Thinking about this on this crazy Black Friday....
I know a lot of people love the holidays (this girl) but I also know (and LOVE) a lot of people who absolutely cringe once we get to Halloween.
I am certain that there are a million polls out there that would speak to this in our culture but I am genuinely hopeful to hear from the cuddling demographic of people here and the opinions and thoughts of YOU guys. So many things about the season cause me to feel frustrated but I am curious as to what it is that makes it unbearable for YOU. I am so interested in your thoughts, experiences and perspective.
I want to be clear.... I have no desire to change anyone's mind and I hope everyone will let this be a thread that stays true to the topic (if you need to talk about Holiday magic there's a fabulous thread for that as well started by yours truly)
I love Halloween but find the other holidays to be stressful. Being forced into situations with family you hardly know and have very little in common with. Every public area becomes super congested with holiday shoppers. People start driving crazy. I live where it gets cold, so that's a bummer. I just prefer the non holiday season. My birthday falls around Thanksgiving, so, that is also just unfortunate.
It’s bearable for me but incredibly frustrating. I’ve never experienced what I would call benchmarks, traditions, etc of the holiday season relative to cuddling ( curling up by a fire, strolling through the Christmas lights etc) and always wanted to. Appeared that might change this season , but as usual , things changed and it looks like it’ll be the same ol’ . Boy .... was that more than I interned to share lol. Sorry!
What is a Holiday? Originally it was a Holy Day. And that varies according to your religion, Christians, Jews and Muslims all celebrate different Holidays. Halloween is not a Holiday, it's an invention created solely to make money. Not saying it can't be fun, but it is not a Holiday. What makes Holidays unbearable is the blatant commercialism plus the feeling that if you aren't enjoying them, having a good time and surrounded by family and friends , there must be something wrong with you, because everyone else is.
I abhor the holidays. The platitudes that people spew, the fetishistic focus on family, the rampant consumerism, etc. Bile burns my throat from October to mid-January, and I'd swear that one of my eyelids becomes locked in a state of agitated fluttering, as if the psycho-sphere were given form (in the shape a grotesque matron made gravid by clusters of stillborns that spill out bewinged and grinning dully) and was then compelled to prod me in the eye with filth-encrusted nails.
Then, there's Christmas music. Everywhere, and at loud volumes. It makes me want to scream until I cough up bloody phlegm. And those people who stand outside stores, ringing those abominable bells? The horror. I would gorge myself upon pounds of smoked turkey meat and gallons of gravy if I could then eject it all into their pots of alms. As my body convulsed from being nearly made hollow, I would stand and bask in the terrified silence of onlookers.
Editorial note: Halloween was started by the Celts and was brought over to America by Scottish and Irish immigrants in the 18th century. So it was not just made up by corporations.
I return you now to your regularly scheduled bitterness.
@taulkat HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I can imagine it would be difficult to have your birthday around this time of year. My birthday is in February and it's rare that I don't get red heart markdown presents after Valentines Day!!
@adorable48 Fabulous name by the way!! Those are great pics on your profile!! I do think there is an extraordinary amount of pressure on people during the holidays around activities and relationships and certainly around those that would be more intimate. Partner ice skating, holding hands and gazing at a fire, giving or receiving an extremely thoughtful present to another.... not having a significant other (or OTHERS) to have that intimacy with is something that seems exaggerated during the season. Like @UKGuy said "if you aren't enjoying them, having a good time and surrounded by family and friends , there must be something wrong with you, because everyone else is."
It feels like the pressure of conforming to the normative traditions is seen as the only thing that can make you happy which is great if that's what you've decided but it makes me sad when people think that what they have isn't enough to make them happy because of a society that dictates specific ideas.
I love Halloween whether its a holiday or not. hahhaha I love getting to dress up and see everyone's personality in their choices.
@hogboblin Omgosh!!! You have no idea how many times you make me smile. Truly. You said-------The platitudes that people spew, the fetishistic focus on family, the rampant consumerism--------- Fetishistic! What a fabulous word!!! Will you expand on this? You create so much visible stimulation.....Your eyelid becomes locked in a state of agitated fluttering..... This is what I would like to understand from your perspective..... How much of your statement is exaggerated for effect or when you hear the bell ringers do you really want to vomit on everyone? (I'm being legit btw) I'm asking because I feel like I completely align with you on certain things like fakery and traditional BS but I don't necessarily feel that extreme emotionally... I'm trying to understand you a little bit more. Also I was imagining how much turkey and gravy that might take and if I could video the captive audience so we could YouTube it or something.
@FunCartel Thank you for your input!!! (Regularly scheduled... hahhahaha)
So far I am seeing this trend.... Please feel free to correct if I'm somehow missing the points that you all are trying to convey.
