turkey.  And home made cranberry sauce.  I don't do much in the way of cookies or pies anymore, but if I feel like I want some, I make them from scratch.  Cuts down on the number of calories you consume if you know you have to drag out the mixer and use up an entire afternoon to get some.  At that point, you also use up a lot of calories before the first bite.

If I feel obligated to attend a party (work or otherwise), or spend time with relatives, I do so with the minimum amount of fuss.  And I leave early.  I refuse to travel any more than about a couple of hours drive.  And I have been known to beg off because the car is broken - even if it really isn't.

I do not allow myself to be dragged into old family arguments.  Simple - 'I really don't remember.  Tell me about your knew puppy/kitten/promotion.' - Misdirection usually works if you get the right subject.  If I miss the mark the first time, I keep changing subjects.  If I just can't get the other person to shut up about whatever, I leave.  'Bye.  It's been real.  See ya.  Kiss, kiss.'  When desperate, I have been known to ask for the number for the taxi service.  Now, I take my cell phone with the number already programmed in.

Defense mechanisms.  Cultivate them.  If all else fails, cut the connection.  I don't need the hassle.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.

Sage_Override's picture

As a professional list maker

As a professional list maker of things I dislike, I got some shit for ya...

 

Reasons why I am the Grinch of X-mas now and never used to be:

 

1.  I got poorer; the pressure to buy presents just grated on my nerves to the point where I only bought for my immediate family and, thankfully, they are growing to really dislike X-mas, too.

 

2.  I got fed up with the crowds; stores get worse every year as the population expands exponentially every year and there's no shortage of rushes during the holidays and I can stand rude people in small groups, but when they all seem to come out of the woodwork and start shopping for specific things for multiple people like pre-programmed machines, then I just lose portions of what's left of my sanity.

 

3.  The drivers on the road; they all come out at once and flock to the same locations for the next twenty five plus days and the ones that never see the light of day get on the road to buy mostly meaningless shit for people.  They retreat back into seclusion after the holidays are over, but until that time, I'm forced to deal with their myopic driving skills, avoiding twice as many collisions, narrowly escaping overly eager stay-at-home moms that are at the wheel three times a year and work-too-much dad's with a last minute agenda of pain to get their snotty little shit a Tickle-Me-Elmo. 

 

4.  The texts; this only happened in recent years.  Used to be that I had lots of friends; now my address book is MUCH shorter.  Some I never informed that they no longer matter, but does that stop them from messaging me once a year to wish me an indirect, mass-messaged X-mas or the one time they say ANYTHING, it's a half-hearted "hope you're doing well?"  Of course not.  Go fuck yourselves; all of you.  If any of them gave a flying fuck what I was doing, they would have talked to me the other three-hundred and sixty-four days of the year.  Why wait until X-mas?  Because it makes them feel joyous?  Pfft...

 

5.  Getting gifts you didn't ask for; kind of coincides with the previous reason.  People you hardly ever speak to will show up at your door with these "goodwill" gifts or send you a card in the mail complete with pictures of their kids or a shitty gift card to a place I never shop at.  You feel obligated to return the favor and if you don't, you feel like a grouchy prick that does nothing in return.  One year, I got a $10 gift card to Panera Bread.  I never, ever go there.  I went to Target the next day to grab a few things and saw a homeless guy walking around.  I asked him what he was doing and it seemed he lost his dog.  I felt bad for him because it's bad enough he had no cash or a home, but he lost his only fucking companion.  I told him that I couldn't really help, but I gave him the gift card so that he would feel a little better, have a warm place to sit down and get some food.  He looked at it like it was the coolest thing in the world and thanked me a couple hundred times and walked away smiling; that felt good.  THAT should be what X-mas is REALLY all about; giving without expecting any receiving.  

 

There are a few good natured people that work in soup kitchens during the holidays or volunteers at shelters and what not, but that group is very small.  If people would give more than worrying about a consumer gift exchange, the holidays might mean more to people like me than they do, but until that time, I look at it for what it really is; greed.  

"When the majority believes in what is false, the truth becomes a quest." - Me

Kapkao's picture

That's the thing, cj... I

That's the thing, cj... I despise the never-ending facade of being nice towards people a person could not be bothered to give the time of day to during any other day of the year. It amounts to a 'pleasant lie', and for someone like me who values frankness (or even "fangs" ) regardless of circumstance, it is a drain.

As I can not be fully relied on to monitor and medicate my two endocrine diseases entirely by myself... I can't actually choose how I much participate in such holidays. The thing is, I have (roughly) three 'polite conformist southerner hippies' for parents + my mother's life companion, and they all have some lingering expectation that I will somehow choose to be welcoming and socially active like them. On the other hand, after 28 years I believe I have largely succeeded in getting the message across to the family elders that I almost NEVER socialize on anything but my own terms, and I don't "participate" simply because a relative believes it's a good idea.

