21 November 2010
The fourth annual Christmas rant
By a stroke of circumstance, this year's Christmas obligations will be over for us by December 11. No one in my immediate little family is terribly enthusiastic about doing a big Christmas thing, so we will be free to completely ignore it or more likely, to put up some sparkly lights on a tree outside and sit inside by the fire with a warm drink. Christmas has gotten much simpler for me over the last few years as the message has gradually gotten around that I am a huge grinch and everyone's expectations have dropped accordingly. I have a strong aversion to advertising of any kind; I can't listen to commercial radio because I can't abide the ads, we don't have a tv, and I use Adblock Plus on the computer to filter ads. I avoid malls if I possibly can anyway, and I don't have young kids with overblown expectations. It's actually shaping up to be a pretty peaceful season.
It is true that I am a grinch, but primarily because I think that excessive consumption of largely useless crap is one of the main destructive forces on the planet. Our North American tradition of spending more money at Christmas than billions of people spend for an entire year is so wasteful and ridiculous we should all be ashamed. Given the lack of religious significance for me, there isn't really anything left to celebrate, except for it happens just after the solstice and the shortest day is behind us. I'll happily raise a toast to that.
My Christmas rants have gotten mellower over time. No doubt this is a result of the reduced expectations on me to live up to tradition which allows me to not actually think about it. In case you're interested:
Christmas is Cancelled - 2007
Time for the annual Christmas rant - 2008
By popular request - the annual Christmas rant - 2009