COMMERCIALISM including traffic and crazies
RELATIONSHIPS Family that you don't actually want to be with
STEREOTYPES that "speak" contentment
UNFULFILLED DREAMS seasonal activities
CHRISTMAS MUSIC loud or just in general?
PLATITUDES (whether they are spewed or just spoken?)
@sillysassy I just get sad, sitting at home, knowing there’s so much going on that I could participate in, if I had someone to do those things. Not trying to play the wheelchair card, but it sure is easier from a practical standpoint too, to be with someone.
@sillysassy what a great invitation. As is often the case, @hogboblin and @FunCartel made me spit my coffee in mirth. And your consistent kindness and inclusivity warms my heart.
I just take all the bullshit that is offered on the cultural menu and build my own platter. I use holidays as excuses to have the fun I want to have, the specialness I want to have, and discard the rest. I have some decent memories that fuel my benign relationship to these "special" days: of singing carols in the orange glow of electric window candles with my sister while listening for reindeer hooves on the roof, of running through the dark with my siblings, cold sweat lining the inside of my clown mask, of Easter baskets full of treats and the hunt for the hidden chocolate bunny, of beloved great grandpa in a tryptofan-induced nap requiring one of the 3 generations of beloved ladies present to remove his burning cigar from his limp fingers for us all to make it to another day.
I do what I want, take what I like, abandon the rest, and frequently either opt out of what the herd is doing, or redesign it to my own liking.
awwwwww @adorable48.... I didn't get a feeling that you were trying to play a wheelchair card. You also said "sorry for sharing more than you intended to". Please don't apologize.... This community and specifically this thread was intended FOR sharing. Thank you for being willing to share a little bit of your heart.
I think you hit on a very valid point. Whether its the holidays or any other day of the year honestly, I think there are lots and lots of things we wish we could do, or we wish we could do with someone. I don't have the same perspective as you being wheelchair bound but that must be challenging emotionally as well as practically. I also think there's a tendency in our culture to say "you haven't experienced LIFE unless you've had a chance to experience this____________" fill in the blank and when you don't have the ability to do that (for any number of reasons) we feel like we're missing out on a happiness. Do you feel the same way about things in your every day life (in regards to "benchmarks or traditions") or just as it pertains to the holidays?
I was also going to ask everyone if they've ALWAYS felt this way or if it came about because of a specific event or a certain age etc.
(Again... thank you for sharing!!)
@sillysassy it’s actually more emotional than practical. Additionally, it’s an everyday thing to an extent but it’s more so during the holidays because I get reminded more during the holidays.
Every time I find myself becoming slightly resentful of the holidays I remember that more than anything, it is for the children. I think the Holidays do try to convey optimism and as modern jaded adults we tend to revolt at the whiff of Pollyannish ideas and concepts. Let the children enjoy it and take joy from them. At least I try to...still working on that.
Thank you. I'll go into more detail on a few things.
"...the fetishistic focus on family, the rampant consumerism--------- Fetishistic! What a fabulous word!!! Will you expand on this?"
I find the amount of importance placed on familial units to be extremely distasteful.
"How much of your statement is exaggerated for effect or when you hear the bell ringers do you really want to vomit on everyone?"
I'm exaggerating. I do become irked, but not enough to expel the contents of my stomach. I often pretend to be deaf in public, which helps in some situations—like when dealing with talkative bell-ringers, well-wishers, and most chatty people in general. I'll do the ASL signs for "Sorry, I'm deaf". A perplexed expression is the common response, but realization eventually dawns on them. That's usually enough. Twice now I've had to use a follow up: "I'm in a rush".
@hogboblin I am blind, could you put your explanation in a Wav file?
It's not a Wav file, and I didn't have my microphone set up (the volume is a bit low), but here ya go:
Imagine a crowd of people sitting in an airport departure lounge, drinking coffee, reading, playing games on a smartphone. Then the flight is called, and everyone files out to the aircraft.
Except the few people who aren't booked on the flight, but were simply sitting there enjoying the company.
Holidays aren't a great time for single people ; though I once read that Christmas is a "popular" time to file for divorce, so it isn't always great for couples either.
@geoff1000 Thank you for that example. I have been thinking about this as everyone is sharing.... How many of those people who are coupled together or otherwise engaged in the crowd of the "attached" do you think are actually finding joy? Geoff pointed out and I believe its an interesting idea that more people file for divorce or separate themselves from toxic relationships as maybe a "Gift" to themselves.... hmmmmmm I will have to think about that a little more....
