Only part of this is because I am Jewish.  I’m not wildly Jewish, after all, and not so Jewish that if I loved Christmas I would feel guilty about it. I love ham, for instance, and don’t feel guilty about that.  Except that I admire pigs.

So — guilty, yes. But not because the old testament tells me to be.

My dislike of Christmas is not religious so much as practical. I don’t mind giving gifts, but I really don’t like giving them in bulk (‘Christ! We forgot Cousin Pelican!’) and I detest having to spend months crossing names off lists, trying to think what size the nephews are now, what music they might be into, and are the godchildren too old for mittens?

I could happily live without receiving as well, unless it means a pashmina in the exact colour of fluffy pale celadon that I covet. And it never does.

My daughter recently found a book inscribed “To Meggie, Merry Christmas 1964”.  It was from my parents.  “Did you LIKE it?” she asked, appalled, unable to imagine a historical era in which Christmas did not consist of a new i-pod, Jack Wills sweatshirt, TopShop vouchers and many, many etceteras.

A book? Um, like, I don’t think so?

My husband gets more into the spirit than I do.  When our child was four, she awoke on Christmas morning to beautifully rendered charcoal reindeer hoofprints all over the room.  OK, she was delighted. But also fairly gutted when the time came, a few years later, to explain not only that Santa did not exist, but that daddy was an elaborate fraudster.

In case I’ve never mentioned it before, my ideal holiday does not involve a bunch of temporarily civil family members teetering on the brink of airing life-long grievances as they slug heated alcohol out of pint glasses.

SO.  If you and your loved ones can barely wait to break out the gluhwein and wail tidings of comfort and joy around the glockenspiel, you have my blessings.

Me?  I’ll be the one cowering in the snow by the back door, counting off the hours to January.


10 thoughts on “I HATE Christmas.

  1. andrea seigel 8 years ago

    this is where we divide: gwenyth and christmas.

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      No offence to your lovely dog, however.

  2. Elle 8 years ago

    This is why they invented gift-cards meg. You don’t have to know what they like they’ll buy it themselves. Where can you go wrong? ;-D

  3. Monique 8 years ago

    Not having to put up Xmas lights, I am always grateful for being Jewish around this time of year. I could see the fun in decorating a tree. Undecorating one – not so much.

  4. Geraldine Brennan 8 years ago

    This is what Oxfam Unwrapped was invented for. Or just don’t bother, they’ll never notice. I have to say that singing the less chirpy Christmas carols and reading A Christmas Carol always makes me emotional. My husband is Jewish and likes it all more than I do.

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      Well, I didn’t say I hate everything teensy thing about Christmas. I like carols, and the Messiah, how pretty all the lights look, and fires and books and all that. But you could have all that without the agonising hours in shops.

  5. Amanda 8 years ago

    Bah, humbug! Here in the Cohen household we go the whole hog in properly Jewish fashion. It’s a pagan festival, and I love it all. Love decorating the tree and bringing green branches in, love making giant feast for the family, love giving presents and receiving them, love Christmas films and TV, reading new books peacefully, having winter walks and love having two weeks off and then re-entering normal life at the end of it.

  6. jackie morris 8 years ago

    Oh I am so with you Meg. I hate the hype. We had a quiet Christmas last year. I seldom send Christmas cards. And if I could I would spend this Christmas working away, colouring in.
    Too much pressure to ‘have fun’ too much guilt, too much money, too little spirit.

  7. Rhubarb 8 years ago

    Ha! I’d ask if we were related, except I am afraid many people experience watching drinking relations going through an increasingly judgment impaired inner struggle between acting nice ‘for the holidays’ and keeping years of hostility under the surface.

  8. Minnie 8 years ago

    Great post! I’m with you on the commercialised (and frequently competitive) gift-offering guilt-trip aspect of Christmas. Although none of it applies to me anymore, I do recall how impossible it was to avoid.

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