A short excursion into winter depression and why it sucks that Christmas is at it’s temporal center.
How come that Christmas has such a strong effect on people? For some it is a day of joy, for others a moment of stress, and for those who feel weird about others being happy on Christmas, it feels like a celebration of exclusion. Well, I just took this definition out of my ass, but it describes perfectly how I feel about this holiday in particular.
Christmas is the Disney Land of holidays. It can be the most happy place there is, but if you just don’t get what the fuss is about, it cracks down to the feeling of solitude in a crowd of cheering idiots, which at the same time seem stressed out in order to be as happy as they can be at least one day of the year.
All this could be boiled down to a perfect theory of anti-social FuckItAll®, but I think there’s more to this.
Christmas, for me, is the reminder, that people don’t matter to each other. That they need to prove their love for their “fellow primates” by giving them shit they don’t need. It is the celebration of the slavery of consumerism.
I’ve heard people say that the holiday used to be about reflection and contemplation. Which might be one of the stupidest ideas ever. Why choose one of the darkest days of the year to reflect on the shit that happened in the last twelve months? That’s like reading Anne Frank’s Diary for your birthday.
I’ve heard people say that it is about bringing the light into the darkness. Houses get lit up like sleazy Vaudeville shows, candles upon candles illuminate a festively decorated tree to the point of being a fire hazard.
I’ve heard people say that it is about gratitude. Gratitude for the things we have that others don’t. That kinda makes sense.
What it entails for me is the sad notion of other people being fucked over, people that don’t like each other trying to get along just for the sake of getting along, and crying children.
Every year around Christmas my three-voiced tinnitus makes way for a cacophonic orchestra of crying children, like in a horror movie; this effect is reproducibly amplified by Christmas carols. I don’t know why, but all I can think about when I hear Silent Night is people in despair. Even my therapist couldn’t make any sense of it. Listening to CocoRosie helps gilding, as does alcohol. I don’t feel reminded of “how good I have it”, but rather how fucked up the world is. I feel dickslapped into a spiral of disgust. The dark hole that is existence. A feeling that I am not doing what I’m supposed to be doing. That there is something I am missing, right now. That I wasted all of what I am for the longest time. I feel reminded of being too fat, of another year wasted with low tier jobs and not fulfilled, of things that could have been but weren’t. I feel reminded of past mistakes and things I can’t ever fix. And for about one week of the whole year, I can’t get a single laugh out of all of this. As if someone had taken my cozy spectator’s seat and pushed me in the center of a stage of misery.
Why the fuck would I celebrate something like that? Why can’t I just zone out and watch porn for a couple of days until all of it blows away?
Because everything around me tries to remind me of how cheerful it all has to be. How grateful I have to be. The songs, the lights, the presents, the contemplation, they grab me for the darkest days and have their way with me.
It isn’t that I’m ungrateful.
It isn’t that I don’t appreciate the chocolate.
It’s just that everybody acts as if something were different. As if things would stop for one day of the year. Everything compressed to a short period of cohesive solidarity.
There is no War on Christmas. There is an insurgence against it.