I Had A Christmas Secret

For most of my life, I had a Holiday secret. I hated Christmas. I would start to feel anxious as soon as the
lights started being hung on doors, every song playing in departments stores would make me cringe and I
was confused why everyone seemed happy but me. I must have been the only person who would feel
relieved the Monday after New Years when life got back to normal.

Looking back, I never wanted to go see the lights on 5th Avenue or drive around brightly decorated
neighborhoods. I didn’t see “It’s A Wonderful Life” until I was 25 and flying on Christmas Day and it was
the only movie being played.

I had very good reasons for hating Christmas when I was growing up they usually awful. It wasn’t as if
we didn’t have the right decor or the turkey was dry, it was everything else. I began at around 6 to
associate Christmas with the family experience I didn’t have and the one I wanted. The one everyone else
seemed to have these great times, or at least they did on the Hallmark movies.

To dislike Christmas is embarrassing and isolating. It isn’t as if there is a clubhouse full of other secrets
Christmas haters. If I ever hinted at it or acted anything other than super excited about it, I would get the
usual interrogation about how I could possibly not like such a great Holiday. I did not always want to get
into my extremely valid reasons for not getting super excited for a time of year that was always a giant
bummer with a bow on it for me.

I learned to bury these forbidden feelings in a giant box of See’s fudge. I did not want to be the Christmas
hater, the one who didn’t find magic in the Nutcracker or the girl who felt claustrophobic while singing in
the Holiday Pageant. When would I be asked what I wanted for Christmas by relatives who would
invariably cause stress the day of, I wanted to say “for it to be over” but nice little girls do not say such
things now do they? I would reply with a toy or whatever that was not too expensive because we all know
we can never truly ask for what we want, so I learned to ask for something else and pretend it was ok.
Pass the Eggnog!

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