Sunday, December 25, 2011

I hate christmas ~ I admitted it (but im not alone)

Ever since i was a small child I have dreaded christmas.  In fact I pretty much dread the period of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. 
~ it always sucks
long story short ~ its a bunch of bull , I believe that we need to appreciate our friends, family and blessings year round.
Everyone gets stressed out and fights

but i have been doing research! I am not alone!

When I was a kid in Minnesota my family had a huge Scandinavian feast every Christmas Eve, complete with two dozen relatives, three feet of snow, a mountainous evergreen trimmed to the top, a six-course dinner with lutefisk and turkey and eight or ten pies, long-winded after-dinner stories about baseball and World War II, and, of course, lots of brightly wrapped presents. It has taken me three decades of rigorous economics training and life on the East Coast to shake off the warm nostalgia of those holidays. But I am now willing to say out loud what I suspect many Americans are muttering all across the country at this time of year: Christmas has become a net loss as a socioeconomic institution.

Although for many years Christmas has been justified on the grounds that it is "merry,'' rigorous quantitative analysis establishes that the opposite is the case. Despite claims advanced by proponents that the holiday promotes a desirable "spirit,'' makes people ``jolly,'' etc., the data show that the yuletide time period is marked by environmental degradation, hazardous products and travel, and -- perhaps most important -- inefficient uses of key resources. The holiday is an insidious and overlooked factor in America's dwindling savings rates, slack worth ethic, and high crime rates. Nor does Christmas truly fulfill its purported distributional objective: the transfer of gifts to those who need them. Moreover, the number of people rendered "joyous'' by Christmas is probably equaled or excelled by the number made to feel rather blue. In short, as shown below, although Christmas is an important religious observance that provides wintertime fun for children (who would probably be having fun anyway), it fails the test of cost-effectiveness.

Christmas consumes vast resources in the dubious and uncharitable activity of "forced giving.'' First, it is necessary to factor in all the time spent searching for "just the right gifts,'' writing and mailing cards to people one ignores the rest of the year, decorating trees, attending dreary holiday parties with highly fattening, cholesterol-rich eggnog drinks and false cheer, and returning presents. Assuming conservatively that each U.S. adult spends an average of two days per year on Christmas activities, this represents an investment of nearly one million person-years per season. Just as important is the amount that Americans spend on gratuitous gifts each year -- $40 billion to $50 billion, according to the U.S. Commerce Department's monthly retail trade sales. Extra consumer spending is often considered beneficial because it stimulates the economy, but the massive yuletide spike creates numerous harmful externalities.

Mistargeted giving is one indication of this waste. According to New York department stores, each year about 15 percent of all retail dollar purchases at Christmas are returned. Allowing for the fact that many misdirected gifts are retained because people feel obliged to keep them (such as appliances, tablecloths, etc., which must be displayed when the relative who gave them to you comes for a visit), and allowing for the widespread inability of children to return gifts, this indicates that up to a third of purchases may be ill-suited to their recipients. Christmas is really a throwback to all the inefficiencies of the barter economy, in which people have to match other people's wants to their offerings. Of course, money was invented precisely to solve this "double coincidence of wants'' problem. One solution would be to require people to give each other cash as presents, but that would quickly reveal the absurdity of the whole institution.

"Forced giving'' also artificially pumps up consumption and reduces savings, since it is unlikely that all the silly and expensive presents given at Christmas would be given at other times of the year. One particularly noxious aspect of Christmas consumption is "conspicuous giving,'' which involves luxury gifts such as Tiffany eggs, crystal paperweights, and $15,000 watches that are designed precisely for those who are least in need of any present at all ("the person who has everything''). Most such high-priced gifts are given at Christmas; the fourth quarter, according to a sampling of New York department stores, provides more than half the year's diamond, watch, and fur sales.

Naturally, gratuitous spending delights retailers. Christmas accounts for more than a fifth of their sales and two-fifths of their profits, which suggests a Marxist explanation for the holiday -- a powerful economic interest underlying the season's gift-centered ideology. But for the nation as a whole it increases the burden of consumer debt (almost a quarter of Christmas season sales are financed by credit cards or charge accounts, and January is the peak month for credit card delinquencies) and reduces our flagging savings rate (now below 5 percent of national income).

For parents, one especially exasperating aspect of Christmas is mindless toy fetishism. Christmas now accounts for 60 percent of the United States' annual $17 billion expenditure on toys and video games, according to the Toy Manufacturers Association. Much of this rapidly depreciating toy capital consists of TV-show tie-ins (there are 350 separate Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle products and scores more of Ghostbusters and Bart Simpson figures) and expensive gadgets that do not work or hold interest for more than a day. According to the toy association, the country now spends nearly as much on video games like Nintendo's Super Mario and Gameboy (nearly $4 billion), activity figures like World Wrestlers ($500 million), and dolls like Barbie and My Pretty Ballerina ($1.1 billion) as on all retail book sales ($6.6 billion). Since six of the top ten toys are made by Japanese companies, one might adduce a subtle long-run Japanese strategy here.

