Christmas is almost upon us and, like every year, I feel myself getting more and more depressed as we get closer to the holiday.
I have fond memories of Christmas as a child. Unfortunately, most of those memories consist of presents I got or ways us altar boys used to goof off during the Christmas Eve mass without getting in trouble. The family dinners, the traditions and rituals that were performed have faded and I can barely remember them now. Some of them, I have forgotten completely.
These days, I don't really get presents anymore (mostly because I specify that I don't want any) and I haven't been an altar boy for a really long time, so I feel as though there is nothing special about the holiday for me anymore.
Don't get me wrong. There are good things about Christmas. This year, in particular, since it'll be the first time that I will have the children on Christmas Day in four years. This means, that I'll actually be able to see them open their presents from Santa early that morning and since I have them for the week prior, I get to watch the anticipation build as we get closer tothe big day.
But, if it weren't for the kids, I wouldn't even bother celebrating. I just don't see the point.
As an atheist, the religious aspect means absolutely nothing to me. I hate gift shopping, mostly because I'm horrible at figuring out what people want, and I usually get the polite but unenthusiastic "Oh, thanks. It's really...nice." Or even worse, "It's the thought that counts." Some people tell me Christmas is about spending time with loved ones, and I'll agree that this is important, but why do we need a day to spend with our loved ones? If we love them, do we need an excuse to spend time with them?
I could also go on and on about the whole commercialization of the holiday, and how it's lost it's true meaning, but I think that argument has been done to death, and we all know this is happening. You don't need me to tell you.
So why do I get depressed on Christmas?
Honestly, I don't know.
It could be that subconsciously I'm jealous at how others enjoy the holiday regardless of their religious beliefs and for some reason I seem unable to.
Maybe it's because I'm old and grumpy and look to find fault with everything and am just simpy unable to enjoy anything.
Maybe it's because my first marriage ended at Christmas time in 2005.
Maybe it's all these things rolled into one.
The fact remains, I don't like Christmas. Yet, there's a Christmas tree in my living room right now, and I did, in fact, help assemble it and decorate it. When people wish me a merry Christmas, I don't bitch them out and tell them I hate it (even though it's no secret). I simply wish them the same and be on my way. I will participate in family gatherings, and I'm sure a good time will be had by all, myself included--not because it's Christmas, but because family gatherings can be fun.
So, what's the point of all this? Nothing. I'm just rambling, because it's almost Christmas and all around me people are talking about it and getting excited and I just thought I'd throw in my two cents on the subject.