And I spiced it with cinnamon and nutmeg!
In ages past, I hated Christmas. The Shopping Season emphasized everything about my culture that I absolutely despised, with the added feelings on intense disappointment in my family when they didn't give me what I requested.* I remember a December when I received exactly nothing on my list, and I thought my family was a bunch of jerks who thought they knew better than me. I was thirteen or something, so just about anyone other than my brother did know better than me, but that didn't stop my from being an angry little snotrag about it.
I abandoned this feeling of disappointment a few years later for a whole new feeling of disappointment in humanity as expressed in American media. This feeling was only intensified by being unable to buy anything for the people I wanted to give stuff. I was in boarding school and then college, and any money I made during the summer didn't last longer than my short-sighted budget. The only gift that I bought that I still remember and feel somewhat good about was a special mug I bought for my dad when I was a sophomore.**
I wanted to be happier during this time, because I like my family, for the most part. I like visiting them, and we have fun together, despite my brother's attempts to ruin everything with plans. I found it hard to be cheerful when I was bombarded with scenes of utter assholery in malls and on television. Basically, I was angry because Christmas was a constant reminder of how I wasn't a kid anymore. I couldn't just sit in a pile of wrapping paper and experience sheer joy anymore. The world was sitting on my head, just crapping all over any fun I might have had.
Something changed in 2008. No, not something, someone. I was trying to win back a woman I had wronged, and I had this idea, inspired by Gene Hackman in Heist, that if I wanted to be a better version of me, maybe I could just fake it. I'm a pretty good liar on a bad day, so I thought maybe I would change the way I lie to myself. Maybe if I pretend to be a better person, I'll eventually be that better person, and I won't have to keep pretending. I'm not 100% there yet, but I'm not pretending anymore.
Part of this whole thing was that I realized that I was over Christmas. If other people want to run around and be assholes to each other in malls and parking lots, so be it. I'm just gonna make cookies, not send them to my friends, and eat the hell out of them.*** I'll invite my friends over for rum drinks, cookies, pie, and the Star Wars Holiday Special. I'll try to find one or two small, meaningful, little gifts for my people. Or maybe I'll make something to give.
The short of this is that I can also enjoy holiday music again. This is much easier when i am not out in the world, but even when I am in the world, I just tune it out. I just play Mahna Mahna on constant loop in the jukebox of my subconscious, and I move through the world. I could have written a much shorter version of this post by just typing, OMG HOLIDAY MUSIC MASH-UPS HERE!!!1111!!1!!
* There's a paradox somewhere in there that a kid might miss for a few years.
** Much like a certain lamp, I'm pretty sure my mother introduced this mug to Mr. Baseballbat, and Mr. Backyard.
*** One of these years, I'm gonna mail some cookies to some friends, and those friends will be so frigging impressed. Some jokes aren't worth it.