My love/hate relationship w Christmas

Let’s not beat around the bush. I don’t love Christmas. I like it, by now. I can tolerate it, but I used to loathe it. Why? It’s not that I don’t like traditions and it’s not that I dislike being around my family. Not at all. But Christmas has never been my favorite Holiday.

First of all, my family never celebrated Christmas with presents. My family gave out presents for Sinterklaas on December 5th. I didn’t get a single Christmas present until I was 16.  Lemme tell you one thing: without presents Christmas never offered anything to look forward to when I was little. My mom made us wear pretty clothes, most often newly bought/ made just for Christmas. So running around the house and playing was a feat. Christmas with my family was more of a ‘grown ups’ feast and as a kid I found it difficult to deal with.

On top of that I was made to go to church. Church wasn’t so much an issue until I hit my teens. As a kid I even sang in the choir and went to church on a regular basis. When I became a teenager and hit puberty, I decided that church was old-fashioned and I didn’t want to be caught dead in one. I still don’t really see the point of going to church, and nowadays it’s not such an issue for my parents but at the time it was. My refusal to go to church let to many a spat and huge arguments with my mom. That didn’t really make for a nice and happy Christmas atmosphere and therefore happy memories.

I also dislike Christmas as for the past 30 years my family has celebrated it the same way. For as long as I can remember we eat the same thing, do the same thing and even visit family is the same order. When I got older I got my parents to change things up a bit and actually have a different dinner. I even haven’t been home for Christmas a couple of times, which suits me just fine. See, my family, especially my mom’s family, is a very tight knit group. When my grandparents were still alive we all went there every week and even saw them a few other times during the week as well. That in itself is fine, but in my eyes there is also a thing as seeing your family too much. Since I already saw my family so much I never got the point of seeing them again for 2 days over Christmas and then again for New Year.

Thankfully, my negative attitude towards Christmas has changed and by now I know how to enjoy myself. A major change is that I don’t live at home or anywhere near my family. If it weren’t for Christmas I wouldn’t be seeing anyone until my mom’s b-day in March. So Christmas is now a good opportunity to see everyone again and to catch up. It’s not that I don’t want to see my family. It’s more that I just can’t deal with seeing them all the time.

Moreover, I now enjoy primping and looking cute, whereas 10 years ago I really didn’t. Today I look more Christmassy than anyone in my family and I love it. Lastly, church isn’t as important anymore so no more arguments about whether I should go or not. I think that right now I feel it’s more my choice to be there and what I do and my parents respect that choice, whatever it is, and I just feel a lot more appreciated and glad to be around my family then when I saw them every day.

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