I have had some major heartaches that happened around the holidays and it made even the mention of mashed potatoes and turkey make me want to vomit! (for real @hogboblin) The traditions without the heart and the platitudes without actual kindness make my stomach get all twisty. Being forced to go to ridiculous holiday parties or family gatherings with people that you have no real attachment to is exhausting. I was raised with all sorts of notions that if you DIDN'T participate you were a jerk and you might in fact be contributing to ailments like heart attacks by not being present. The most interesting part about this community is how many people you get to reach out to who are looking for a REAL (albeit a possible short) connection. It might just be a few hours in an airport because of a delay but you get to look forward to a true exchange (at least that has been my experience for the most part).
@littermate you are sweet. Thank you for your kind words. Can't wait till you're back in Denver! I do think its a pretty strong correlation with happy memories of my childhood that I have as well. Not because of the large presents or the major amounts of money that was spent (we were pretty poor) but it was the willingness to stop for a minute and take time to focus on someone else. Realizing how much we had or how lucky we were to be born within our specific circumstances.... I felt like people were more eager to give than demand. Is that a generational thing or has our culture really shifted that much in its ideology?
@FunCartel You said_Every time I find myself becoming slightly resentful of the holidays I remember that more than anything, it is for the children. I think the Holidays do try to convey optimism and as modern jaded adults we tend to revolt at the whiff of Pollyannish ideas and concepts. Let the children enjoy it and take joy from them. At least I try to...still working on that._
I think you are so right!! I think its the only time that some people feel like they have the right to feel optimistic about the kindness in HUMANS!!! Then they go so freaky overboard by saying "Now is the time to ring the bell. Now is the time to ask for donations. Now is when we can coerce people into buying EVERYTHING THEY DON'T NEED!" Which of course makes us hate the holidays. Fake emotion. Fake love. Fake generosity. The thing I have to say about "let the children enjoy" and it's only because we're jaded is that I don't really want my kids to grow up doing things like that out of duty or tradition or only have optimism when they're young. I'm trying to figure out how to balance all of that and help them not be all the bad parts of their Momma!! as you said.... I'm still working on THAT!!
@FunCartel & @hogboblin you guys.... oh man.... hahahhaha I am going to talk to you more in detail in a PM
Curious.... (I am sure you two gurus will be able to help me out on this one....) One of the original stories that I ever heard about St. Nick was that he would sneak around and put coins or little treasures in people's socks as they were hanging on the clothesline. Whether its true or not I think it brings about an amazing feeling of warmth. Its that kind of thoughtfulness that I wish we could get back to a bit. The idea that we could do something kind or thoughtful for someone else without all the hubub. Without it having to be a display.... without recognition even. Without it being the dutiful present to old Aunt Marge because she always gets you a fruitcake!!! For the love of all that's good and holy can we all just figure out how to be honest about the fruitcake???? hahahhaa
(OMGOSH!!! I just got the blind/wavfile schtick... what a goober. I am a little slow)
@hogboblin 😂 🤣😂
@sillysassy You bet! Me too on Colorado, just so I can meet YOU. My mom was pretty wholesomely into the holidays and making it fun for us, so that was a nice foundation. Minimal requirements to fake anything or adhere to ridiculous customs that made no sense. Good dose of "let's just be freaking real" in my house growing up, to an extent. As long as it was smart, speedy and achieving something. I do think we've been shifting toward some kind of glorification of the individual over the community and the prizing of "doing your own thing" over the value of service.
I don't celebrate Christmas nor New year's. I acknowledge what it means to different groups of people, religions. And I cherish some of the principles underlying why it's celebrated and adapt it into my life. I don't have the mental, emotional nor digestive energy to hate it. I just don't celebrate it at all.
I never believed in nor accepted Santa Claus. I don't participate in giving nor receiving gifts. Would get a lot of criticism and mental health diagnoses for rejecting gifts.
It made me more convicted in my stance. I don't string Christmas lights. I don't decorate Christmas trees. I don't care.
I don't hear all the platitudes. I don't hear the loud blaring Christmas songs. I've learnt to tune them out of my head. My own children hated my guts for years. They just didn't understand. Now as young adults they share my belief and express their own frustrations with the season. I listen with empathy. But I still don't care.
I celebrate the goodness of people all year round. I'm always giving of my ear, my time, my efforts to others: young or old, sick or well. And I show gratitude to others every chance I get so long as I have breath. I'm always making resolutions and evaluating them.
I do care for the tradition of gathering and connecting with my loved ones. We never had much growing up but my mother went out of her way to go look for all her aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings she hadn't seen through the year. She would tag all her children along. She would spend hours in a day chatting and catching up it with them. You could hear her laughter with them a whole mile away. They truly enjoyed her prescence and looked forward to seeing her every year. That I truly cherish.
