The holiday spirit is not for everyone

People act fake during the Christmas season

Deck the halls with meaningless words and gifts that you’ll forget within a week. Call me a cynic, but that’s what I think of when this time of year rolls around.

I don’t know what it is, but this time of year is just the worst to me. It might be the weather or that it’s the same time as when finals come around, but there’s just something that makes me dread the holiday season.

I know I sound like the Grinch when I say this, but Christmas is my least favorite holiday for a few different reasons. I know people are going to just automatically assume that maybe I had a bad experience growing up or that I didn’t get a present that I wanted, but honestly, it’s nothing like that. I have had a great life growing up and even being so far from home (I’m from Oregon), I have always hated this time. My parents did a fantastic job raising me and have given me more than I have ever needed for my happiness, and for that I am genuinely grateful.

I have never had the holiday spirit. I can’t remember a time I was ever super excited about Christmas. Even when I was younger, having a few weeks off for school was nice but just seemed unnecessary to me. I guess maybe I don’t truly understand the whole meaning behind it.

I mean, people are happy to “give and receive” gifts to and from people they love, but why is it such a big deal when we have birthdays? If anything, the holiday feels fake. People start being nice this time of year by tipping more at restaurants or doing “random acts of kindness” in public like they want to get on the nice list.

I knew this girl in middle school who was the biggest bitch to me throughout the years until December hit, when she would become unbelievably “nice.” She’d want to sit with me at lunch or even share her snacks with me. Showing her true colors, the rest of the year she would make fun of me to her friends or say “naughty” things. Santa is watching, indeed.

I feel like she just wanted me to give her a gift. This went on for about two years, and in eighth grade, she finally confronted me about it. She asked me why I never gave her anything for Christmas and I told her that she was one of the nastiest people I had ever met and didn’t deserve anything. Of course, she got mad, but it just made me realize how many other people do that to be greedy. Even though that was a long time ago, I have seen this inauthentic behavior reflected in others.

I understand that the whole meaning of Christmas isn’t about gifts and is instead about spending time with the people you love and being thankful for what you have. However, that mentality should follow us and reflect in our actions all year long and not for the length of a Christmas sale at big box stores.

As I grow older, family gatherings have become more important to me. Seeing family from across the country is a gift in itself, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to see them, even in spite of capitalism wrapped in a bow with fancy wrapping paper.