HUGHES: Christmas hype – the unpopular opinion

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HUGHES: Christmas hype – the unpopular opinion

Morgan Hughes

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Here’s an unpopular opinion: Christmas is the most overrated holiday of the calendar year. Before you grab a pitchfork and chase me out of town, hear me out. I am not a social outcast covered in green fur with a heart six sizes too small, just a very disenchanted observer.

Believe me, I have tried to enjoy the holiday season. When my first high school boyfriend, who was a Christmas fanatic, asked me if I liked the holiday, I lied and said I loved it – for the sake of the relationship, of course. But, as hard as I tried to feel excited about sleigh rides and caroling, I couldn’t muster sincere enjoyment. Not even young love could turn me into a holiday cheermeister.

I don’t hate the holidays, I just think that most everything related to the holidays is garbage. I will defend my stance with a case study, beginning with the basics.

Let’s start with the criminal fat man, Santa Claus.

I was always suspicious of Santa. How did he have so much time to visit me and my cousins on Christmas Eve when he should have been at the North Pole preparing to deliver our presents, and why did he look and sound suspiciously like my Uncle Tom?

I didn’t have to ask these questions for long. I have an older sister, so the Santa illusion was shattered for me at a young age. But even before I knew the ugly truth, I wasn’t a huge fan of the guy. I guess I’m still bitter about the fact that I had to give away perfectly good cookies to somebody who was already dangerously obese.

Santa is creepy. He watches everything you do, and can enter your house at will. I don’t know why kids aren’t terrified of the guy.

But the worst part about the Santa charade is that it teaches children that good behavior deserves to be rewarded. Shouldn’t we want kids to be good because of a moral inclination? If Christmas is about giving, not rewarding, then behavior shouldn’t be a factor at all.

Even if Santa weren’t such a creep, Christmas still wouldn’t appeal to me. My senior year of high school I worked in a retail store, and this experience taught me that if there is one thing about Christmas that disgusts me more than any other, it is the equally repulsive and repetitive seasonal music. I don’t hear the sleigh bells jingling, I don’t care if Frosty finds his magic hat, and all I want for Christmas is to stop hearing that stupid Mariah Carey song.

The only thing worse than classic Christmas music is when a popular musician or band decides to record a holiday album of their own. It was a bad idea, NSYNC.

Another issue I have with Christmas is that it’s like the successful big brother of the end-of-year holidays, constantly overshadowing the awkward middle-child, Thanksgiving. No one spends entire paychecks on Thanksgiving decorations, but there are still mashed potatoes. It’s really the perfect holiday.

But in classic older-sibling fashion, Christmas decided it needed something to stand out just a little more. Someone had the genius idea to spend mountains of money on poorly dressed fat men made of plaster to put in their front lawns so neighbors would know they weren’t anti-Semites.

According to an article published on Business Insider, Americans spend upwards of 6 billion dollars every year on Christmas decorations alone. That doesn’t include presents, travel, or food. Nope, just billions of dollars worth of red and green LEDs, Rudolph lawn decals, and dead trees. Lots and lots of dead trees.

Some might argue that the “reason for the season” is to spend time with family and give to those you care about, but the evidence would suggest that the reason for the season is consumerism.

Secret Santa is a perfect example. If you’re buying Christmas gifts, you absolutely cannot forget that one co-worker who sometimes says hi to you in the elevator. I get it, the point is to make everyone feel included and cared about, but I want to get a gift from someone because they care about me, not because they picked a snowflake with my name written on it from a stocking cap.

At the end of the day, despite my many complaints about the end of year festivities, I enjoy spending time with the people I care about. There are even a few sentimental holiday themed movies I can stomach. And if it is a requirement to play Jingle Bells while sipping hot chocolate, I can deal with it. But maybe we can compromise by not spending a year’s worth of tuition on Christmas lights, omitting Mariah Carey from the event, and leaving milk and cookies out for Krampus instead of Santa this year.

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