I’m not a big fan of Christmas. It requires me to take time off work and venture into the cold to waste time with people I don’t like, and who don’t like me back.
I’ve felt this way as long as I can remember.
As a teenager, I’d start having mini-anxiety attacks around June, anticipating the annual ritual:
Getting dragged to my aunt’s house, where even the toilet seats had “Santa” covers, and a fading twenty-year-old Johnny Mathis Christmas TV special played in an endless loop.
Every year, that side of the family insisted that we all “have fun” by playing games.
Every year, they dusted off the Trivial Pursuit board.
Every year, I won.
(“How can you NOT know the names of The Beatles?! Again?!“)
Every year, they pouted, then whispered behind my back that I was “weird.”
Especially after I pointed out that their quaint “Victorian Christmas” figurines had likely been, in real life, spreading communicable diseases with strange names to vitamin-deficient child prostitutes.
In one of her innumerable memoirs, Shirley MacLaine says the trouble with going to therapy is that you go home for the holidays and instantly realize to your horror that no one else in your family has gone to therapy.
Or, in my case, read a book.