Apparently my last two posts are bringing out the Grinch in those of us who are by nature, Grinches. Stan shared with me his thoughts on Christmas via the comments section, and I just could not let these comments pass without sharing them with my wonderful readers. Yes, I know that many of you are busy hanging Mistletoe and wrapping gifts, etc., and you are all in the spirit (notice the little “s”). of Christmas. So here is something from the side of us who don’t really enjoy it.
I don’t like gift-giving. Don’t get me wrong. I like giving gifts. What I don’t like is the extortion and entitlement that is Christmas. You see, in other instances I have the option to give or not. Those gifts are my idea. They’re “from the heart”. I try to give when it’s not necessary to do so just so people can know I intended it. But at Christmas, there is no option. If you don’t give gifts, you’re a “Scrooge.” Well, I don’t want to be disliked, so I give gifts. I don’t give them because the wise men gave gifts to Christ; I give them because I’m supposed to. I don’t give gifts because the people who are near and dear to me can use them; I give them because I’m supposed to. To avoid being disliked, I give. That’s extortion. And it’s not cheap extortion. A local radio station is running an ad from a mortgage company that says, in essence, “Don’t get stuck with all those credit card bills buying Christmas presents … take out a second mortgage!” And because I give because I’m supposed to, the recipients are, often, ungrateful. Why? Because they’re supposed to get a gift. They’re entitled to a gift. So … they get it, and that’s that. Why be grateful? They simply received what they were owed. And, I have to say, that tie he got wasn’t what he really had in mind. And, seriously, did you really think she would appreciate a new vacuum cleaner? And, come on, was that really all you could afford to spend on the oldest son? So, no thanks to me, there is no thanks to me. And, oh, hey, did you forget that your sister-in-law sent a nice gift basket last year? You had better get on the ball and send her something nice this year. Extortion and entitlement.
Now, to be fair, I don’t like receiving gifts. You see, I’m quite contented. There is nothing I need that the Lord hasn’t provided, and I can’t think of anything I really want. So people who love me ask, “What do you want for Christmas?” and I can’t think of a thing. It’s not my fault. I’m content. So they’ll give me stuff. Stuff I don’t want or need. Stuff that it would never occur to me to buy. I appreciate the heart that goes into such things. I appreciate the love that they carry. But, I gotta tell ya, I hadn’t the slightest thought of ever in my whole life buying a nose-hair clipper. I mean, thanks, really, but … yuck! And why is it that new shirts are always in colors I won’t wear or styles that I can’t stomach or 4 sizes too small? (I mean, really, folks, I appreciate it that you don’t see me as fat, but let’s be real here.) And I end up one of those very same people I complained about just a paragraph ago, the ungrateful ones. I don’t like receiving gifts.
He goes on…
The biggest reason I don’t like Christmas is the pointlessness. My daughter was born on Christmas. Several years ago, while she was a teenager, I gave her a cartoon of a little girl, sitting in her room, moping. “It sucks being born on Christmas,” she says. Jesus, standing behind her, says, “Tell Me about it.” You see, many of us give lipservice to “Jesus is the reason for the season,” but we don’t very often actually mean it. We often make little or no connection to the things that are “Christmas” and … Christ. We might tell the Christmas story at our gathering of the day. We might have a Nativity on the lawn. We might even put up a “Jesus is the reason for the season” sign. But, let’s face it, for the most part we leave Christ out of Christmas. He doesn’t get our gifts like any normal birthday person would. He isn’t central in our planning and decorating and all that goes into Christmas. He doesn’t get our attention; friends, family, and the trappings of Christmas do.
I know, I should be all joyous about it. But I’m not. To me, it just means that I’m going to miss a few days of work, which means a few days of pay. Holidays only truly benefit those on salaries. Those of us who are hourly, take a hit every holiday. So I’m not really happy about it. And I will have to buy something for my boys, and I really do not have the money.
And… it’s Andy’s birthday the day after Christmas, and I really don’t have the money. This year, Christmas really sucks.
Now that I’ve depressed you with my depressing life: Merry Christmas!
You can read the entirety of Stan’s post here.