216. Confessions of a Grinch

I have a confession to make; I used a Christmas hater.  I never went out of my way to ruin Christmas for others so I wasn’t a full-blown Grinch, but with a few small exceptions, my Christmas spirit was pretty much non-existent. 

Christmas music? Hell no!
Christmas movies? No thanks.
Christmas decorations? I suppose.
Setting foot in a store between Black Friday and New Year’s? Pretty much my nightmare.
Getting gifts for seemingly everyone? Ugh.

I hate the fact that stores start putting up Christmas stuff around, or even before, Halloween!  I don’t like hearing the same songs over and over again for months at a time.  I can’t stand the constant crowds and the bad attitude that so many people have.  I hate the stress of finding the perfect gift for someone, of feeling like I haven’t spent enough on someone, and of feeling like I have to get someone a gift because they got me something.  I hate being disappointed when I didn’t get exactly what I wanted for Christmas.

I never really understood why I disliked Christmas so much.  I used to enjoy it as a child.  Then last year I realized something: It’s not Christmas I hate at all.  I hate the over-blown, commercialized monstrosity that Christmas has become.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not preaching the “Jesus is the reason for the season” line here.  We already discussed how not religious I am.  What I am preaching is a low-stress version of Christmas: a version of Christmas that focuses on traditions and quality time with family and friends.

All the things I hated about Christmas over-shadowed the things I actually loved about Christmas.  This made me hate the season and everything that came along with it.  Then last year I decided to stop giving a shit, and like magic, I started to like Christmas.

I realized I actually love the traditions of Christmas.  I love going to my parent’s house for Gingerbread Fest.  I love that Christmas totally justifies baking things for no seemingly “good” reason.  I love Santa themed races.  I love decorating the tree.  I love the smell of the Christmas tree.  I love getting on my parents’ roof to hang their outdoor Christmas lights because no one else in the house will do it (But shhh! Don’t tell them that!).  I love the fact that on Christmas Eve my family gets together for what could probably be classified as the most indulgent meal ever.  I still don’t love Christmas music, but it’s growing on me.  I like new Christmas songs or truly unique takes on the Classics. 

I stopped worrying about finding the perfect gift, and actually ended up finding the perfect gift for a lot of people.  I stopped buying gifts for all those peripheral people.  Since I wasn’t buying nearly as many gifts or as hell-bent on finding the perfect gift, I spent a lot less time being stressed out in malls and stores.  Few crowds, fewer  fights for parking spaces, less contact with the same terrible Christmas music.  When I stopped worrying so much about Christmas, I was able to focus on the things I really loved: ya know, like getting together with my sister-in-law to drink an entire bottle of wine while baking. 

I think simplifying Christmas and focusing on the things that really matter would help a lot of people be in much better spirits this time of year.  Maybe I’m missing the boat here, but I feel like this is the spirit behind Heather‘s Handmade Christmas 2010.

I’m not doing most of the Christmas stuff this year – I’ll explain that later – and I actually miss it.  I wish I had lights hanging on my windows and balcony.  I wish I had a tree in my living room.  I want to watch Christmas movies, and I’m even planning to find some Christmas music I like! 

Slowly but surely, I am reforming my Grinchy ways!

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0 thoughts on “216. Confessions of a Grinch”

  1. Best line ever “getting together with my SIL to drink an entire bottle of wine while baking” haha!

    Why do you think last year you changed all of this? Maybe being in your condo your the first time?

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