Why I hate Christmas


Credit: Maya Avelar / The Foothill Dragon Press

Jack Vielbig

So it’s December. Fires are a burnin’, cocoa is a steamin’, sleigh bells are a jinglin’, and the wretched sound of “All I Want For Christmas is You,” blares through the speakers of my iHome on 95.1 at 6:15 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. I’ve placed a lot of trust in 95.1 to wake me up every day this year, and for the most part they’ve come through. Yet as of late, no matter what time I set the alarm, Mariah Carey somehow manages to hijack the station with the most overplayed Christmas song of all time, consequently indicating my forthcoming downward spiral of a day.

It’s December, and the so-called “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is upon us; for my lack of the ability to use a stronger word on this particular platform, I say “forget that.” Allow me to explain why.

[divider]A season that’s supposedly about family is consumed by money[/divider]

Society sings, writes, and advertises that Christmas is the time to hold your loved ones close and cherish quality time around the fireplace together. In reality, big business wants you to hold your shopping lists close and your wallet closer. According to ABC News, the average American will drop $700 on Christmas gifts each year, resulting in an American total expenditure of $465 billion. After the end of each October, we are bombarded by holiday commercials that employ every possible tactic to take our money cars, puppies, little kidsall aiming to fleece us of our hard-earned wages. We spend less time enjoying the presence of our family, and more time sprinting from Target to Macy’s in search of a certain sister’s highly desired Ugg boots.

[divider] We lie to our children about the existence of a “jolly” fat man who watches them while they sleep[/divider]

There are parents who preach the importance of honesty and desperately hope that they will one day be able to cultivate a trusting relationship with their child. Yet when it comes to Christmas, suddenly honesty is thrown out the window and we encourage the notion that an all-knowing old man who runs an elf-factory somehow has the ability to make it around the world in one night with flying reindeer at the helm of his magical sleigh. At a young age, kids are told to deny the laws of logic, science and common sense, while also not learning to show proper appreciation of the great gifts that their parents are getting them.

[divider]Movies about Christmas suck. Period.[/divider]

Low-budget films run rampant throughout the season, while all following the same storylines. (I’m looking at you, Hallmark.) If a Christmas movie is actually a quality movie, it quickly becomes severely overplayed to the point that there’s no point even watching it again (e.g. “Elf”, “Polar Express”, “National Lampoon”).

[divider]After the enormous seasonal build-up, the day of Christmas is actually rather unenjoyable.[/divider]

Think about it. We spend weeks preparing for the big day, and when it finally arrives, it’s quite a let down. You have to wake up early because there’s always that one person in your family who gets up at 6:30 a.m. to open gifts, yet the whole aspect of gift giving is a tough field to navigate. Did they get me something valuable? How do I fake a smile for this Bed, Bath, and Beyond gift card? Am I really apologizing for getting the Ugg Boots in the wrong color?

Then of course you have to deal with the stress of extended family and that one step-half-twice removed aunt who gives kisses on the cheeks that are far too close to the lips.

Quite frankly, the only good part about Christmas day is the food. (Shout out to Mama Vielbig for making a mean fruit salad.) Then, when the day is over, you are forced to deal with the post-Christmas blues.

So to the over-zealous carolers and sweater-wearing Rudolph enthusiasts: please keep it down. My inner Grinch thanks you.

What do you think?