Ba Humbug!

Ba humbug is my usual Christmas mood. I really do not like the festive season, to me it’s just commercial abuse, financial troubles and false happiness. Now I know, that makes me sound like the most cynical, pessimistic person out there. But hear out my reasoning, and why I may be turning over a new holly leaf.

DISCLAIMER: I am not against any religious beliefs, traditions and holidays. I respect all walks of life and this article is about the commercial and psychological side of the holiday season.

Who doesn’t love the holiday season no matter your religious background or core beliefs, it’s a holiday designed to spread joy, give to those you love and/or those who are in need and spend time with friends and family. That, sounds beautiful, and it is. It’s the 27th of December 2017, and the last two days I’ve been flicking through my social media accounts relishing in all the joy friends and celebrities have been posting from their holiday celebrations. It’s beautiful, from the tacky Santa obsessed décor to the obscenely tall celebrity Christmas trees, people are having fun, getting excited and generally, are taking time off work to be festive and with family. As much of a scrooge as I am (friends and family will vouch), there is something truly beautiful about these things the holiday season brings.

Now, back to being a cynical ass, my first quam with Christmas is the commercial aspect. People buy gifts, shops are businesses, money is made. Sounds simple, but honestly, I really despise the push commercialism and todays holiday ethos puts on people. Children expect gifts, and these days it isn’t just the newest doll (which are expensive anyway), but the new iPhone is out, a new laptop is wanted and they only managed to get 5 of the 20 games they wanted this year. The expectation to provide presents that won’t disappoint can be very high with some people, and financially it can really put a strain on those willing to spend in the holidays but regretting it in the new year. Advertisements are everywhere, they get into people’s heads and create an expectation as to what presents they’re going to receive. Not everyone can afford the best gift, and class separation becomes evident with social media posts of one friend getting the iPhone X whereas another got one video game. Maybe the problem here lies in social media, and our incessant need to project the best of our lives to everyone else. Nobody is going to post about their mental breakdown, or financial debts. You don’t see open cassettes with the hashtag #granniesfuneral but you do see the best of people’s lives, and sometimes even fake moments people use to portray a better life then they believe they are living. I’m going off topic, maybe I’ll address this in a future post.

The next thing I really don’t like about the holiday season is this sense of fake merriment, this need to be happy. If you’re not happy, what the hell is wrong with you?! It’s the holiday season, you’ll be getting gifts and there are pretty lights everywhere. Sometimes, people aren’t happy, people are going through hard times, and this omnipotent sense of merriment can adversely affect these people. I know, I sound like a cry baby, everyone has hardships and lots of people push through them, but next time someone is down during this season and your first response is “cheer up! It’s Christmas!” think for a second WHY they’re feeling this way. Just because it’s your favourite time of the year doesn’t mean it’s everyone’s.

Lastly, I just wanted to point out that so much ‘joy’ usually leads to the opposite. You can’t have a month long elated high without the polar opposite to follow. January sees the start of many unused gym memberships, debts and careful spending due to the holidays. With no major day to look forward to, all the negatives in life becomes a bit more highlighted than usual, and it’s human nature to dwell on these. I wouldn’t be surprised if January has the highest depression rates of the year due to this. With great highs, comes crushing lows.

Now. Those last few paragraphs are grating, I understand. I’ve had a lot of negative experiences happen around this holiday season in the past few years and yes, that has definitely contributed to my cynicism towards this holiday. However, whilst I still stand with my arguments against the holiday season. I am not against religion, in fact I do enjoy learning the meaning behind religious celebrations and traditions. This is just a discussion piece I have about the commercial holidays, and how it affects us psychologically and financially.

Either way, happy holidays and new year to you all, I hope you all have an amazing 2018.

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