Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Holiday Spirit? I Must Have Lost Mine Among All These Bills!
1984. The worst Christmas I can remember. Not because I didn't get any presents, I did. In fact, I received quite a few presents that year. The Walkman I wanted, roller skates, a whole lot of [ugly] clothes I would later be forced to wear, and I even got my first pair of concert tickets! The Beastie Boys opening up for Run DMC! To this day the memories of me standing on a chair looking like a damn fool doing the WOP, is still considered one of the highlights of my life.
But, that was also the Christmas that I received 2 computers. A Commodore from my step father and a Texas Instruments from my father. Not only was I not allowed to keep both, but I was forced to choose which one to keep.
After being influenced by my brother, I will never forget the look on my fathers face when I told him I didn't want the Texas Instruments. The guilt I felt after that day would be the beginning of a horrible guilt ridden life.
Looking back at it now, I don't think that it was fair of my step-father, who was awarded custody of me years earlier after my mother passed away, to force me to make that decision. But, that situation left a bad taste in my mouth that would remain for every Christmas that followed.
Now, that year wasn't the start of my 'Grinch-like' attitude or the main cause of my lack luster holiday spirit. By then the tradition of decorating the huge Christmas Trees that sat in the front window of our formal living room, and the tree that sat in our family room where all of the presents would be placed under, the enjoyment of our family dinner with all of the relatives (from my mothers side that would come into town) while listening to the soulful holiday tunes that played in the background, would later be replaced by the 'revised' tradition of going to over my step-fathers overly religious fellow church members house's where the television played nothing but those old classic religious movies all day long and Silent Night was replaced by old southern hymnals, and the smell of Chitin's never failed to make me want to throw up! By those years my mother had already left this world and Christmas' had definitely changed.
But, that 1984 Christmas was certainly a turning point.
Once I was an 'emancipated minor' and didnt have to partake in the various Christmas Day celebrations I was able to finally enjoy the day free from work and school, until I had my own children. For my children's sake, the obligation of celebrating Christmas was back in force and Christmas became a 'chore' I did (with a fake but always present smile) just so my children might be able to enjoy something that was ruined for me many many years ago.
Today Christmas has taken on a whole other meaning. A celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ has been tainted by stories of ignorant women's who have resorted to violence because someone else grabbed the last Tickle Me Elmo or whatever over priced 'must have' toy is that year. Nativity Scenes have all but been replaced by various statues of Santa, 'Merry Christmas' has now been replaced by more 'politically correct' terms and the goal seems to be who can get even further in debt [the most] buying gifts for their already, in many cases, overly spoiled unappreciative children.
I'm not blameless. Most Christmas' I spoiled my children. Probably out of some underlying guilt I felt for all of the struggles my children had to go through that year and I have to admit, I am probably a little resentful that this year I will not be one of those mothers indulging their over spoiled unappreciative children. I'm not a little resentful. I'm A LOT resentful.
But, even with the vast number of houses that surround me covered with so many lights that I cant even begin to imagine the electric bill the owners will be sent, I am still very much absent of the Christmas spirit. Maybe its just me but I feel like the meaning of CHRISTmas has been lost. How do we get it back?