What's more, toys are unusually hazardous consumer products. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that each year there are thirty-three deaths and 148,000 emergency room admissions due to hazardous toys, plus 1.2 million toy recalls. (The comparative figures for deaths caused by books and book recalls are zero and zero, respectively.) If these deaths, injuries, and recalls are allocated in proportion to seasonal sales, Christmas emerges as the cause of most of them. And one has only to visit any Toys 'R' Us or Child World at this time of year to see the impact of this season's extraordinary pressures on child-parent relations: distraught mothers dragging tiny toy addicts kicking and screaming away from the latest high-priced, cheesy offerings. All of this unproductive consumption would be much better spent on pencil sharpeners, calculators, and green eyeshades.

Christmas increases congestion. At least in large urban areas, it is by far the most unpleasant time to shop, travel, dine out, or go to the bathroom in a mall. Just when stores are at their most crowded, shopping becomes mandatory; just when everyone else is making family visitations, they are de rigueur. December 21 and 22 are the year's peak dates for air travel, according to the Air Transport Association of America, with 1.7 million Americans per day jamming the nation's airports, as against a year-long daily average of 1.14 million. Twenty-three million travel during the period from December 19 to January 4 -- just when the weather is often at its worst and the airlines charge their highest prices.

According to the U.S. Postal Service, the volume of mail traffic more than doubles to 220 million letters and 6 million parcels per day the week before Christmas, battering a system already weakened by tens of millions of catalogs and advertisements during the previous two months. Telephone calls reach as high as 131 million per day in the month from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve, according to AT&T. At many stores and post offices, there are long lines, and costly second and third shifts have to be added to handle them, which consumers ultimately pay for. All of this "peak loading'' at Christmas means that airlines, mail delivery, stores, banks, warehouses, telephone systems, roads, and parking lots must be built much larger than if activities were distributed more evenly throughout the year. That wastes precious capital.

Christmas destroys the environment and innocent animals and birds. These have perhaps not been traditional concerns for economists. But when one takes account of all the Christmas trees, letters, packages, increased newspaper advertising, wrapping paper, and catalogs and cards, as well as all the animals slaughtered for feast and fur, this holiday is nothing less than a catastrophe for the entire ecosystem. According to the U.S. Forest Service, 33 million Christmas trees are consumed each year. Growing them imposes an artificially short rotation period on millions of acres of forest land, and the piles of needles they shed shorten the life of most household rugs and pets. All the trees and paper have to be disposed of, which places a heavy burden on landfill sites and recycling facilities, especially in the Northeast.

This year, according to the Humane Society, at least 4 million foxes and minks will be butchered just to provide our Christmas furs. To stock our tables, the Department of Agriculture tells me, we'll also slaughter 22 million turkeys, 2 million pigs, and 2 million to 3 million cattle, plus a disproportionate fraction of the 6 billion chickens that the United States consumes each year. To anyone who has ever been to a turkey farm, Christmas and Thanksgiving take on a new and somewhat less cheerful meaning. Every single day during the run-up to these holidays, thousands of bewildered, debeaked, growth-hormone-saturated birds are hung upside down on assembly-line racks and given electric shocks. Then their throats are slit and they are dropped into boiling water.

Christmas introduces sharp seasonal fluctuations into the money demand. This makes it more difficult for the Federal Reserve to cushion the crests and falls of our economy. This is the peak season for people carrying large denominations around, and currency is a popular Christmas gift mostly among employers. The volume of currency in circulation peaks each year in December, then declines by about 4 to 5 percent.

Christmas leads to a sharp rise in absenteeism and a slump in labor productivity that is unlikely to be recaptured the rest of the year. Many U.S. companies shut down entirely for the two-week period from Christmas to New Year's. For those that stay open, on-the-job performance often plummets because of the season's wild parties and high jinks. Although there is no precise data on absenteeism, according to Labor Department experts, industries like manufacturing and construction are likely to have lower productivity while retailing's productivity is likely to increase.

Far from being "the season to be jolly,'' Christmas is really the season of sadness and despair. This period's compulsory merriment, hypercommercialism, heavy drinking, and undue media emphasis on the idealized, two-child, two-parent, orthodox Christian family makes those who don't share such lifestyles or religious sentiments feel left out, lonely, and even somewhat un-American. And even in so-called normal families, media hype about the season's merriments often raises expectations and sets up many for disappointment. According to Dr. Quita Mullen, a psychiatrist in Boston, many women in particular exhaust themselves trying to meet both the demands of full-time jobs and the more traditional expectations about what holidays are supposed to be like -- provided in part by their (non-working) mothers.

There is also a great deal of emotional stress associated with compulsory overspending and compulsory displays of affection. (Many people reportedly become highly anxious at the sight of mistletoe.) Police, psychiatrists, and hospitals all report that there is a dramatic rise in alcoholic "slips,'' drug overdoses, domestic quarrels, hotline calls, and emergency medical calls at this time of year. "Any redolent setting can be very sad for people who don't have a dancing partner,'' says Mullen. "Christmas is one of those times.''

