After the Christmas seasons of 2019 and 2020, I became disenchanted. On a video call with my girls, I told them how tired, stressed, and frustrated I was with the whole Christmas ordeal. The traditions were toilsome. Decorating the Christmas tree. It was pretty to gaze at, but my prince was not interested in decorating, only looking at the result. Making cookies. We had covered the kitchen and dining area in flour, icing, and sprinkles. Again, the kiddo was not down for the process. I realized about a quarter of the way through that I was begging him to take part versus him wanting to. Buying gifts. The financial tug-of-war of gift buying and paying rent on January 1 was enough to thin out my edges. Plus, I no longer wanted to do any of those activities. So much about “the most wonderful time of the year” felt forced and obligatory. And a farce.
Christmas lies of omission
For most of my adult life, pastors preached that the birthdate of Christ was unknown. Yet, December 25 is when we choose to celebrate Christ’s birthday. Unfortunately, the history behind that date was not disclosed in any church I sat in. Perhaps, it would lead to questions about the validity of this “Christian” tradition and the tyrant behind it all. But, church leaders and Christians compel to battle in the “war against Christmas” year after year. Apparently, lies of omission are acceptable because they continue to serve a political cause.
Christmas lies for tradition
Then, there is Santa Claus. A fictional character used to intimidate children to behave. I believed in Santa Claus until I was 11. Yes, that is old for a child to still believe. I probably would have kept on believing if my mom had not finally told the truth. Some people have said I am gullible because I believed that long. The reality is that it is not gullible for a child to believe what their parents tell them. This is one of the reasons why I no longer make assumptions and often ask clarifying questions. Apparently, tradition can mean a lie that is told because it is fun and serves a commercial purpose.
Truth gives permission
For a while, I contemplated trying out different activities and methods of celebration. I realized I had done that for several years and was far from feeling merry and bright. Moreover, I told myself to do it for my child, but we have already covered how that went. There was nothing of truth and value that held me to uphold Christmas. Thus, I let go of it.
As the holiday season barged in, I experienced several moments of reflection. The utmost being, how do I explain this to my child? I was not worried about Santa. When my kiddo was a toddler, I told them that Santa Claus was not real. He was a fictional character that people liked to have as part of the Christmas tradition. How do I tell them mommy is abolishing Christmas? Well, I just did. During a weeknight dinner, I said, “This year, I am not going to celebrate Christmas. The reason I am not going to celebrate is because it is not a day that God asks us to remember and acknowledge.” I asked him how he felt about that and he said he was sad. I asked him what about what I said caused sad feelings. My prince told me that he still wanted to have a Christmas tree and gifts. I assured him he would have both. My decisions do not have to be his. As my prince matures, I will share more with him about history. With the truth, he can decide. That weekend I placed a 4-foot, pre-lit tree in his room. I showed him the decorations, and he picked what he wanted to hang. When he woke up on Christmas morning, there were gifts under that tree.
Truth is validation
Am I merry and bright? Not exactly. I am calm and settled. There was a noise that whirred within me during the holiday season, even when I was a child. That noise is gone. And I feel so much better.