"We southerners" value disliking someone behind their backs but not to their face, apparently. As I said before, I believe everyone has dealt with social stress they didn't care for at some point all because of a poorly conceived winter festival holiday. Cj, I envy and admire you for being able to take charge of pointless social traditions in precisely the manner you see fit, even though I was tempted to make a few crude passes at your gynohealth issues just for the free bugspray.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)

ProzacDeathWish's picture

All of my family encounters

All of my family encounters are kept to a bare minimum regardless of seasonal holidays.  I am always the first to leave family gatherings ( in a polite fashion ) and take my girlfriend with me.  Christmas is no different.  Funny, when we were at the restaurant my very Christian family always does the hand holding thing before they say grace  ...that's when I yank my hand back and give a very disapproving look.

Apart from those brief social contacts I completely cloister myself, things are better that way.

http://theatheistconservative.com/

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction." Mark Twain.

cj's picture

Kapkao wrote:That's the

Kapkao wrote:

That's the thing, cj... I despise the never-ending facade of being nice towards people a person could not be bothered to give the time of day to during any other day of the year. It amounts to a 'pleasant lie', and for someone like me who values frankness (or even "fangs" ) regardless of circumstance, it is a drain.

As I can not be fully relied on to monitor and medicate my two endocrine diseases entirely by myself... I can't actually choose how I much participate in such holidays. The thing is, I have (roughly) three 'polite conformist southerner hippies' for parents + my mother's life companion, and they all have some lingering expectation that I will somehow choose to be welcoming and socially active like them. On the other hand, after 28 years I believe I have largely succeeded in getting the message across to the family elders that I almost NEVER socialize on anything but my own terms, and I don't "participate" simply because a relative believes it's a good idea.

"We southerners" value disliking someone behind their backs but not to their face, apparently. As I said before, I believe everyone has dealt with social stress they didn't care for at some point all because of a poorly conceived winter festival holiday. Cj, I envy and admire you for being able to take charge of pointless social traditions in precisely the manner you see fit, even though I was tempted to make a few crude passes at your gynohealth issues just for the free bugspray.

 

I kind of thought that was what was happening.  I try not to assume I am getting the truth and nothing but the truth from a stranger on the internet.

I don't always succeed, but who ever does?

Having been married to a southerner, and having visited his family, I can kind of guess how icky sweet it could get with the dagger behind the back.  And I have run into the attitude that we should have to like someone just because they are family.  Fortunately, my family is not that close. 

I would not presume to offer you advice on how to get away from them - holidays or not.  The kind and amount of freedom you can carve out for yourself depends on too many things that are none of my business.  (There's that word again, damn!)  It also matters what kind of services you have in your town.  Here in the almost big city, is a young woman in my neighborhood who is wheelchair bound.  She has to have people in to assist her daily.  She gets around town in the medical transport / handicapped van / whatever you call it in your area.  And she lives alone in a house, not an apartment.  She doesn't pretend it is easy, but it suits her.  I realize that is not possible for everyone and may not be possible for you.  I only mention her because I know the extent of resources you need to have available when you require assistance in daily living and live on your own.

I can only imagine the frustration and anger I would feel if surrounded by "loving" relatives I would just as soon didn't hover over me.  They would all be lucky if I didn't bite them instead of kiss.  How have you restrained yourself?

 

And just for you, free, gratis.....

 

ppppsssssssssssstttttttttttttttttt

 

bugspray

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.

Atheistextremist's picture

I thought christmas was all about family

 

I generally only see family and a few close friends around this time of year most other people are with their own families. As for presents - by this age if I haven't already bought myself everything I ever wanted (my tastes are those of one reared in preacher poverty) then I've not been trying hard enough. Books are always good. Spent the day with my family reading them excerpts from Microcosmos much to my mother's horror.

I think my 2 brothers' christianity is drifting in our direction. At one point there was a prayer along these lines: "Dear Hypothetical External First Cause, if you were indeed the provider of this meal, we are thankful and if not, our thanks go out to the farmers of Australia..." 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck

ex-minister's picture

AE ?4U

 AE,

'Dear Hypothetical External First Cause...'   

 

Are you referring to Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution by Lynn  Margulis, written in 1997? Is it dated? What were a few of excerpts you read?

What level of difficulty would you rate this book?

 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/

Kapkao's picture

cj wrote:I can only imagine

cj wrote:

 

I can only imagine the frustration and anger I would feel if surrounded by "loving" relatives I would just as soon didn't hover over me.  They would all be lucky if I didn't bite them instead of kiss.  How have you restrained yourself?

Quite successfully, if you can believe it. A few of you might remember my posts about being a supereffective manipulator when I want something. In a family that does NOT value assertiveness, it's a survival skill. The deal is I'm not really all that avoidant like you, . I just get tired of dealing with aggrevating, predictable character traits most other offspring would have long lost all tolerance for by their 19th birthday, and simply abandoned their biological family. The grass IS greener on the other side, when you get to be in full control. To my best understanding, for those who choose to remain socially obligated to their biological family past adulthood here in the West for whatever irrational, nonfunctional reasoning, it is a very unpleasant experience. My folks are finally starting to get the big clue that I no longer 'do it' for them... I participate solely for whatever perceivable benefit I can get out of 'it', then choose to refrain from the usual horse and donkey show afterwards. This is bitterly ironic, because when I still bothered to give a damn about family matters for reasons other than self-preservation, nothing I could do would win positive praise from many of my relatives and I was often labelled "selfish" simply because I did not care to interact with many of my family's friends and acquaintances. As it turns out, I very much succeeded at becoming genuinely "selfish" and desensitized towards the values and "suffering" of others even though I did not start out as such.