Christmas is one of the most hazardous times of the year. The combination of trees, lights, blazing hearths, yuletide passion, and other indoor festivities results in more household fires at this time of year than any other. The fire department in Washington, D.C., reports that fire calls in December are 40 percent above its monthly average; New York City had 2,800 residential fires last December, as compared with a 2,000-per-month average.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, December is the peak month for drunk driving and "DWI'' arrests, which last year totaled 1.8 million. Not surprisingly, it is also the peak month for accidents -- because of drunkenness, congestion, and bad weather -- with more than 460,000 last year, compared with a monthly average of only 386,000. In just the three days around Christmas last year, 374 people died on the nation's highways. The only consolation is that last year's Thanksgiving was even worse, with 402 deaths. Of course, weather is a compounding factor -- for most of us in the colder climes, life would be much easier if we could at least agree to observe Christmas in the summer, when the lutefisk is ripe.

December is also the peak month in the United States for robberies. Last year the number reached about 54,000, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, and it is the second highest for auto theft, with about 136,000. Police suspect that all this property crime is because criminals too are propelled by the need to fill their family stockings. December 1989 had nearly 1,900 murders, a disproportionate share. "Christmas is a crazy season,'' says Sag Harbor, New York, Police Chief Joseph Ialacci. "It's a potpourri of emotional extremes -- either quiet or all hell breaks loose. There are more assaults, barroom brawls, and family altercations.''

Excessive eating and drinking are used to compensate for the tribulations of Christmas. According to the Distilled Spirits Council and the Department of Agriculture, in the six short weeks from Thanksgiving through New Year's, this year we will consume $18 billion of alcohol -- including 81 million gallons of hard liquor -- 1.1 billion pounds of turkey, and a huge quantity of ham, cookies, pies, eggnog, stuffing, plum pudding, and other trimmings. All this indulgence does little good for the nation's waistline: Christmas is one of the single most important contributors to obesity -- the average American consumes more than 3,500 calories at Christmas Day dinner alone. Naturally, January is the peak month for diet plans, many of which end up in failure and despair.

Perhaps most important of all, from a purely distributional standpoint, Christmas almost certainly aggravates inequality, since most gift-giving takes place within the family or the same social class, and doesn't reach the people who really need our help. Salvation Army drum-beating aside, Christmas almost certainly reduces our capacity for charity by draining us of wealth that we might otherwise give to the needy, and of our charitable impulses. This is hardly what the person for whom the holiday is named had in mind.

Overall, the message is clear: Christmas imposes a huge efficiency tax on our economy, is hazardous to our health and safety, and does little to further social justice. And the efficiency tax may well be growing in real terms -- an analysis of long-term changes in the seasonality of the U.S. economy suggests that the Christmas buying season has been getting longer and longer. Christmas commercialism, of course, is a modern innovation. The ancient Christians did not even observe the holiday until the fifth century, medieval Christians observed it much more modestly, and the Puritans sensibly refused to celebrate it at all. Only in the last fifty years, with the perfection of mass-market advertising and the commercialization of religion in general, has it become such a command performance.

Modern Christmas is like primitive Keynesianism, a short-run-oriented economic experiment that has been tried and found wanting. It is the flipside of the positive contribution the "Protestant ethic'' once made to capitalism -- Christianity's high holiday now almost certainly makes us feel worse off. What is to be done? I suggest an experimental two- to three-year moratorium on the whole affair, to let us pay our bills and recover some of the distance we've lost. This may sound like tough medicine to youngsters, and to all the other interest groups that have acquired such large commercial stakes in this annual ritual -- from bulb manufacturers to ambulance drivers. But the rest of us can no longer afford it. If we celebrate this holiday at all, we should do so mainly because it is over for at least one more year.

By James S. Henry

A delightful blog dedicated to the hatred of X-mas

A grumpy guide to Christmas

Tis the season to be moaning: Ian Martin highlights the flashpoints for festive disharmony

Ian Martin, Wednesday 21 December 2011 15.59 EST
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Come Christmas and you find yourself craving a whiskey and cream-based liqueur, and you are Gran. Photograph: Alamy

Christmas is a time of hope. A time to set aside differences. To celebrate the renewal of the human spirit. And a time to avoid three groups of moaning gits: teetotal Christians, hipster atheists and people like me.

I'm obliged under the Grandparents Act of 1893 to remind you how much better Christmas was in the old days. For a start, Advent started on 1 December or thereabouts. Now every year a magical comet explodes across the mid-November sky like a giant dirty snowball. Fine. You want the comet, you'll have to put up with what it's dragging along in its wake: a vast gas cloud of moaning old people.

Sure, extend the Christmas season. But remember we're grandparents. See how long we can really make it feel. It's a tradition, part of a package that includes bread sauce, flatulence, the Pogues, uncomfortable new clothes, a kid in a corner permanently hunched over something that beeps, and the depressing annual epiphany that there was an awful lot of padding in the Morecambe and Wise Show.

Beware, young people. Don't watch too many Christmas adverts, or you will turn into your gran. She's there, wittering away on the sofa. You can't hear everything she's mumbling, but the executive summary is: "Is this really what we need to get in for a 48-hour family lockdown? Frozen laminated pork on a stick? A video game featuring a stubbly psychopath? A telephone with a camera in it? A camera with a telephone in it? What's this got to do with Christmas? Eh? What has this? Got to do? With Christmas?"

So you sigh heavily and ask her if she fancies a Baileys, then realise that it's only the first week in December and your gran's not actually there. It's just you and the voice in your head talking to the telly. So you set up a separate account in your head and start remonstrating with the voice, which remains calm and asks you if you fancy a Baileys. And your Verified Subconscious shouts: "I AM NOT MY GRAN! I AM NOT MOANING ABOUT CHRISTMAS!"

