I'm feeling rather Grinchly this week.
Part of it comes from the fact that once December approaches, I am bombarded with a steady stream of Christmas related advertising. This year, either its worse, or I'm more sensitive to it.
Today on the radio, I heard about the local radio station's Christmas Wish program. You nominate someone to receive something, and the radio station tries to provide it, I think. Dont' get me wrong, I think it's a neat idea for this month of many holidays. And they provide wonderful things for people -- yesterday I heard them give a way a year membership to a local fitness program for teens to a boy who really really wants to quit being overweight, but whose family can't afford the program.... He'll learn nutrition and exercise and all sorts of good stuff. (Stuff I wish I could incorporate a bit better into my own life, but that's another whine).
But what irks me about this program is that it (and thus, when I'm overgeneralizing, by implication, the whole station) ignores the fact that our community is NOT made up solely of Christian people. Nope. We've got people of all sorts of religions, right here in town. And we're proud of our diversity too.
Right up until December, when it's so much easier to forget the Jews, Islamics (likely both Sunni and Shi'a), Buddhists (likely some of each type), Hindus (likely some of each type here as well), Pagans and/or Wiccans (who also come in many varieties), Mormons (who may or may not fit under the overall Christian heading depending on to whom you speak), and possibly even some members of various shamanic or tribal religions. After all, who can keep track of all those holidays? And do they all do the gift thing?
Or perhaps we only get Christmas advertising because those non-Christian folks haven't let consumerism consume their major holiday? I mean gift giving is traditional at Hanukkah... but we don't get bombarded with Hanukkah buying ads... is that b/c the advertisers are forgetting our Jewish brethren and sistren? or because Jews aren't susceptible to their wiles?
Remember when "holiday" came from "Holy Day"? The guys on the radio and TV sure don't. They think it means "excuse to guilt trip or otherwise ensnare you into spending money on a bunch of stuff you can't afford."
So anyway, I logged on to the radio's website, and registered my wish: That they'd at least pretend to recognize those of us who don't celebrate Christmas.... That somehow, they'd manage to share the month of December with non-Christians (and even with those Christians who haven't allowed their family traditions to sink to the level of Obligatory Gift Frenzy).
Perhaps my reaction is exacerbated by the fact that we DO celebrate some sort of Gift Giving Tradition, and I'm behind in the knitting of the gifts for it, and am wholly without non-knitting ideas for those for whom I'm not knitting this year. I allow myself to feel this obligation to give something, and resent that the giving is obligatory, and then resent that I can't quite tell whether the giving I'm doing stems from a genuine desire to give or from a sense of duty to give. (I used to love the excuse to give everyone presents.... I used to feel financially flush too.)
Anyway, despite the grouchfest, I took this Blog thing ... it's not as far off as I'd have thought it would be.
What The Holidays Mean to You
It says: For you, the holidays are about emotional connections and bonds. You are happiest being around those you love.
I tend to agree.
It says: You celebrate the holidays in a minimalist style. You are likely to only give one great present and decorate your house with a few special items.
I laugh... In years past I decorated the crap out of my house. There were Father Christmases EVERYWHERE, and lots and lots of lights and candles... And as for gifts... well, once I got started, I found many gifts for some folks, and just couldn't help but pick up one more thing if the thing told me that the intended recipient would love it. I was known for my talent in selecting great gifts. This year, however, it may be right. I'll still be putting candles everywhere, but I'm scaling back on my desire for Fathers Christmas.
It says: During the holidays, you feel magical. You love all of the decorations and how happy people are. You like to sit back and take it all in.
Hmmm. Not sure about that. I used to love the lights... now they're overdone, and I don't enjoy the excess.
It says: You think the holidays should be nostalgic and sweet. The holidays bring out your inner child.
I've never thought much of anything should be sweet. Holidays used to bring out my inner child. Perhaps she'll wake up this year too.
It says: Your favorite holiday memories strongly evoke your senses. You are vividly aware of all the tastes, smells, and sounds of the holidays.
Okay....whatever. Lets see what happens when there are scents to enjoy.