Thursday, January 8, 2009

Moving On

It is with much delight and relief on my part that another Christmas season passes us. I have to say Christmas is among my least favorite times of the year. Call me a Scrooge or a Grinch, but I really disdain the whole season.

For starters, I don't like the whole charade of Christians claiming this holiday as their heritage. It's not. It's a pagan holiday with pagan origins. I have yet to discover any evidence of Jesus' birth being on December 25th, or do I have any evidence found in the Bible of such traditions as a Christmas tree etc. I fail to see where God would be satisfied in any way with our over-spending in order to purchase a gift for everyone on our list in honor of his son's birth. Ya - not in my Bible. I have however noted some strong language in the Bible regarding the *traditions* of man. . . But if it's really all about celebrating Jesus, why is not this faith and joy acted upon on a daily basis as opposed to a yearly overly commercialized single day/season? A little less glitz and glamor and showmanship around the holiday, and a lot more sincerity throughout the year would likely be a more satisfactory expression of thanks to God. OK - I'll now step down from my soapbox on that one. (Also, I know that most people do celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, and for the record, this is not intended to be an attack on anyone; this is simply my perspective which I am well aware is not the norm.)

As far as the whole *Spirit of Christmas* - I hate it. There is absolutely no other single time of the year where people are ruder, crabbier, pushier, and more selfish. This is a large part of my annoyance with this whole season in general. Anytime I have to go someplace, you can bet I'll have at least one encounter with the *Christmas spirit.* I actually don't do any shopping at the holidays anymore. Children in the family get books ordered off of Amazon (I'd much rather make a big deal out of their birthdays), and everyone else pretty much has to accept the gift of my presence and non-Christmas spirit (as is defined by the all-encompassing crabbiness of the season). This is no surprise to anyone in our family; everyone has pretty much come to accept that this is just not a holiday we really get in on the way others do. And quite frankly, I think it's a relief to everyone. No one has to feel obligated to figure out some gift to purchase for us that we most likely do not need. In fact, I can say in all sincerity that there has never been a Christmas gift I have needed; I have a roof over my head, food in my cupboards and plenty of clothing. Further, if we're all going to just go out and spend money for other people guessing what they may want, why doesn't everyone just agree to take "X" number of dollars and spend it on themselves for something they really want. Better yet, how about not playing into the commercialism of the season and not buying anything specific for yourself this season, and instead the next time you have something you really want, get it and consider it your super early/late Christmas gift.

While on vacation, I had two distinct *Christmas spirit* encounters. These are encounters which in my honest opinion, would NEVER happen any other time of the year; the only reason they happen now is because people are so stressed about spending and gift giving and combating the crowds, that they lash out at innocent bystanders and in general just become rude and obnoxious individuals.

One such encounter happened at a gas station. My parents had pulled over to get gas, and as there was a line at every pump, I decided I'd wait in the line next to them so we could chat while filling up. However, because my gas tank was on the opposite side of the woman's at the tank ahead of me, I had to pull in front of her in order to be on the correct side. I gave her plenty of room to get out, and she had no problem whatsoever with my waiting for gas on the opposite side of her while she finished filling up. Just as she was preparing to pull out, another car pulled in behind her and tactfully inched forward claiming the previous woman's spot at the tank instantly. I sat there, jaw dropped, utterly aghast. The woman looked over at me after a minute or so and hollered out dumbly, "I didn't see you waiting there if you were." She then proceeded to begin getting her gas. . . If she really wanted to take responsibility for her actions, she should've said nothing and simply moved when she saw me there. But the fact is, she saw my obtrusive van there waiting and decided she could butt in ahead of me - and did. I beeped a couple of times, but the woman remained unresponsive. Never in my life. . . I've had people race into a line ahead of me, but never when I've been there clearly waiting already. I can think of no other reason for such atrocious behavior than simply the Christmas spirit.

Later on during our journey home, we stopped at a Wendy's at 2:00 in the afternoon. The restaurant was just as crowded as the roads. After waiting over 30 minutes in line, my order was placed. When I received the order at the drive through (and yes, my mother was waiting in line inside - each of us waiting to see who got to order first), as usual I began quickly checking the contents of my bag to ensure all the items I had ordered were in the bag. I was immediately interrupted by the woman inside ordering me to move ahead. I hadn't been there 10 seconds when this woman piped up with this tidbit - and bear in mind I had already been waiting a half an hour. Again, never in my life has someone at a drive through so immediately and rudely demanded I move ahead. "I just waited 30 minutes for my food, so I'm going to check it to make sure it's all here before I get out of the way" I responded calmly. "Ma'am, out of courtesy to . . . " and out of respect for myself, I rolled up my window and sat there taking the next 5 seconds of this woman's precious time to confirm that my order was all in the bag.

What's worse, is I hate having to deal with people like this. I'm not an overly confrontational person to begin with, but I'm also not one to sit around while the world runs me over for fun. (I know - I need to learn to turn the other cheek, right? - just to keep in line with the real meaning of Christmas). I hate being forced to stand my ground or speak up for myself when someone else is absurdly rude to me. It bothers me that while minding my own business during this holiday season, I am forced to deal with people in the Christmas spirit. I'd just assume there be no Christmas at all - it's obviously too much hype and pressure for the general public to deal with without transforming into a sort of cannibalistic breed.

(As a side note to my Christmas rant, I feel it should be pointed out that both woman who were rude to me were of another race. I for one make an attempt to be overly courteous to those of another race so as not to be falsely labeled a racist, but it's funny how those of this other race made no attempt whatsoever to be mildly considerate to me. If I wanted to play their game, I could cry foul with the whole racism card. So did I experience reverse-racism? I guess racism is racism all the same regardless of which direction it goes. . Since everyone seems to feel so wronged by *the white man*, I think it's time we caucasions started speaking up too when other races wrong us. . . Still, it just doesn't seem worth it to me.)

All this blogging to simply say, I'm very glad Christmas is past. I love spending time with my family and friends, but the whole *spirit* of things gets weird with the public in general. I'm very happy there's a 10 month break period every year before the next Christmas season begins.

Ba. Humbug.

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