And you switch off the telly, and it all goes quiet inside your head. And you find yourself inexplicably craving a whiskey and cream-based liqueur, and you are Gran.

Hardcore Christians are pretty unbearable at Christmas, but usually much easier to avoid than your Gran. It's not just that they can maintain eye contact while explaining how Immaculate Conception works. They also feel obliged to point out that, while the Nativity is, of course, a holy and wonderful thing, Easter, with its centrepiece of betrayal, torture and crucifixion, is more spiritually rewarding.

I think on balance I'd rather be stuck in a lift with them, though, than with a bunch of hipster atheists. The type who think that faith is "disgusting" or "dangerously deluded". They bang on and on, like they're winning the Age of Enlightenment all over again, rather than pointlessly kicking the inert form of the Anglican church. "You do realise, don't you," they parp, "that the Greek word parthenos attached to Mary in the New Testament didn't mean virgin at all. It meant unmarried woman." This makes the story more, not less, believable. Dear stupid hipster atheists: shut up, you haven't got "issues around Christmas". Nobody has "issues around Christmas", not even the Literary Review.

This used to be a time when believers and atheists held a ceasefire; the centre ground was given over to the vast majority of people who held no firm convictions either way. Let's face it, it still is. I suspect we massively underestimate the level of agnosticism among churchgoers and God-deniers. The traditional agnostic version of the Christmas story – some sort of special baby born in a stable, vaguely symbolising hope for the human race if we could just get along with one another. Is that so bad a myth? The more atheists mock the Nativity as a fairy story, the more sense it makes. The more Christians sneer at Christmas as a vulgar secularised holiday with drinks, the better it sounds. Life's a wobbly conga of uncertainty anyway, with or without tinsel.

The media stokes a lot of factionalism these days. Moan and countermoan. Daily Mail readers sneering at houses ablaze with lights, and terrifying Urban Santas and radioactive reindeer. Sun readers sneering back about poncey killjoys with their bronze turkeys and repressed sexuality and their children named after tank engines.

Sadly, the People's Media is even worse. By now there'll be hate groups on Facebook called Don't Let Sharia Law Criminalise Our Puddings and No French Hens. As well as several thousand astroturfed PR campaigns aiming to get underperforming artists to Christmas No 1 on spurious moral grounds: "Come on Mungo Jerry fans – download Bunk-Up In The Stable now! Together we can make Louis Walsh have a tantrum in his Harry Potter pyjamas!"

Social networks. Social FRETworks more like. If you want to avoid Christmas moaning, stay away from Twitter. Swarming with neurotics and umbrage-seekers, Twitter is a whirling snowglobe of nark at the best of times. By now there'll be ironised bleating about how #stopmoaningaboutXmas has become a top trending topic. People will be getting the hump about how a cool meme has been hijacked by non-smartarses who actually do want moaners to give it a rest. And there'll be appalled fundamentalists moaning about Christ being replaced with X in a hashtag. All in an incoherent paranoid fog of sulk, the occasional shrill voice surfacing to complain that their brilliant one-liner about a reindeer called Fenton is being retweeted without acknowledgement.

Are we better or worse off than we used to be? Was Christmas Past really more fun, less fretful? Well, call me old-fashioned, but optimism these days is nowhere near as good as it used to be. Contemporary optimism is rubbish. This Advent's been clogged with finance and mathematics. Pessimistic Mathematics! Released, like swarms of angry bees, into our festive living rooms! The news now is just a rota of windswept hacks shouting numbers from a bleak eurozone plaza. Which in my day (who do you think you are kidding, Mrs Merkel?) we called Continental Europe, thanks very much and don't forget who won the war. Yeah, America and the Soviet Union. OK, forget who won the war, just remember the Festival of Britain and skiffle. OK, forget skiffle – it was bollocks.

As a paid-up member of Grandad's Army I say this: bah. Defer this Euro-humbug until January when we're all supposed to be depressed anyway. Come on, let's have a knees-up now, postpone the misery and guilt until 2012. I slipped the word "guilt" in there, obviously, because old baby boomer bastards got us into this mess. We cashed in the postwar settlement and the property boom and pissed it all up the wall like the bloody Rolling Stones.

The problem apparently is that although there's loads of wealth around, the poor haven't got much of it. So instead of saying "sorry, recession, it's all gone shitmungous, we're going to need that dodged tax/transport subsidy/bonus/PFI payment/share dividend/backhander BACK asap", we're rolling over to have our tummy tickled by George Bloody Osborne and he's got this slight lip curl and he's asking us who's a good dog, and confirming that we are a good dog.

Now they're predicting a return to Dickensian Economics. Londoners atomised, polarised and shuffled into a rich side and a poor side in an actual giant reality show. The Scrooges tucked up in gated communities and the Cratchits squashed into affordable poorhousing. We seem to be heading there quite quickly too. If some steampunk version of the Department for Work and Pensions had been around in Victorian England, Tiny Tim would have been up a chimney quick as you like, crutches or no crutches.

We're all a bit scared to look too far into the future: 2061 is unimaginable, but it's been 50 years since 1961 and I can tell you that half-century's gone past like a late express. By now I was expecting Christmas on the moon and hover slippers and proper time-travel, not just in my head.

