I hate Christmas, and I'm not afraid to say it. Actually, that's a lie. I am a little afraid, because I know I'm going to be judged for saying so. But that's okay because I'm not proud of it, it just happens to be the truth. Don't misunderstand, I'm not opposed to the Christmas that gets portrayed on the front of Pottery Barn magazines or Martha Stewart specials. Those look lovely. But I don’t have a set designer, a staff, or enough money to justify themed sheets expressly for the month of December. Instead I am left to loathe the practice of Christmas list-making that my kids begin in August, the blaring of non-stop Christmas music in department stores beginning mid-November, and the fact that if I don’t decorate with lit up deer and life size snow globes on my lawn my kids call our house “boring”. Wanna know what else? I hate buying presents, because no matter who I have on my “list”, I forget at least ten people. And I never know who those ten people are until they show up on my doorstep offering me homemade doses of "aw-crap-now-I-have-to-get-YOU-something.” Not only that, but everywhere I look I see people spending more than they can afford only so I can pay later for their bankruptcy. And my final point: Aren’t we supposed to be celebrating the birth of the Savior? Because I don’t think Jesus would be very impressed with our methods. More importantly, I don’t think He would require me to hang excessive decorations or spend money to fill my house with more crap.
So yes, when it comes to Christmas I have some issues. I have even gone so far this year as to call my closest friends and say, “For Christmas, I’m not getting you anything. Thought you should know.” At this rate, I have good news and bad news. The bad news first: This gets worse every year. The good news: I just learned that it is not my fault. Last week when I was helping with Thanksgiving dinner at my sister’s house the topic of Christmas came up and I heard my mother from across the room mutter something like, “I just don’t like Christmas.”
My eyes flew open wide as I gasped, pointed to her and shouted, “YOU! YOU did this to me?”
“Did what?” she asked.
*I* hate Christmas!”
She winced and gave me an apologetic nod while hesitantly adding, “I just never felt like that’s how Jesus would have wanted it.”
“Ah-ha!” I pointed at her and jumped up and down. “It’s your fault!”
So you see? My disdain for this time of year isn't psychological at all, it's just biology! What a relief. In the meantime my Bishop has asked me to write the Christmas program for church. After politely and eloquently sharing with him my thoughts, (I believe "Uh...but I hate Christmas" may have been my exact words) he replied, "Well then," he replied, "maybe there's a reason you're being asked."
I hope he's right.