~Shemeka Michelle
So many people have wondered why I’m such a scrooge. It sounds really harsh to say I hate a holiday dedicated to the one that came to save the world. However, notice that the title is I hate Xmas and not I hate Christmas. I hate the fact that we have become so materialistic that the real meaning means nothing anymore because Christ has been missing for years. Sure we still have yards that display mangers and many churches have plays in which a real baby or baby doll is wrapped in swaddling clothes; but Scrooge was really on to something when he coined the term Bahumbug!
My hate for Xmas started when I was sixteen years old. Although I had been working since I was twelve, for some reason this Christmas I was out of a job. I remember my mom telling me not to worry about getting her anything so I didn’t. However, she obviously didn’t mean that. When we went to church the following Sunday, another lady was bragging on what her daughter had bought her and she asked my mom what I bought for her. I remember my mom pursing her lips, cutting her eye at me and saying “my daughter didn’t get me anything!”  She said it with so much disgust and said it over and over making me feel incompetent each and every time she said it. Although I know she didn’t mean to come across like that, I remember feeling ashamed, like a terrible daughter and thinking to myself that I would never be in a position to have her feel like that about me again.
The follow year, I was a freshman in college. I was in my first year of school so I didn’t have a job. This year was different though because I had the freedom to do what I needed to do to get money! The opportunity presented itself one night when a group of guys offered me $100.00 to strip for them. I saw this as a piece of cake. After all, taking off your clothes isn’t hard and stripping was my dream job. I had future plans of finding me a club to work in once I turned eighteen. Secondly, it was right before Christmas and this would provide me a way to buy my mom a Christmas gift that she could be proud of and I could avoid the discontentment she displayed the year before.  So I did although it was not as glamorous at I pictured it would be (to blogged about another time).
For the last 20 years, Christmas time has served as a reminder of not only the huge pressure I felt to please people but also brought painful reminders of what I did to ease that pressure all because we all sometimes forget the reason for the season. Each year I listen to people rattle off their wants. Each year, I struggle and stress about buying gifts and most years, I really didn’t have the money. Each year I watch the news of people standing in line for hours to buy the newest trendiest item. People join angel tree programs to get more things and others scrounge to make purchases they really can’t afford.  This process is repeated year after year and it really makes me sick! Loved ones stay away from each other simply because they don’t want to come around empty handed which shows they are simply empty hearted. My children had to deal with that this year (will DEFINITELY blog about that later).
If we truly understood the purpose, gathering with family and friends would be the highlight of the day and although children may have fewer toys in their playroom, they would have more money in their college funds. Families could unite and just enjoy each other’s presence.
Actually, this year felt a little different that times past. I think I’m healing and becoming less of a grouchy smurf. Next year I may even be looking forward to Christmas. However right now, there’s still nothing like a good Bahumbug!