I love Christmas.
I really do.
Last week all of us who are regular followers of KZINE got the chance to read a hate-letter to Christmas. Under the signature Scrooge, one person took it upon himself/herself (henself?) to spread the message that Christmas is just an unnecessary, stupid waste of our time. Christmas, according to this person, was just a reminder of everything that is bad in our society. Greed? Blame it on Christmas! Outdated religion? Just look at Christmas! Capitalism and consumerism? It’s Christmas’ fault!
I could not help but feel sad when I read Scrooge’s text. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Just like Scrooge writes, there are undoubtedly many different connotations and interpretations of Christmas. Of this I have no objections. If you want to believe that Christmas is just for the outdated and the hypocrites, you are free to believe that. But personally, I cannot help but feel a slight sadness in my heart when reading the words of someone who has so obviously given up on Christmas. You don’t understand, do you? You don’t understand what a wonderful world you have given up by letting go of my favourite holiday.
Scrooge seems to argue that giving and caring are two things that cannot be combined (at least not when speaking of Christmas). He/she/hen seems also to believe that Christmas only makes people more stressed, more miserable, and more egoistic. That Christmas forces us to give, as we would otherwise appear as “mean and nasty” individuals. Personally, I could not agree less with this reasoning. Fine, to be forced to listen to a horrible Wham! cover of “Last Christmas” every time you do your grocery shopping at ICA is perhaps not that fun. And sure, some companies are obviously exploiting and taking advantage of Christmas for the single reason of making profit. But to me, this all forms a mere parenthesis in the story that is Christmas. To me, Christmas is family and friends. To me, Christmas is giving and caring at the same time. What about that?
I am not a religious person. As soon as I turned 18 I said “Hasta la vista!” to the Swedish Church and I have never felt even the slightest tingle of regret afterwards. I don’t celebrate Christmas to celebrate Jesus. I celebrate it because it brings my family together. Having a family that is away more than it is at home, for me this is golden. It is the greatest gift I can imagine, having my whole family – my parents and sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins – gathered under the same roof. It is one of those precious gifts that Christmas gives to me.
Christmas also means showing appreciation for what you have. I never feel so humble and modest as I always do on Christmas Eve. Kalle Anka has just started; the entire family is placed in front of the television. A year’s supply of glögg and pepparkakor is resting on the table in front of us. My dad who knows all the lines to all the Disney clips before they are even spoken. My grandma and her love of the bull Ferdinand. My grandpa who always feels the need to ask: “Why are we watching this again?” Christmas makes you realise what is important. It is not the B on the Philosophy assignment or the results of the latest PISA investigation. It is that moment when your grandpa asks once again why we are watching Kalle Anka, and everyone just smiles and my mum pats him softly on the head.
There might be some rubbish attached to Christmas. But mostly, it’s just love.
That is why I believe we should never ever get away with Christmas. So Merry wonderful Christmas to all of you!
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