I Had A Christmas Secret Day 2
The ripple effect of Hating Christmas wasn’t just being miserable on December 25th, it was the warm-up
and the cooldown of the Holiday. In a kids life, the end of the year is backstopped by the glorious time
that is Christmas, or so I had heard. Even the Hanukkah kids had a great time, and often they had both!
For a good six week’s all of America’s attention is on the glory that is Christmas, and to secretly being
miserable is agonizing. Every time I saw a decoration, or a store display, I would feel tense. This went on
well into my early 30s.
I did not want to associate myself with the people who rant and rave about the materialism of Christmas because
that was not my fight. Don’t get me wrong, they have a valid point. There is a lot of crazy greed
surrounding Christmas. It is everywhere from the “Best Toys for Boys” segment on Good Morning
America, to Lexus commercial where the wife gets a new car with a 6 foot giant bow in her driveway, it is
only on every 15 minutes. The excessive tipping of everyone from the hair salon assistant to the night
mailman at the apartment building can really add up. I always detested the office Secret Santas, but I
would do them. There is always the surprise gift exchange with the person you didn’t know you were
exchanging gifts with until they give you one, and then I would be stuck mumbling something
unintelligible and then try to fix the situation as quickly as possible.
Instead, I reached a cease-fire with Christmas as I call it in a different route. When my oldest was 3 or so,
it finally occurred to me I could make Christmas for her anyway I wanted. It did not have to be a drama
fest with tons of tension and bad emotions connected to it.
The first time I told a professional my Christmas secret, he nodded and said: “makes sense, tell me more”.
That was it. An alarm did not go off. Santa and his elves must have forgotten to burst into his well-appointed
office to arrest me for not loving the Happiest Time Of The Year. Nothing happened except I
started to feel better.
The next thing I did was stop schlepping across the country with my kid and the gifts to relatives houses
only to be stressed out and then ship everything back to New York. What was the point of that? Then I
started talking to people about why I struggled with Christmas. I stopped buying gifts for everyone under
the Sun, participating in things like Secret Santas at work, same with the tipping the entire world, all of
that sort of things was gone. I had to ditch it all because I resented it and only did it in the past out of
obligation, I am not saying it is without consequence. I am fairly confident our mailman would like a tip,
but I am to going to lose any sleep over it.
As of today, I wouldn’t call myself the Christmas Queen ala Mariah Carey, then again she is in a league all
by herself anyway. I am a little past like on the scale of Christmas Love. I love my children and how they
love Christmas, which is enough for me.