So much that my sister and I now make it a habit to check in and connect with each other once a month. We meet up to watch a movie, to cook dinner at each other's house or just to hangout and chat. That is my Christmas. Once a month connecting with my beloved sister and cherishing her as she is. That's our Christmas tradition once a month 365 days a year.
So every day is a new year for me. Everyday is Christmas in one form or tradition. I seriously don't care for the holidays. I have to check the calendar on my phone to remember them.
After Halloween, I'm holidayed out. It doesn't help that my birthday is between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which just kinda ruins all three, for me anyways. I don't plan on doing anything on my birthday. I don't really view New Years as a holiday so much as just a changing of the calendar. Plus, after 8 years as a scare actor/haunter, Halloween is firmly my happy time, scaring people is my happy place.
I dislike presents. I don’t want stuff and it’s a waste if time, money, and environment. At least for me. What I want is to spend some nice time with family and that’s all.
What I most dislike is that despite them knowing I don’t want gifts, that I never use them, and that it goes against some of my core self, the Christmas gift giving is so hammered in, so engrained into their culture that they do it anyways.
I've managed to wean my family off the idea of presents and me. We used to swap ideas, but there was always duplication.
I'm typically asleep underground during holidays. Halloween's pretty much the only one I'm ever awake for, and being as I apparently don't age and therefore can get away with it, I really enjoy trick-or-treating. Other holidays, though? I mostly don't notice them.
I do detest those Christmas bell-ringers, though. Gah. Were they set up specifically to torture me? Sometimes it seems like it. (There are definite downsides to super sharp hearing.)
@DarrenWalker I just visited your profile to picture you trick-or-treating. I can see it.
@littermate Will you expand a little bit on this thought? I read it and then read it again realizing I'm not exactly sure what you are saying.... I do think we've been shifting toward some kind of glorification of the individual over the community and the prizing of "doing your own thing" over the value of service.
@BrianL Omgosh! 8 years A scare actor/haunter.... How cool is that? I can imagine being a little weary of holidays after gearing up for the Halloween season. That is pretty cool!
@JasonCuddles @geoff1000 PRESENTS!! It does seem like we as humans are doing things too often to make ourselves feel better as opposed to actually trying to love the other person in the way that makes them feel loved. It seems as though if we could stop doing long enough to listen to what someone is saying we would finally have the ability for some true connection. The idea of each of us saying "what can I do to make you feel how much I care for you?" I wish we as a society were more willing to honor that. Even if that means "please don't buy me the present and just spend time with me" or whatever your love language is.
@Bles said it pretty well I think. Lets try and connect with each other all the time instead of just one day a year. Lets try and celebrate goodness all year instead of just a few days. Lets try and drown out the HYPE. (Of course for me I love the twinkle lights... So I have them up all year! They are my gentle lights around my house)
@DarrenWalker do you think if the bells didn't make any sound at all they would still be annoying??? hahahha
@sillysassy it seems with the deterioration of our communities and churches, and the rise of "do it if it feels good" and rugged individualism, and a general immaturity that has people asking more about what can gratify them and serve their own selfish ends versus serve the community, we've moved away from what I feel we had historically had more of in this country.
I really struggle with the holidays. I have seasonal depression so I’m already at a low starting point. I love giving gifts but Christmas gift giving stresses me out I don’t have the time and money to put individual thought into each gift and I hate giving unpersonalized gifts but I also feel I need to return the exchange because despite telling people we aren’t exchanging gifts this year people still buy me things. If feels so forced. We do Christmas Eve at my house so it means deep cleaning before and cleaning up at night before bed. Then we take my kids to my sisters in the morning for breakfast.
@sillysassy Yeah. 8 years. Well, seasons, but it takes it out of person, as the movements and such are generally not what a person would do. Even though I missed this year, due to having moved down here and wanted to check out things from the other side, next year I look to get back into it, if only for my mental health, as I could feel the depression acting up in October when I should have been scaring.
Hey, all. Not sure I'd call myself "Holiday hater", as much as I'd say I use holiday's time for unusual purposes: just relaxing without an agenda for the day, or organizing projects, creative fun, drives on lighter traffic holidays to nature settings nearby, and not for "dutiful family obligations" gift-giving, nor the commercial side of it all, which I know many on this thread also abhor. So I repurpose holidays...Every day in life is to be enjoyed!
So let's be clear and honest about these "holy days"
Halloween is an excuse for some people to get drunk and dress in skimpy outfits, just an excuse.
Thanksgiving? How about being grateful everyday and not just one day to show off in front of everyone how grateful you are, those family reunions? Yeah awkward and lots of time...fake.
Christmas, a pure invention for companies to make money and another valid excuse for people to feel "the spirit" and wish everyone all the best and blah blah blah....
So that's my opinion about these ugly days.