I stopped celebrating Xmas years ago because I simply don’t like it. A guy I work with actually laughed at me stating this, as if it’s impossible for a person to feel this way without citing religious reasons. A lot of people cannot accept it (much like veganism) and start to ask stupid personal questions like…
“Oh, but what about your family, don’t you enjoying spending time with them?”
I couldn’t stand the forced, obligatory family social component any more. As an adult, I realized that all previous Xmases were full of fake-o, lack luster family stuff. We used to go through the motions of getting together for Xmas only because of what that day was supposed to mean. We are a disjointed bunch who, in all honesty, don’t care for one another.
The “tradition” growing up was family lunch on Xmas day and, once I went vegan, it was a bit more complicated, but do-able, for my grandmother who made non-meat Buddhist dishes for me. But the soup was always made with a meat base and I was always cajoled into having a bowl. One time, out of the blue, my grandma blurted out, “why don’t you eat meat!”, which then became a regular question every year after that. Good times.
“But why don’t you bring some food to share with everyone?”
I could bring food, but it’s like bringing vegan food to a non-veg*n pot luck (event which I avoid). You’ll pretty much be eating the thing you brought, and the other guests will probably not try or appreciate it. I also think my grandma would be insulted.
“Don’t you like getting gifts?!”
For one, I’m particular about the things I choose to buy which makes me hard to shop for. Secondly, I don’t like useless junk or people imposing their tastes on me. I would very much appreciate thoughtful gifts, especially if they’re hand-crafted, but my finicky side can get in the way. I always say for any big occasion: DON’T GET ME ANYTHING.
This also works the other way too; I don’t get anyone anything. From previous experience, the handmade or thoughtfully picked out store-bought things I’ve gifted (to family and friends) were never appreciated. So screw that. I will gladly squirrel away that money for my house.
“But what about the Christmas spirit and all?”
So just when I think the family is clear that I don’t celebrate Xmas they guilt me in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways. This trips my head up because here I am, feeling all fine about my decision, and wham! Someone always tries to suck you back into this stupid Xmas thing.
But let me say that dealing with family is one thing, however dealing with workmates and other people you barely know is another. In certain situations it’s just better to go along with it but, when it feels right, I will stick to my guns.
“Ok, well, why don’t you just make up your own traditions, then?”
I could, but family politics is an exhausting and awkward game I’d rather avoid.
So, as Homer Simpson’s horoscope once said, “Today will be a day like every other day.” I don’t say that miserably, nor with disdain. It’s just the way it is.