Well… it’s that time of year again, Christmas. I suppose many would call me a grinch, or Mr. Scrooge, but I just can’t seem to shake it, my dislike of Christmas, or more specifically, what Christmas has become. Don’t get me wrong, there are a bunch of things I like about the season. I dig the lights, love the cookies, and enjoy seeing family as much as the next man, but the gross commercialism, undue stress, and unneeded debt all give me a sour taste. And not the good kind of sour taste, like from Sour Patch Kids, but the bad kind of sour taste like spending money you don’t have on things you don’t need.
For many of years I fought the good fight. I dutifully rolled my eyes and shook my head at the very mention of Christmas. I would laugh at all the ugly sweater wearing ‘sheeple’ grazing in the malls in search of a good deal. I would shutter in disgust as each new holiday commercial attempted to convince me that so-and-so really needed such-and-such to be happy. Now, I won’t comment on the religious aspects of Christmas, as I believe it is the right of each person to live their life according to how they see fit, as long as it doesn’t infringe on another’s ability to do the same; but it is safe to say I no longer attend mass.
But back to the day, I figured I would treat this year different than those from recent memory. I wouldn’t be the ‘buzz killer’ I had grown accustomed to being. Now this doesn’t mean I was wearing a red pointed hat and proselytizing commercial myths; I’m looking at you Kris Kringle, but I vowed not to let any of the negatives affect me. I indulged in the homemade food and conversation with family. I laughed at the excitement and joy of the youngins’ as they whipped around the driveway on a hover-board, or scribbled fervently on a Magnadoodle-esque tablet.
Plus my youngest brother was in town, visiting from Oregon. It has been almost a year since I had last seen him. He has been living in Corvallis for the last two years pursuing his Master’s Degree in Public Policy from OSU; a degree which he recently earned. Despite each holiday feeling less holiday-like than the one before it, it was a memorable and enjoyable Christmas. I think I’m gonna go with the more laid back approach to things. There are battles to be fought, but I’d rather build than destroy.