In America, holidays are so commercialized that there’s little meaning left to be had in them. Sometimes we like to think of ourselves as so cool and cynical that anyone enjoying a time like Christmas is labeled a starry-eyed sheep conned into spending their money on ridiculous shit that no one wants all in the name of a pagan holiday stolen by Christians. And we do think we’re cool when we say this. But the truth of the matter is that you can make meaning in something and someone that finds happiness in one aspect of Christmas is going to be much happier than that cool, aloof, cynical person that finds no joy in anything.
For years I hated Christmas. I don’t like Christmas music, I don’t like the fact that this holiday was hijacked by religious people in order to stop others from having fun, I don’t like getting bad gifts, I don’t like being entirely too social, I don’t like a lot of things about it. And for years I made it quite clear that it was inane and pointless. I would tell you to reference some of my MiSTs for my history of Christmas hatred, but no one reads those, so let’s not fool ourselves.
But one year, I found something that I liked and that was The Nutcracker. I love ballet, and don’t get to see them that often as they’re crazy expensive and not exactly in my backyard. But The Nutcracker played every year at Phi Beta Kappa Hall. So I would get tickets for my and my family and drag everyone along to witness the dancing, music, and Christmas magic that is The Nutcracker.
But once I found something that I liked about the holiday, I didn’t stop there. I realized how much I enjoy giving gifts and making people happy with thoughtful presents. I saw how much fun you could have when you made your own meaning in what I had always thought of as a meaningless holiday. Doing something as simple as making the family’s favorite brownie recipe to have on Christmas morning is so wonderful and easy to do. Why be miserable and try to call out anyone having fun when you can make delicious brownies?
And if someone still wants to call me a mindless sheep that got sucked into the corporate machine, then go right ahead. I don’t care. I have brownies to bake and gifts to give. Fuck what anyone else believes. I took something questionable and gave it my own meaning. I don’t care if someone else doesn’t approve.