The real war on Christmas

I believe there is a vast conspiracy against holidays.

No, this has nothing to do with the imaginary war against Christmas the desperately irrelevant  are screeching about.

I don’t think for a minute that armies of Buddhists—now there’s a concept—are stockpiling curry powder to scatter on pine-shaped Christmas cookies. No Jews are carrying pots of boiling matzo ball soup to pour over snowy crèches or tossing lead-weighted dreidels at streetcorner Santas. .  

And atheists aren’t burning the sheet music for “Joy to the World.”

I could go on about this for a while but I’m afraid if I tried for a complete list someone would get left out and we’d have a whole new conspiracy to worry about.

The conspirators have neither religious nor irreligious bones to pick.

Over the last few decades an insidious and rapidly growing group of people have been trying to cast a gray blanket of depression over what should be a joyous, even joyeux, winter season. They’re selling something but it isn’t bicycles and earrings.

They’re selling misery. Oh my, they say, we only pretend we love the holidays. So many of us carry baggage—a popular word—about all this Thanksgiving-Christmas-whatever, terrible or at least annoying memories of family get-togethers. And so many of us are alone, or feel alone, or, like Garbo, want to be alone. And how terrible it all is for those living outside the bright light of happy family, home and flickering hearth.

All those songs and decorations and good wishes? Painful. Sad. They know how we really feel.  Abandoned by the fantasy of good times.

So, you there. You who think you’re having fun and decking the halls with mistletoe and love. Don’t neglect those icy memories of trying to pretend a menorah is a Christmas tree.  Or trying to pretend that Charlie Brown twig is a Christmas tree. Or being so poor you got only three presents. Or your mother announcing on Christmas eve that she’s thrown your drunken father out of the house. Don’t you dare forget every little insult to the perfection you think you should have had. Obsess about it! Cry. Share the gloom. Remember that you really do not like the holidays, no matter how much you think you do. Dramatize yourselves. Find your identity in a giant, heart-wrenching sigh of regret.

Shrinks need to buy presents, too.






2 Responses

  1. I think you’re on to something, Shelley. Those of us in dysfunctional families–is there any other kind?–need Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/etc., not to focus on the insults to our dreamworld, but to confirm the love that transcends the negatives and binds us together. We need the reunions to help us realize that despite everything, we love each other. To give us hope that things will get better. And sometimes, yes, to strengthen us so we can get away from truly toxic situations. Thanks for a thought-provoking, well-written post.
    Merry Christmas from a recovering Catholic atheist!

  2. Thank you, and the same to you from a recovering Jewdist atheist.

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