That "I'm no longer a child" has to be repeated in whatever obscure, "cryptic" manner until bioparents finally get it. My father has served as an important milestone for this, because emotionally, he has learned to keep grandma at arm's length given her sabotaging and "dramatic", emotionally parasitic behavior he got a thorough education about while growing up, and when she finally died he chose not to attend a funeral or care for her during her last few months or years alive. Considering how my theistic, passively religious dad normally functions... this is a big step up for him to just put all his childhood baggage behind him, and stick to people who ever bothered to give a shit about him. Unfortunately, it left him alienated by his sister who resented him for not helping out enough with taking care of his complete bitch of a mother during her last few weeks alive, and he became alcoholic over it if you can believe it, Ex-m. He went to AA when it became clear (past august) he would die if he kept drinking.

As I have 'believed' for quite some time, "silence is pain".

Quote:
And just for you, free, gratis.....

 

ppppsssssssssssstttttttttttttttttt

 

bugspray

 

/emote wanted the "EWWWW bugspray!" version

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)

cj's picture

Kapkao wrote: This is

Kapkao wrote:

 This is bitterly ironic, because when I still bothered to give a damn about family matters for reasons other than self-preservation, nothing I could do would win positive praise from many of my relatives and I was often labelled "selfish" simply because I did not care to interact with many of my family's friends and acquaintances. As it turns out, I very much succeeded at becoming genuinely "selfish" and desensitized towards the values and "suffering" of others even though I did not start out as such.

 

There is nothing like labeling a person and then being surprised - astonished, amazed! - when the person so labeled becomes the label.  I don't know why more people don't get it.  If they had genuinely praised your efforts and labeled you kind, generous and unselfish, that is what you would have become.  It is their screw up, not yours.  Someone float them a psych class or two.

 

Kapkao wrote:

That "I'm no longer a child" has to be repeated in whatever obscure, "cryptic" manner until bioparents finally get it. My father has served as an important milestone for this, because emotionally, he has learned to keep grandma at arm's length given her sabotaging and "dramatic", emotionally parasitic behavior he got a thorough education about while growing up, and when she finally died he chose not to attend a funeral or care for her during her last few months or years alive. Considering how my theistic, passively religious dad normally functions... this is a big step up for him to just put all his childhood baggage behind him, and stick to people who ever bothered to give a shit about him. Unfortunately, it left him alienated by his sister who resented him for not helping out enough with taking care of his complete bitch of a mother during her last few weeks alive, and he became alcoholic over it if you can believe it, Ex-m. He went to AA when it became clear (past august) he would die if he kept drinking.

 

If it is any comfort, my mom didn't figure out I was grown up until I was almost 35 - and had three children of my own.  And when I finally attempted - and succeeded - in breaking free, I was labeled mean, cruel, unfilial, etc. by the rest of the family.

 

Kapkao wrote:

As I have 'believed' for quite some time, "silence is pain".

Quote:
And just for you, free, gratis.....

ppppsssssssssssstttttttttttttttttt

bugspray

/emote wanted the "EWWWW bugspray!" version

 

Selfish brat.

 

EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW...............................??????????????????

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.

Kapkao's picture

Don't mind my Dad... I'm

Don't mind my Dad... I'm mostly just unloading past family-related baggage that I didn't even really got all that bothered about as a teen. Since he has unloaded his (IMMENSE) frustrations with growing up with his mom (I can't say I ever objected to this, and have learned to become quite the listener because of it), I guess you could say I inherited this 'group therapy with cohorts' habit from him. His mother dealt him some pretty hefty blows over the years, and his dad stood by it all because she succeeded in turning him into a heirarchical omega. She succeeded because they were a Church of Christ family. Enter the first baby step towards a more secular today; the previous generation saw greater reason to adhere to tradition than we (20-somethings) do.

My mother, on the other hand, has just earned a near-permanent spot on my shitlist for cancelling a card I used to pay for my Bronze sub up until Jan 3. Her behavior amounts to re-organizing and tidying things up at random junctures for reasons I still can't comprehend to this day, only she believes she has some sort of fucked up duty to micromanage my personal stuff. As it happened, I setup a debit card with her present last year. Only... she uses her name as to who has control over finances, can see billing info, etc. I think nothing of it at first. She sees I haven't used my card in a while and notices a $10 monthly charge on it to keep it usable, which she doesn't even have to pay to my best knowledge. So she cancels. And I see the first sign of it from an automated email sent from the bank. At least I don't let her try to dress me for formal events anymore which I did for most family funerals and nearly every xmas until the last one, IIRC. I come prepared for turbulence. $3/month isn't going to save the world, and I rarely blog anymore (no reason to until the recent holiday-related anxiety.) The only reason I bring this particular itch up, is because I have... call it an "unhealthy preoccupation" of living up to my word once freely given.

Yes, my current Bronze is unpaid for.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)