Optimistic young people, there is a way to avoid having Christmas spoiled by creaking miserabilists, eg yours truly. Ask us what Christmas was really like 50 years ago. Unless we're lying through our shambolic teeth that now look like a mouthful of peanuts, we will tell you the truth: it's always been like this. I can definitely remember old people moaning. A lot. Probably telling us that in their day you were lucky if you got a walnut, never mind a toy gun. Still, 1961, pulling away from the 1950s which smelled of steam trains and wet wood and tripe and onions, into the 1960s which smelled of roll-on deodorant, coffee and plastic …

Now 50 years on we've got the same Queen, same Christmas speech. Same Bruce Forsyth, though with more hair these days. Of course your heart sinks when you see the headline "Strictly v Downton on Xmas Day!" But in 1961, the primetime slot was "Gunsmoke v The Black and White Minstrel Show". Remind your Gran about that.

Despite all the evidence dumped at our feet by the government and the media, demonstrating that we're useless and feckless and costly and doomed, we're not, OK? We're not. We'll come through the recession and there will be marvellous things happening after I'm dead. Maybe my grandchildren simply won't put up with the stupid way the world's organised any more.

So yeah. Baby in the stable. Hope springs eternal. Well it does. It bloody does. It's what keeps us going. Merry Christmas.

© 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.

I Hate Christmas - Getting Started
If asked, I would never say that "I hate Christmas"...until, one early November morning, walking the dog, enjoying balmy weather, I stop for a coffee and overhear Christmas music, notice Christmas decorations and am handed my coffee in a red and green cup. What's happenning?

My palms are sweaty, I am suddenly feeling behind, inadequate and late when I realize that yes, this is my Christmas feeling. It's here again!

I am not overcome by romantic notions of chestnuts roasting nor the happy faces of children who really do believe in the magic of Santa...but rather by a loathing towards a season that is too long, too false, too commercialized and just simply too much for me. So yes, I guess I do hate goddamn Christmas! ... or at least some things about Christmas

So if there is something that you hate about Christmas and have always wanted to share your feelings - here's your chance.


49 COMMENTS: Anonymous said...

Hi Scott--I am thrilled to report to you that there
will be no Christmas this year: Last year, when Santa was coming down my chimney, I mistook him for a criminal and dismembered him with a chain-saw.
I mean, how could I have known? Any normal person in my position would do the same thing if a strange male was attempting forced entry into their home past midnight.

YSNOVEMBER 27, 2006 2:47:00 PM PST Dave said...

What do I hate about Christmas? People who whine about Christmas.
But seriously folks, I have to agree with Scott, the stress, the commercialization, the insincerity, the slaughtered goats, they all combine to turn what should be a happy holiday with a family focus, a message of forgiveness and a feeling magic, into something that generally leaves us feeling overwhelmed and somehow decidedly unhappy.
But while it's apparantly healthy to vent, is it going to change anything? I know it hasn't worked for cafeteria food or the weather.

Here's my top 5 ways to combat the Christmas Dissatisfaction

1) Starting in November if you enter a store that isn't playing Christmas music, ask for the manager, and thank them.

2) Cut back on the land-fill, (aka Gifts). I have an Aunt and Uncle who donate goats to families in Kenya in lieu of traditional christmas gifts. Perhaps buying one gift per family. Or donating to a charity.

3) Go to church Christmas eve. It's good to be around people who haven't forgotten that there is a Christ in Christmas. There are a lot of good messages in the (original) Christmas story.

4) Watch a christmas movie with your kids. Not a slick digitally animated dolby coloured HD movie in 3 or 4 D. But a 'classic' like miracle on 34th street or white christmas or it's a wonderful life. You don't have to worry about swearing or sex or violence, and if your sitting watching it with them, they will probably be OK with the black and white, no special effects thing (Unless you classify Clarence the angel as a special effect)

5) Find a Salvation Army Band christmas concert, preferably outdoors. Take a thermos of hot chocolate. Sing along.

6) Stay away from stores, don't watch TV, and turn off the radio

I get really frustrated at the whole Christmas season, and perhaps paradoxically also get frustrated when it is co-opted for political correctness. I don't consider myself religious, but I do empathise with many core values that underly Christianity, and most of those are embodied, or should be, in Christmas. Perhaps one of the reasons so many of us are getting dissatisfied is that it is increasingly less about christmas and more about 'season' and 'holiday'.DECEMBER 5, 2006 6:22:00 AM PST Amy Fox said...

I hate feeling obligated to buy gifts for everyone. I hate that it's already Christmas since it felt like last year's just ended. Why can't we skip a couple years here and there. I hate that I have to put up with family that I can't stand and put on my "HAPPY" face while we suffer through the same old rituals. I hate that I feel I can't have pizza and beer (although I did insist on doing that last year and had to argue with my family for TWO WEEKS that it wouldn't ruin my children's lives.) I hate that I have more things in the house that I'm going to end up having to clean up. I hate that everyone just ripped off the paper in two seconds that took me at least five minutes to wrap. I hate that I have to cart out boxes of decorations and put them all over a stupid tree that I'm going to have to take down before too long, pack in boxes and cart back out to the garage! I HATE CHRISTMAS!DECEMBER 13, 2006 6:15:00 PM PST russ said...

i have to admit that i find it increasinly hard to listen to any christmas songs on the radio. In years past i would patiently listen and try to conjure up images of christmas mornings and such but now i cant turn to the next station fast enough. and why is it that everyone and thier dog thinks they should produce a christmas album that invariably features the same songs that have been covered by other artists since producers first discovered that there was money to be made from this insanity. thank god for the scan feature on my radioDECEMBER 13, 2006 8:21:00 PM PST ncicdani said...

