I don’t do Christmas. This has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with the fact that I just hate it. To be perfectly honest, I could quite happily hibernate for the entire month of December and resurface on NYE, just in time to get a bit silly and snag a kiss at twelve.
You would be entirely justified in calling me a Grinch. I don’t care for the lights and I vehemently despise the carols (especially when they get stuck in my head.) The people become infinitely less tolerable and more rude and oh yeah, I work in customer service. In a shopping center. Plus, there’s all this pressure to buy gifts and get into the spirit. I don’t get any joy out of the Christmas period, with the exception of all the food I get to eat. Not even the grinchiest of my Christmas hating brethren can hate Christmas food.
Today I received a text from my boss, inviting me to a work Christmas party on Monday night. My stomach filled with dread at the thought. I’ve never had the obligation of an end of year work gathering before, and the thought makes me legitimately queasy. Partly because I’m socially awkward, and partly because I’m worried I’ll upset my boss if I don’t attend. I’d barely finished reading the text before I groaned out loud to my best friend and declared my distaste of the idea. No reflection on my coworkers, and more just the fact that I don’t enjoy Christmas functions. Ever the clever one, he reminded me that those kind of events aren’t usually compulsory. I just hate the fact that I even have to worry about offending someone if I can’t or don’t wish to go. We should be able to elect not to participate in Christmas activities if we so choose. And boy, do I choose (not to).
We were never a family really big on decorating the house, at least not that I can recall. When I was a kid I’d see all these houses decorated in lights and front lawn nativity scenes and think we were boring because we never did it. These days I just wonder what the electricity bills of these houses will look like, and I’m thankful that we don’t do it. My mum usually dealt with the tree but after she left, we never really bothered. Dad and I haven’t had a tree in three years, much to my friends’ disgust. I guess neither of us really cares that much.
Even though there are certain Christmassy things I simply can’t avoid, there is at least one thing I can. I’m at an age now where I don’t have to attend the extended family gatherings. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike my relatives. It’s more that I don’t really know them, and my mum has a huge family. I used to spend the entire day going from one to the other, and the next and the next. That shit is tiring. All I want to do on the day is eat the aforementioned great food, exchange a present or two and see the people I know well enough not to feel awkward around. Of course, my non attendance will inevitably get tongues wagging amongst a certain few. There are always those that take it as a personal insult if you don’t attend a ‘family’ event. Yet another reason to avoid the whole saga.
To be honest, y’all can keep the stress and the visiting and all the freakin’ joy. I’ll be over there in the classics section, chillin’ with my pal, Scrooge (pre ghost visitation, naturally), stuffing my face with all the foods and blocking out the abhorrent sounds of The Little Drummer Boy with the sweet, sweet sound of heavy metal drumming solos.