The holidays have been filling me with dread. I was dreading going home for Thanksgiving because it meant I would have to stay at my parents’ dirty house and pretend that I was having a blast. Somehow, I managed to have a good time but I did have to work hard to get past the filthiness and sharing space with other people.
I am dreading Christmas for the same reason. Actually, I am dreading it even more because it will mean being at home longer. To make matters worse, part of my family wants to celebrate on December 31st so it is not like I can even come back early.
The societal pressures of Christmas are not adding to the feelings though. I hate how gifts are an obligation in many cases. I have never been a gift giver. I prefer to have people tell me what they want.
I have to get gifts for ten students. That is definitely not easy because I do not want to spend much but I want to get them something that they will actually like. I ended up spending a dollar on each of them. I feel like a cheapskate but at the same time, I know they are getting something they will enjoy. I found them little Finding Nemo and Dorys. Then, I gave them a show-and-tell pass along with a pass for the prize box. Finally, they got a fake one thousand dollar bill. I know that they will be happy. However, when you think about how my friend spent nearly fifteen dollars on her four students, it makes me look really bad.
Then, there is the expectation of giving gifts to all the staff at school. Since there are four other teachers, one associate, and the secretary, that is six other people to think about. I finally just made some banana bread. Each person is only getting about four slices because I did not feel like making any more. Again, I feel cheap but I just do not feel like doing more.
Then, there is the family expectation to buy a five dollar gift for a random gift exchange. I do not want to participate because it seems so impersonal. However, I have family expectations to uphold. How will it look if I am the only one to participate? I am one to stand up for myself when I feel I am able. And maybe I should even though there are members of my family that will get angry and talk.
Surprisingly, family gifts were easy. I got the gifts for the important people in my life on my travels. I know that each person will be happy with their gifts.
Finally, there is the baking expectation. My friend wants me to participate in her cookie exchange which meant baking two dozen cookies. I would not ordinarily participate but since it is my friend and we never spend much time together, I want to be on her good side. It just adds to all of it though.
Christmas is about Jesus’ birth. And instead, people have turned it into something stressful. And it is just not worth it.