In this day in age Christmas is nothing but a gross representation of the over stimulation of our economy. My children all under the age of 12 TELL me what to buy them, as if it is expected. What I am told to buy? The oldest, a laptop. Middle children, cellphone and flat screen tv. And youngest, a Playstation 3. Total combined approx 2800.00!!! Rediculous. I can not stand to watch televison, listen to the radio or shop anywhere. I sympathize with the responders to this blog. It literally makes me physically ill at this time of the year.

I propose X mas every 5 years!!!DECEMBER 7, 2007 9:51:00 PM PST Miss Grinch said...

I couldn't hate chirstmas more if I was the Grinch himself! There are so many reason for me to personally hate this holiday that I don't even know where to begin!

1. The gift part of it: you spend only God knows how much money on presents for other people, that you can only HOPE they will like. And in return you get gifts back. You may not even like the gift, either way you have to pretend you do. What is the point? You could have just kept all of that money and spent it on yourself, on things your gaurenteed to like! or better yet! not spent it at all and not be debt!

2. The meaning of Christmas: People celebrate christmas who don't even believe in religion, who dont believe in the story of Christmas! I just want to ask those people...WHY! the answer however is quite simple...because that is what society has deemed the norm! No one even celebrates the TRUE meaning of Christmas anymore! (yes, I myself am guitly of this annoying point!)

3. The extended family: This may not apply for everyone...but yet again it is my comment....dont get me wrong I love my family! but im not partically close with my extended family..yet once i year i am forced to sit with them and open presents...i would be all for this minus the gifts...i barely know them, so i dont think that i should be forced to exchange gifts with them, i dont know what they like, and from past holidays, they dont know what i do either..we need to save ourselves the trouble, and just have a nice family dinner..minus the gifts. i have talked to them about this, but of course i get the repsonse of "its christmas, its what you do." you have no idea the rage i feel when i hear this.

4. The fighting: this may again not be with all families but it happens in mine. the whos going to sit where, who does what, whose house its going to be bothers me to no end! not only that my parents are divorced, so scheduling that many families is a little tricky! the divorce rate is huge, so i know im not the only person going through this problem. Parents fighting over whose house the children get to sleep at and wake up on christmas morning with..its not fair to children..and i hope that other parents have handled it better than mine did my childhood.

5. THE DEBT! Yes, the majority of the world lives in debt, and most likely always will...but without Christmas, it would make it just a little easier..

6. The frustration: Trying to get all your christmas shopping done, and then paying your bills, and working like crazy to make ends can drive ones frustration levels through the roof!DECEMBER 10, 2007 12:13:00 AM PST Anonymous said...

I Hate Christmas...because its so fake. People are not sincere anymore about xmas. You have to be around family that you havent seen or spoke too all year long..your expected to give money or gifts to people who cant stand, when you know you dont have the damn money do good to keep the lights on each month. and when you say lets dont exchange gifts, they get you something anyways, and you look like a cheap ass when you dont give them anything. I fucking hat xmas...DECEMBER 19, 2007 9:42:00 PM PST UB said...

I hate everything about Christmas, I hate feeling obligated to buy gifts for people. I hate getting lists or suggestions on what to buy people, I mean if you really want it go out and buy it for yourself, and if it's supposed to be a gift shouldn't it be a thoughtful surprise!!!!? I hate having to spend time with family that I don't really like and havt to sit in traffic for hours. I hate the music, I hate all the waste and garbage. I hate secret santa with people at i don't have enough people to buy for already...I hate Christmas!DECEMBER 20, 2007 9:10:00 AM PST Anonymous said...

Hmmm, well let's start with how Xmas was originally the "Winter Solstice" thousands of years ago and was then stolen by the lovely Xians as the "birth of christ."

Quick astro-theology lesson is now in order: December 21 is the shortest day of the year, hence the
Winter Solstice. But 4 days later on the 25th the Sun (Son?) is reborn and the days become longer. In the ancient world this was a very important yearly event.

Gee....maybe that's why so many religions have a diety that is born on Dec 25th..Krishna, Buddha, even (Gasp!) Jesus Christ !

So, for these reasons, I say 'Merry Winter Solstice" to everyone, much to their dismay. I am not at all offended by the ubiquitous 'Merry Christmas" But please, all you Xians out there need to wake up to where your original beliefs really come from.

I pretty much hate Christmas too, but now that I know what it really means, I tolerate it with wry amusement.DECEMBER 22, 2007 9:48:00 PM PST Anonymous said...

It is good to know you are not the only one. I dread it. I spend the actual day trying to make ungrateful (grown) children and their significant others a nice meal and give them the money they request(they hate/return anything else). They eat and run. I don't even receive a card-let alone a gift. That doesn't matter. Just a little kindness or appreciation would be enough. Thanks for letting me vent.DECEMBER 24, 2007 2:13:00 PM PST Anonymous said...

