St. Louis: Don’t be the hail on someone’s Christmas parade

Hell hath no fury like a grinch awoken too early. But there are worse vices than an annual holiday based on giving and togetherness.

Publishing date:

Dec 03, 2022  •  18 hours ago  •  2 minute read

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No telling what you might find on a Christmas tree. Photo by Peter Williams /jpg It’s that time of year again.

Suburban streets are glowing with Christmas lights and sparkly trees. Rosy-cheeked wanderers are lined up for their festive beverages. And the Ebenezer Scrooges of the world are scoffing at all of it, crushing the holiday spirit beneath their heel like a child might shatter a frozen puddle.

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‘Tis the season of judgement, eye-rolls, and self-righteousness. “I refuse to listen to Christmas music,” some will proudly announce. “It’s all about consumerism,” others will decree, noses so high in the air they could be mistaken for party hats.

Every year I ask myself the same question: What’s wrong with letting people enjoy what they enjoy?

At a time of economic, climate and pandemic uncertainty, we could all use a little more cheer. As far as vices go, I can think of much worse than an annual holiday based on giving and togetherness.

I know that for some, the holidays are hard. I have nothing but sympathy for anyone who finds this season painful, triggering or difficult for some legitimate reason. I just don’t think that loathing a whole season for the sake of it qualifies as legitimate. Nor do I think there’s anything to gain by trying to dull the shine of Christmas for anyone else.

On the spectrum of holiday cheer, I am admittedly on the far end. This year I made it to October before queuing up the Christmas jazz as my writing soundtrack. The second I heard those first notes, so festive and familiar, I wondered why I tried to wait at all.

Only, I know exactly why.

Hell hath no fury like a grinch awoken too early. For my entire adult life, I’ve experienced the scorn of people who shudder at the thought of watching a Christmas movie out of season or decorating before the first snowfall. I even once had a colleague make a prompt U-turn out of my office upon realizing I had adorned my desk with garland on Nov. 30.

I wasn’t always this way. There were several especially awkward teen years where I cared far more about straight hair, straight teeth and straight eyeliner than any holiday. But slowly, for reasons I can’t explain, some seasonal magic found its way back to me.

I can’t help but think of “Disney adults” — a group of Disney park-loving grown-ups who face similar contempt. Do I share their affinity? No. Does it bother me in the slightest that they take comfort in a fictional word? Absolutely not.

Maybe those who have long lost any fleeting sense of magic — through Christmas, Disney, or anything else — are just jealous of those who have managed to capture it.

The good news is, it’s never too late to try. That doesn’t mean you have to roast chestnuts on an open fire, go carolling door-to-door or sit on Santa’s lap at the mall. It could start with something simple, like dialling the repulsion back a few notches.

After all, there’s no prize for having the worst attitude toward Christmas (if there were, I’d have a few contenders). But a small shift in attitude could yield a big reward.

If you see the milk as half empty, your cookie is sure to come up dry.

Amber St. Louis is an Ottawa writer.

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