Reformed Grinch reevaluates hatred of holidays

Katelyn Connolly

It’s not really “beginning to look a lot like Christmas” anymore. No, it began to look like Christmas two months ago, before even the last bags of Halloween candy were snatched from the shelves. It began to look a lot like Christmas all the way back in October, and now it’s just beginning to look like an exhausted, old-man Christmas who really wants to go to bed for 12 hours and wake up when the party starts.

Okay, maybe I’m projecting.

I am well aware that my bitterness is nothing new. It is no secret that I am joined in my holiday pessimism by thousands of other Scrooges and purveyors of anti-capitalist dogma. Many Christmas cranks are just as loud and obnoxious about their hatred of the holidays as those who want to deck every hall with sappy Instagram posts. This year, I felt myself slipping into the December blues especially early. Already, I am tired of hearing myself gripe — and my parents are really tired of hearing me gripe.
Getting to the bottom of my intense winter melancholia is a difficult task. I can chalk it up to so many different stressors. There is, of course, the changing weather, not knowing whether or not a cold front is here to stay. Nothing is quite as disheartening as a warm rain in December. But I am also buckling under the annual semester’s end academic pressures, only heightened this year by my crippling case of senioritis and slaving over college apps. Plus, this year a unique crisis snuck up on me — I turned 18 and realized I possess about zero life skills. I can’t drive, I can’t cook, I’ve never held a job or had to manage money and I’m honestly getting concerned about the practicality of moving out, despite my desperation to attain total independence.

All this stress, and a longstanding aversion to holiday cheer — together, they are making me a not very pleasant person to be around. No doubt my family noticed this at Thanksgiving, when I quickly decided that I didn’t want to deal with my beastly cousins and tense parents, instead opting to lock myself in my room to catch up on homework and wallow in angsty text messages.

But I’ve got some big news. I’ve turned over a new leaf. And this leaf is green, piney and covered in tinsel. What’s the use in whining about a season that encourages gorging yourself on chocolates and receiving way too much cash from random visiting relatives? Doesn’t that more than make up for a few awkward meals and fake smiles at your grandparents’ semi-racist commentary?

Starting today, when I see the lights adorning the homes in my neighborhood, I won’t think too hard about how much electricity they waste. When my sister turns the car radio to holiday music, I’ll avoid the temptation to put on my headphones. If my mom suggests again that I spend some time picking out a tree and hanging up stockings, I’ll stop trying to find someplace else I really just have to be.

Teenagers may have a tendency to focus on the negative, but I want to take this December to throw things back to my youth. It’s not so far away, but it seems like many lifetimes ago when the holiday season really was “the most wonderful time of the year.” I am resolved to rediscover that snowy serenity. And who knows — maybe if I get happy enough, I’ll revisit this wave of Christmas spirit again next year. But in the meantime, I still say cut it out with the carols on Dec. 26.