There is nothing that can make me depressed like Christmas. What is it about this season that can turn perfectly normal people into carol singing, tinsel hanging, present buying monsters?
Can I boycott?

It’s the unrealistic expectations we all tend to have based on stories and films, I think. We’re obliged to provide gifts based on business and family and social expectations when we should be simply giving thoughtful gifts to those to whom we truly want to give.

We’ve managed to turn a season of joy into a season of guilt. Guilt that we don’t fit the ideal. Guilt that we haven’t provided the right Pokemon toys, that our home decorations don’t rival those done by Martha Stewart’s large staff of professionals, that we HATE the idea that we have to invite Uncle Fred the sloppy drunk, and Aunt Jane who criticizes everything. Guilt that we don’t feel unmitigated joy every minute of the season.

Much as I’d like to deny it, I’m caught up in it, too. Distraught that I won’t have everything ready before family begin arriving on the 18th. In fact I’m taking a sick day from work today because there’s still a lot left to do.

Hang on, it’ll all be over in a couple of weeks.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Christmas time is when the suicide rate increases, guilt rises to astronomical proportions, your wallet empties and you can’t find the Pokemon yellow game your kid’s been asking for since Hallowen, so you ar a bad parent.

But I still love it.

The weekend of the eighteenth, I’m taking GBS back to meet the family. Being the oldest of thirteen children, Christmas has always been a wonderful time of the year. Up until I was 22 years old, we still had to pretend there was a Santa 'cause there were always younger brothers and sisters about.

Now we have children of our own and we still have to pretend. I never could understand families which exchange gifts on Christmas eve. It just seems sacrilegeous to me.

We nearly always put up and decorated the tree Christmas eve. That’s because, when I was younger, Dad would put up the tree, but Santa would decorate it. This year it’ll go up early 'cause the family reunion is on the 18th.

Now that most of us (the children) are adults, we always have a Christmas party on the Saturday between Christmas and New Years Eve. Since they fall on Saturdays this year, we’ve moved it up. Relatives and friends from around the country drive and fly in for this one day of revelry. This year’s guest list, as of this morning, stands at 132 folks. It’s become more important that Christmas Day to many of our far-flung family members.

Additionally, I’m taking GBS to Philly for her first “big city” Christmas. The Wanamaker’s light show (Yeah, I know it’s Lord and Taylor’s or some such now), the enchanted village at the Atkins Museum and Independence Hall, City Hall and The Liberty Bell Pavilion all decked out in their holiday finest. Takes me back to my childhood.

It is the most wonderful time of the year, to me.

And anyone who’s not with me is a pooter-head.

I’d check thru my past to find out what happened back then. Anyway, the poster seems to come from London…dunno what it’s like there but, usually it reminds people of their past childhood, so take a look.

ChiefScott - may you never lose that feeling!

Merry Christmas!!!

Hold Up…
Wanamakers isn’t Wanamakers anymore?
Oh the Humanity.
I can’t believe it.
Such fond memories of going down there and enjoying the gnomes, and the lights and the crowds.
For an awful long time, when people mentioned going to see The Nutcracker I thought they meant a light show.
Lord and Taylor? The only thing I like about them is they make a good Jesus joke.
Oh well.
Atleast they kept the lightshow.

I enjoy the holidays. I enjoy wrapping presents. I enjoy picking them out, or making them, whatever the case may be. This year I am a little stressed out, because I don’t know what the proper present should be, but thats ok- I usually do a good job.

Well I am glad that everyone is having a nice time and everything, I guess I am buying into it myself, off to Harrods to do some Christmas shopping tonight, you have all inspired me.

I guess what is really getting me down is being away from my friends back home and not having anyone to share it with. This is not my first Christmas away from home (Australia)but the first one without friends and people make you feel guilty about not sharing etc etc.
And you are right it will all be over in a matter of weeks.

Cheer Up! Go out and go shopping tonight, tell perfect strangers “Merry Christmas!”, commit a few acts of random kindness…that’s what Christmas is all about to me–I think you’ll feel a lot better. :slight_smile: