In a Holidaze

5 Reasons Why the Holidays Are Humbug (NOT Santa Friendly)

November 1st. You get into the car, popping several leftover skittles from last night into your mouth. You want to jam, so you turn on the radio. Michael Bublé is singing something about bells. You flip the channel. Kelly Clarkson singing about something underneath the tree. Flip again, and Mariah Carey only wants you for Christmas. 

This is frustrating. 

You flip through every channel on the radio, and settle upon one that doesn’t sound like a regurgitated celebrity version of Jingle Bells. 

You stop. You listen. It’s Bryson Tiller’s Christmas album. 

The holiday season sucks

THE COLD AND THE DARK

Rain freezes into slush. Snow falls but doesn’t stick. Your car windows ice over every morning and you have to start the car 15 minutes in advance just to get a clear windshield. If you have the misfortune of owning an older car, it means you’ll be stuck running outside in freezing temperatures to crank the car while others get to start the car from their front doors. 

It is not a new realization that after daylight savings, it gets dark after 4pm. Add this to the winter freeze, and you’re driving home from work at 6pm, in the dark, shivering because the heat hasn’t kicked in yet and won’t for another 10 minutes. Students in extracurriculars and workers on a regularly timed shift will leave in the dark and come home in the dark. 

In any other season, you can get in the car, turn the AC to whatever setting you choose, and go. Gifts don’t make up for the fact that we have to freeze for three months. 

ACADEMIC HELLSCAPE

With finals beginning just before winter break for most students, the 3 weeks in between Thanksgiving break and winter break mark the ending point of the first semester, otherwise known as “academic hellscape.”

Most teachers are lovely. Most of them can bring you to the end of the semester painlessly. But the ones that don’t are the ones who can spoil the egg nog. 

Some less-than-pleasant teachers will realize that they haven’t gotten through their curriculum quite as fast as they should have; then, they’ll rush to dump every ounce of work that they can on students to play make up. Enjoy that while you’re trying to sleep in. 

Besides the increased workload students will receive from end-of-course stress, they do have to study for finals, which are 20%+ of their grade, and the December SAT/ACT, if applicable. School has been taking the fun out of the holidays since sixth grade. 

CHRISTMAS, CAPITALISM, CONSUMPTION

In the US, Christmas has some disproportionate attention in our winter culture. It’s estimated that Americans spend close to a trillion dollars every year on gifts, decorations, and other Christmas festivities, with little representation for other celebrations. 

My main beef with the holidays is Christmas, for this exact reason. I will be the first to admit that it’s not about family and fellowship for me. For years, I pined only after the gifts I would receive and give to others, and it wasn’t until I was at least teenaged that I considered the real reason we are supposed to celebrate Christmas. And we don’t. Very few people do. The excitement for Santa (even if you know he’s not real) far outweighs any real meaning of Christmas… It’s supposed to be a religious holiday. 

Christmas is a monument to mass overconsumption (for more allegory on overconsumption, check out last weeks’ article on Spinach Boy). If it takes spending hundreds to thousands of dollars to feel some kind of joy for Christmas, you aren’t technically doing it correctly. Or at all. I’m not excluding myself from that, but the majority of Christmas hype squads are definitely hypocritical enough to do so. 

THE CROWD

Christmas shopping season begins right after Thanksgiving, and the traffic won’t stop until after New Years. 

Everyone is out. Stores are currently being flooded with people searching for sales, mall Santas, and the newest limited-edition gifts for little Timmy. I am terrified to go in-person shopping this year, because I have to do all of those things too. 

Millions of people with a common goal that also aren’t working together are bound to harness hostility. Also, mall Santas are creepy. 

OVERPLAYED CHRISTMAS MUSIC

Despite what I’ve laid out in the last paragraphs, I don’t… hate Christmas. But I do hate Christmas music. In November or in some cases late October, Christmas music fills the air for months on end. Normally I wouldn’t protest listening to a genre as often as we do for Christmas music…

But there’s never any NEW Christmas music. These are the same songs that have been around since Elvis’ era. On repeat for three months. 

Every. Single. Year.

The only thing that changes about these songs is the new artists who record and regurgitate their own versions of them. I love John Legend, but his Christmas music just isn’t worth listening to because I’ve already heard the track a million times. 

The Chipmunk Song is okay though.

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