I just need to preface this week: I am not a Scrooge. Although, in previous years, I may have said I was.
And yet, with Christmas just around the corner (THIS WEEK!), I’m still finding my excitement for this holiday season a bit lackluster. When I first started to feel this way, I simply thought that I was just a Scrooge. Someone who, all of a sudden, hated Christmas. Let’s set the record straight, that is absolutely not the case. I absolutely love Christmas!
I’m the kind of person who gets sadder and sadder the closer Christmas gets because that means it will soon be over. Christmas itself isn’t my favorite holiday, but when people ask me what my favorite season is, I confidently answer: “The Christmas Season!” I love the joy it brings people. I love the hope that floats around in the snowy streets and the dreams that sparkle in the tiny white lights in strings around the storefront windows. But then, why am I feeling so Scrooge-like?
I have a theory.
When I was a kid, I LIVED for Christmas. I loved everything about it. And even as a young adult, knowing that Santa Claus wasn’t a real physical person, I still loved everything about it. I just felt it in the air. It wasn’t until I started becoming a real adult with real responsibilities that I started feeling meh about the holiday. Gifts translated into dollars, shopping turned into crowded malls and congested parking lots. It’s not a good feeling. But I still remember all the holiday traditions I used to partake in every year, without hesitation. Hanging the stockings on the fireplace, decorating the tree, baking Christmas cookies. But now, not so much. And looking forward, I see all these parents replicating these traditions with their own children…but what about the single twentysomethings? No longer kids that celebrate in the same way, but not yet parents to celebrate with their own children/family.
I’ve thought: is being a parent the magic key? Is that what needs to happen for me to keep believing in the Christmas Miracle? Don’t worry mom and dad, I quickly realized that becoming a parent was not the only way to believe in Christmas again. However, it makes me wonder, is the twentysomething time a period of “skipping Christmas?” Because really thinking about it, who am I going to celebrate Christmas for? Myself? I could bake dozens of Christmas cookies, but who to share them with? I could put up a tree, but who would enjoy it other than me?
Don’t get me wrong, I think there is value in partaking in these celebrations, even if it is only for myself. I just don’t think it’s the same when you are living hours away from your family, and don’t yet have a family to call your own.
It’s not the most absurd idea in the world…skipping Christmas. Christmas with the Kranks and The Year Without a Santa Claus all had similar ideas. What would happen if we just skipped Christmas for one year?
Well, I was talking to a few friends a few days ago about this exact question, and an interesting answer arose. They responded with another question: “Who is Santa, anyway?” We all know he’s not a real person. There’s no North Pole and no elves or Santa’s sleigh. It’s a bit depressing, really, when you admit the reality of it. And yet, Santa is so much more. Christmas is so much more. It’s not about the tree or the cookies or the sleigh rides.
(And no, this isn’t the part in the blog post where I continue to launch into a religious sermon about the true meaning of Christmas as the birth of our Savior Lord Jesus Christ etc etc).
In a secular sense, Christmas represents the good in everyone, the joy of humanity. And Santa is the figurehead that represents that. And with all of the hateful and upsetting news that is flashing across our screens this year, maybe it would be nice to have a little extra Christmas cheer…especially for all the twentysomethings out there.