I'll have to say that this is my least favorite time of the year, The seeming endless ads everywhere, the expectation of family and friends for party attendance and gifts, the incessant music, the traffic,the crowds. And the ignorant bleats of "we need to put Christ back in Christmas!" News flash-- He was never there! He kept God's Holy days and would surely condemn this keeping of thinly veiled pagan tradition in His name, while laying aside God's instruction.DECEMBER 24, 2007 3:14:00 PM PST gearhead2k said...

Scott I am on your side....this whole "holiday" thing is a bunch of ****. I mean people trampling and killing someone to get to a discount. gimme a break....put up the tree take it down put up the tree take it down....SSDD. The kids are older and I'm thinking this damn tree. One less thing to worry about.DECEMBER 2, 2008 8:08:00 AM PST Katja said...

I work in a store, and the Christmas music we have to play is driving me to genocide. If it were nice gentle Christmas carols then I could put up with it, but happy clappy gospel crap is goddam awful. It makes me want to grab a machine gun and obliterate them all, same with 1930's big band Christmas music. Is it a plot to drive us all mad?DECEMBER 8, 2008 2:03:00 PM PST Anonymous said...

I have a 13 year old son and i still hate Christmas i have for years and it has taken me a long time to admit it to myself i have hated it since i was a child growing up very poor i allways felt like if i got a gift at all i was somehow taking away from my parents ability to feed us kids all 6 of us and there was the going back to school and listening to all the wonderfull presents the other kids got that i would never get now that i am a 41 year old adult with a wife and kids they pay the price for my hate of christmas i agree with everyone else on here pretending is no fun pretending to liek a family you hate pretending to like the gifts you get so there it isDECEMBER 19, 2008 11:26:00 AM PST Anonymous said...

while i love the snow i hate exchanging gifts - its stupid and someone always ends up unhappyDECEMBER 21, 2008 8:47:00 PM PST Kisner. said...

I so agree. People only care about commercialization, gifts. To be honest due to economical problems inside my family i've never got what i really wanted every years since i was very little. Also, due to my religion, saint God! its Jesus birthday not ours! why dont we gift him something, like sacrifices (like helping another people or feed poor indigents, etc) or a personal changing, etc.DECEMBER 23, 2008 3:34:00 PM PST Anonymous said...

For me 'the holidays' are a VERY lousy time, especially Christmas. From the Monday before Thanksgiving, until the 2nd Sunday in January, I'm simply not up to my 'normal' mood and demeanor...NOT depressed, per se,...just not particulary 'happy', but quite a bit more sensitive and easily irritated (tho I do my best to conceal that). My theory is that GREAT holiday memories provide the foundation for great holidays...yet with dreadful memories...I think you get the point. Anyway, does one contact you? gregstokesrep@yahoo.comDECEMBER 24, 2008 10:28:00 PM PST Anonymous said...

HI Scott, I want to applaud you on your blunt excerpt about loathing xmas. I too share your deep hatred towards christmas album covers blasting every bloody inch you walk on and forced vacation. My sister and I are sitting watching a dumb movie that was only for 1.99 on OnDemand TimeWarner Cable. We have a limited package and are doomed to watch 1.99 or less movies. If we are lucky, a 5.95 one comes occasionally. We downed some ramen noodles and I started laughing and crying hysterically, threatening to throw my phone into our fake-ass fire when it's f***in 60 degrees outside. What is wrong with humanity? And on top of it all, I'm receiving constant text messages from random friends saying "Merry Xmas" and I don't even celebrate the damn holiday. So all you xmas-haters, let's get together and share our bitterness. I actually thought of turning on my work laptop and start working. I'm scared.

Mareebah aka skwareDECEMBER 25, 2008 12:08:00 AM PST Anonymous said...

-_- This year, I got 2 gifts and 3 pills. No one notices me. I cannot stand it when people say "merry christmas" and I have to fake a smile to please them.
Christmas is just so fake. Screw these so called Miracles. I'll believe when a Miracle actually HAPPENS to me.
Santa's fat ass ain't welcome anymore.DECEMBER 26, 2008 6:50:00 AM PST Carol said...

Ah, it's my favorite day of the year, the day that is farthest away from the next Christmas! I was pleased to find there are other people like me. I hate all the forced joviality and the commercialization of it all. I thank God that He sent Jesus to earth so that people can be reconciled to Him, but I sure hate the way American culture celebrates the whole thing. I hate shopping even for myself, so doubly hate shopping for people who don't want or need what I buy. Oh, if only they'd outlaw the whole mess! Peace on earth, good will toward all, especially if you don't make me participate in "Christmas."DECEMBER 26, 2008 4:21:00 PM PST Alex K said...

... but this place is great! I think I love you people here. Just reading the post of other in here, I feel the frustrations, and any other descriptive word the fills the gap here! I need not say a word in here, my dear folks, you have said it all for me. I do feel better... somewhat, cheers ... Alex...jointsmokerz@hotmail.comDECEMBER 16, 2009 11:13:00 PM PST Robinmtl said...

Hi Scott and others... For the last few years, I have been searching the internet and finding bloggers and others who post comments about hating Christmas. I feel relieved reading your personal experiences pertaining to this overly commercial, mega-hyped phony holiday.

