I’m not usually one for posting rants on my blog; I generally like to keep this a positive place where I can, but this is something I’m getting sick of seeing and I can keep ignoring it. If you’re looking for a really happy and lighthearted post then I’d suggest checking out my What I Love About Christmas post from last year, as this one is probably going to get a bit deep.
You see; not everyone enjoys Christmas.
I’m sick of seeing comments on social media calling people a Scrooge/Grinch/killjoy/whatever because they don’t enjoy Christmas as much as other people do. At the end of the day, you don’t know what’s gone on in people’s lives; they could have had a traumatic event happen around this time of year. Perhaps they have no friends or family to celebrate with and feel alone and depressed. Maybe they have a mental or physical health condition that is made worse this time of year, such as an eating disorder. Or they belong to a religion/culture that doesn’t celebrate it.
This is what happened to me; everyone except myself and my parents are Jehovahs Witnesses. Now for those who don’t know, they don’t celebrate anything; Christmas, Birthdays, Easter…all of that is “sinful” and “pagan” so you can imagine how much fun they are this time of year.
My dad hates his birthday and Christmas; his parents joined the religion when he was about 7 years old and up until that point he’d had a fairly normal life. But then suddenly he was been dragged to the meetings twice a week without been asked if he wanted to go, forced to dress in a suit and sit still and silent for hours at a time (something he can’t even manage at 50!) and told he was no longer allowed to celebrate his birthday or Christmas.
As you can imagine, he was a bit pissed off and confused!
He hated the whole religion and left the second he turned 16, but by that point the damage had been done. When he met my mum and later when he had me, he would put on a show for us; he’d pretend to be excited on christmas morning, running up and down the stairs shouting “he’s been” and basically making me as giddy as possible, but as I got older most of that stopped. He no longer needed to put on an act because, by the time I was a teenager, I had started to dread this time of year too.
Not because I don’t particularly like it; I love putting the decorations up with my mum while blasting out our favourite Christmas songs and dancing around the room like idiots. What I hate is how much emphasis is put on family at this time of year. How all the adverts show big happy families meeting up for Christmas dinner, drinks and playing games.
It’s everywhere you look and if you don’t have that, its easy to feel left out and depressed.
I remember as a kid being really upset because I’d get snide comments from people in the religion because we celebrated Christmas. They’d encourage me to tell my parents I didn’t want Christmas and I was told to try and make them come to the meetings so often that I could hear it in my sleep.
I can probably recite from memory the yearly tirade I get about how celebrating it makes me a pagan and a sinner and all the rest of that crap. And I’ve had this every year for the last 20 years!
So as you can imagine; this isn’t really the wonderful time of year for me and my parents that it might be for other people.
But that doesn’t make us “Scrooge’s”. It doesn’t give people the right to message me telling me to “cheer up” or “get more festive”.
We need to get rid of this belief that we have a right to comment on someone else’s life. We don’t. Some people are Christmas mad, others cant stand it and go out of their way to avoid it. Then there are the rest of us who are somewhere in between.
No matter how you celebrate Christmas (or don’t!) as long as you are happy, that’s all that should matter.
On another note; I’m not sure if I’ll be posting again before Christmas, I have some posts drafted out but I kind of want to take a step back from the internet and spend time with Chris and my parents for the next week or so. I might make my round up of 2017 my final post for the year- seems kind of fitting.
Until then I hope you have a fantastic festive period- however you decide to spend it!
A twenty-four-year-old autistic writer and designer from Sheffield. Tattoo obsessed, animal lover, self confessed bookworm and eclectic witch.