Two years ago I read a book called Dateable. It was a buzz of conversation with the staff I worked with, and I was literally hearing reviews across the board. My opinion on the book could fill another blog post entirely, but I want to talk just a little about one of the chapters. It's titled "Way It Begins = Way It Ends." It talks about how if you start things fast and furiously and find yourself jumping right in to a relationship, the end of your relationship will be the same way. You may not see it coming, it will be sudden and short. It will hurt a lot at first, but you'll usually be able to fully get over it in due time. If your relationship develops slowly, the end will come slowly, as well. It will be painful for a long period of time and be quite difficult to fully get over without giving it plenty of time.
So, naturally, let's talk about Christmas.
I'm not talking about the true meaning of Christmas, I'm talking about the season. I feel like Christmas season is like a bad relationship. First of all, it starts slowly, which is good and fine! The problem is that it ends like a brick wall. This is not how I (well, we!) are built to emotionally handle things! On the 26th of December it becomes no longer to engage in any Christmas cheer! Decorations go from festive to tacky in a mere 48 hours! And before you know it, mentioning Christmas is as unacceptable as wanting to discuss Hitler!
I feel like it's the ex-boyfriend of a friend that you're not allowed to bring up at certain times, when at other times all she wants to DO is bring him up. You know how it goes, someone in any month besides December mentions a countdown to Christmas and suddenly you can hear the whole room audibly groan and glare at you. But noooo, in December if you express any distaste for the season people react as if you had just stepped on a basket of kittens!
I feel like this would be extremely confusing to someone from a culture who doesn't celebrate Christmas. They come to the U.S. having prior knowledge about how much Americans love Christmas. Then they mention it in conversation, have less than enthusiastic responses, and are embarrassed until someone helpfully whispers, "We don't talk about that right now." Kind of like when you're with a group of friends you haven't seen in a while and you ask a friend about a boyfriend who, God forbid, just had a horribly messy breakup with that friend. Everyone kind of just shuffles their feet and looks at the ground until someone kindly whispers to you that they broke up.
One time, in second grade, I started humming Jingle Bells. The teacher said, "It's not Christmas season!" I think she wanted me to stop. I don't think I did. Why is this so unacceptable?!
Now, I'm not asking for it to be a social norm for Christmas trees to be sold in April and Santa to be in malls in June. I'm simply asking to take my sweet time getting over the Christmas season. We all get over breakups in different ways. This season started slowly for me, so I need it to end slowly. Slowly, I will listen to less Christmas songs. Slowly, I will drink less eggnog. Slowly, I will stop watching Christmas programs. Slowly, I will get over the fact that nobody kissed me under mistletoe (speaking of, does anyone actually put mistletoe up in their house?) Remember how we enjoyed Christmas? Yes. It never did anything to us. We need not be haters.
Then WHAM. Here comes the rebound, New Years Eve. But the rebound ends as fast as it starts. Seasons are like relationships, people. I'm tellin ya. We're just doing Christmas season wrong.
Sigh. I'm going to go find an open fire and roast some chestnuts on it. You know, CHRISTMAS season stuff.
I hope you all had wonderful Christmas celebrations. Go listen to a Christmas song. :]