This year, we decided to boycott usual Christmas activities. We rented a cottage up north in the Laurentians and plan to be active outdoors enjoying winter activities like cross-country skiing and snowshooing, etc far away from shopping malls and family reunions. Our daughter will be the exception to the rule as she will be getting a well deserved gift for having worked hard at school.

To all you readers, hang in there. A few more weeks and we'll start hearing about Valentines Day and Easter... It never ends!DECEMBER 19, 2009 9:54:00 AM PST Ben said...

Next year, I am opting out of Christmas. Wish I'd done it sooner. No more straining to buy gifts for people who need nothing or who have everything. No more books I won't read or clothes I won't wear. Ugh, can't wait.DECEMBER 21, 2009 4:08:00 PM PST Anonymous said...

I have been thinking all week of starting a web page called "I hate Christmas". Tonight I googled the phrase, and much to my amusement, here it is already! I have two small children, ages 3 and 5. While I enjoy their excitement and seeing the "magic" of the season through their eyes, I really, really resent my 8,000-item to-do list. And 99% of it falls on all the mothers out there, am I right, mom? I have to give money or buy, wrap, and present gifts to probably 45 people, including all the family, babysitters, teachers, delivery people, neighbors, et cetera. Very few of these people actually need whatever I give them, except of course if it's money, but even then I ask, how much money do we really "need" vs. want.I submit that we are completely out of whack on want vs. need in this country. I wish I could skip all the gifts, and just go around and pay some power bills and buy groceries for people who honestly cannot do it for themselves, be it a question of age, mental incapacity, handicap, etc. As it is, December is one long, uphill slog during which I'm exhausted, cranky, resentful, broke. I have to rely on caffeine to power through my obligations. My kids are over-tired, behaving poorly and made crazy by too much sugar, too much anticipation, their behavior is horrible; we are all on edge and strung out for most of the month. And I don't think we really "do it up" nearly as much as a lot of families do. I figured we spend probably 5% of our annual income on Christmas when it is said and done. I believe we are being completely manipulated by the retail and advertising industries, and it is so extreme that we don't even notice how completely we are their puppets at this time of year. And for me it's all the more empty in that I am an atheist. I don't even believe in the Christmas story. But I live in the Bible belt, and it would alienate a lot of people I care about, including many of my best friends, to say what I really feel, which is that this is a completely empty, month-long exercise in exhaustion and insincerity, and from now on, "We don't celebrate Christmas". Those of you who live in heavily religious areas and are trying to run a business, can you imagine the impact of that?
Don't get me started on the Christmas cards. When I was a kid, my parents got actual cards with long, handwritten notes from their friends; expressions of love and friendship, news of the family, actual signatures. Today my mailbox brings only cards with pictures of people's kids, a pre-printed message like "Wishing you joy at the holidays", and a signature printed at Snapfish. I say, why bother? I saw your kid last week or yesterday. I don't need to waste a tree on a picture of him that I'm going to recycle at the earliest opportunity. I love your kid, he's cute and all, but I don't need you to send me a postcard with his gorgeous picture on it.Especially when it's clear the real reason many people are sending it is to show the world how amazing their kid is, or how creative, witty, or cute they can be when creating the card. Some families are now including 10 or more shots from their family photo shoot on their cards. Ummm...completely off-message, hello?
Thank you for letting me rant. I really look forward to one thing during December. Christmas Eve candlelight service. No, I don't believe in God, but yes, I do believe in peace, in gratitude, in silence, in awe, in the great mystery, in respect for all creatures, be they human, plant, or animal. To me that moment of silent, candlelit contemplation at my UU church somehow makes all the negative, commercially-driven energy of December melt away, and it signals a return to an attitude of quiet, peaceful gratitude, completely separate from shopping, shopping, shopping. Thanks for the opportunity to express. I feel much better. Merry Christmas. ;)DECEMBER 21, 2009 8:25:00 PM PST Anonymous said...

Thank you to everyone for your deep honesty. I have hated Christmas since I was a kid: the darkness, the expense, the obligation, the flu, nutty relatives, not getting what I want. I feel bad that my 15 year old commented on how obvious it is that I hate Christmas, and she wishes she had a Mom who loves Christmas, so I am trying to fake it for her for 3 more years. Once she goes to college I will be like Ben: opt out and give the money I usually spend on Christmas to a charity. ReneeDECEMBER 22, 2009 4:20:00 PM PST Anonymous said...

I absolutely hate Christmas and almost everything that goes along with it (I do like the lights though). The whole thing is overwhelming and I can't wait until it's over and things get back to normal. I don't know how this happened to me. jDECEMBER 23, 2009 12:45:00 PM PST Anonymous said...

Carol - Dec 26 if my favourite day too! The farthest you can get from Christmas! jDECEMBER 23, 2009 12:46:00 PM PST matt said...

Wow even in a recession, Christmas is a pain in the ass. Time to get sloppy drunk!DECEMBER 24, 2009 8:56:00 PM PST hyo-jung said...

You must wonder, why we do it to ourselves... every bloody year? Really, it makes me sick to think about this uniform, insincere, hypocritical holiday. I do my best to lay low and do minimal damage to myself and others.