I hate the holiday season, and before I mostly attributed it to the fact that I was working with the public and hearing the Christmas songs on loop made me want to slit throats, but now I am no longer obligated to bear the public in my job, I have a greater clarity on my source of disdain for the holiday season.
- The extra work: Now that it is closer to the holidays, I have to cram in more work hours to finish up stuff before the end of the year. Yay? Sure I get overtime but I still have to fucking work the overtime. I have to spend more time at work and less time at home, which means less rest. Somehow a holiday which implies a distinct lack of work, ends up adding more work into my life.
- The extra work (I am not getting paid for): On top of spending more hours at work, when I am not at work I cannot just huddle up in my home and decompress, no I have to go back out and shop for gifts. I have to go into the crowds, listen to the Christmas music on blast, and try to figure out what gift these people probably haven’t already bought for themselves yet, what gift is the most “emotionally” significant, and trying to figure out what you are able to fit in your luggage.
- The travel: The day after there officially is no more work, I don’t relax. I don’t sleep in. I have to be on a stupid plane with all of the rest of the people going to see family for the holidays. It is going to be loud, my personal space is going to be violated, I can’t relax/sleep, and I can’t smash in skulls. I think it is considered rude or something.
- The family: For me not only will that include immediate but extended family, and the whole gift thing comes back since I don’t know who the hell is in my family and/or if they will give me the stink eye for not getting them a gift. Maybe because I don’t know you. Like you said, you haven’t seen me since I was a baby, how was I supposed to plan a gift for you? I could give you some trinkets but that is kind of obvious that I wasn’t thinking of you but just brought some junk at the gift shop and called it a day. I don’t know you, I don’t know what you like or what you want, so don’t expect a gift. Sorry. Also with family, you can’t relax either. Constantly re-meeting people who keep squealing that they haven’t seen you since you were a baby, the complete lack of a concept of personal space. Constantly telling them that you actually graduated from college, that you got a job, what you do for a job, romantic status, plans for the future, etc etc. It is a full week of being on your best behavior, showing a fake self because you don’t know anyone besides your immediate family, and being expected to bond immediately to people you only remember meeting five minutes ago. This is stressful, and pretty much the opposite of what a holiday is meant to be.
- Back to work: After the “holidays” people expect you to be totally rested and recharged to get back to work after a relaxing time off, except it was two weeks of stress and madness. While you are glad the holiday season is over, the holiday never seemed to happen.
Don’t get me wrong I love my family, but my idea of a great time sadly doesn’t include them or… people in general. I am with my family because it makes them happy, sure I enjoy seeing them too, but not in the same doses that they enjoy. And all of the added hassle and mess does not make this circumstance seem worth it, or appealing. If it was a small family reunion at any time besides the holiday season, I would be totally fine. I wouldn’t have had the added stress of being pushed at work, or thinking of getting off of these pointless gifts and people just pretend to enjoy but end up re-gifting or quickly shoving them to the back of the deepest drawer. Unless I really know you well, I am horrible at gifts. Actually I hate gifts. I don’t want them nor do I want to get them. Sure it is the thought that counts, but people don’t want to receive a card that says “Thinking of you.” They still want a gift they want something material they want something as a physical manifestation of how much they are worth to you. And if you don’t get something that is up to snuff for them then they think that you care for them less in some way.
So to recap the reason I hate the holiday season is the stress of work, stress of gifts, stress of travel, stress of meeting a constant string of people you don’t know and who constantly invade your personal space, and then with no real rest going to back to work where you are expected to have had a stress free holiday, which you know is a lie.