Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Christmas Mind Games

How do you feel about Christmas this year? If you live in America you may be considering this question as the "season" is well underway. In any other part of the world, Christmas may be two and a half weeks off and you aren't giving it much thought.

However, let's just say you're in America. And probably, like me (and many other people over 10) you have some mixed feelings here.

I'm a big fan of Christ, but getting frustrating with Christmas. I'm seriously considering dropped the term "Merry Christmas," with all the stress and nonsense that covers up its legitimate meaning, and going with the not-quite-as-tarnished "Happy Holidays." I might opt for "Season's Greetings" but that sounds too meaningless. It reminds me of a phrase they use in a Central Asian country where I spent one Christmas: "bairamingiz bilan." Literally that translates "with your celebration." Works for any occasion. It's short for "bairamingiz bilan mubarak bo'lsin," which means, "Blessed be your celebration." Guess that's a little better. Huh. What do you think?

Do the "Merry Christmas!" greetings make Christmas more merry, or less? I've been wondering if the tidal wave of memories, expectations, and messages from friends, strangers, and media of all kinds to be and feel fabulous, since it's the "most wonderful time of the year, the hap, happiest season of all" is part of the problem.

I've done most all of my shopping and my bit of the decorating; I've committed to attend three holiday parties next week. I also have two big boxes of Christmas cards to send. But I'm not sure I really want to send them and if so, what to write. Will it just add to the madness and put on more pressure towards jollity? If I dampen my well-wishes to the point where they don't invoke pressure, though, they don't seem worth sending. Hmmm.

A friend/relative of mine who claims to hate Christmas writes in a post called I Am a Christmas Failure

"Christmas is a wonderful time of year when everything is wondrous and special and magical and stuff. Which is why it sucks... because I'm supposed to feel magical, and I don't, so I end up feeling sub-unmagical."

Probably I am over-thinking this one, throwing out the baby with the bathwater, and fighting when I could just relax and let Christmas be the stew of peace, joy, stress, meaning, and nonsense that it has become. Any advice?

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