A Typical Cochrane Christmas and a Quasi-Rant

I know for some Christmas is a very large, extremely festive ordeal (whether you consider that a good or bad thing is entirely up to you).  Christmas in my household is a small, quiet affair however, and I tell you, it is one of the few times of the year where we use our inside voices (for the most part).  My father wakes up sometime close to 6am, turns the TV on and watches it at a louder-than-comfortable level.  Usually my mother will get up next, then myself, and then my brother will come by anywhere between 8am-11am.  Most of the time we usually just have my grandmother Lalone come down for dinner, so considering it’s generally just five people, it’s not a very “extravagant day”.  We exchange presents, open stockings, and sit around for most of the day.  We eat dinner early, usually around 4pm or at the latest 5pm, consisting of turkey, mashed taters, two potato mash (its regular taters, sweet potatoes, and cheddar cheese, and it is fabulous), some green veggie (this year was asparagus), gravy, stuffing, and other fixings.  Before our turkey feast, we watch some sort of movie, and this year is the first year in ages that we actually watched a Christmas movie, which was National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – last year it was Trailer Park Boys: Count Down to Liquor Day, you decide which is more festive.  Now, as you can tell, our Christmas is very small, and sounds almost boring, and completely non-festive.

Now I’ll agree, that while it is a bit strange for a family of apathetic religious beliefs to be celebrating Christmas, I will say it does annoy me when some particular people get a bit “preachy” about it.  I don’t deny religion, Christ, or anything for that matter, I’m agnostic.  And though it is a bit weird that I celebrate anything at all considering, Christmas is one of those times of the year I look forward to so I can spend a few hours with my family, where we don’t fight, get drunk, or do anything really strange or embarrassing.  We just hang out together, talk, eat some delicious food, and I really look forward to spending those moments with them.  This only gets to happen like three times a year (Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas – which all pan out about the same), so I’m not about to give up one or two of those days because someone who is more religious than I thinks it’s hypocritical.  What I have to say to these people: Sod off, I’m celebrating Christmas, and because you’re getting an agnostic, two apathetic people, and an atheist to celebrate CHRISTmas, doesn’t that technically make you win?  I mean, I’m celebrating something in your religion, and though I may not personally know if it’s right or wrong, I’m at least leaning more towards your side of the discussion, so you’ve partially won me over.  Take your victories with stride man!  Gosh! 

I didn’t really mean for that section to get so religious based, but I’ve had a few people bother me about this in the past few weeks, and it pisses me off.  Christmas to me is about spending time with the people I love, and a reminder to be more thoughtful and giving, because I think everyone needs a reminder once in a while.  So what if I don’t go to church, I at least understand where the tradition comes from, and though I may not agree with the foundation of the tradition, I can respect the morals it represented and incorporate them into my own life. 

And since I’m getting stuff off my chest, a few times each year I hear people getting all up on their high horse, getting all uppity about materialism and everything that follows this time of year.  I have two messages for these people.  First: If you really believe that, then I applaud you for not participating in any gift exchanges, as in not receiving any gifts (thought I’m sure this is not the case for any of the persons who have said this to me).  In my opinion, if you are going to bitch about materialism, you shouldn’t accept Christmas gifts, or even give gifts to family and friends and the ones you love.  Maybe you could donate all the money you would have spent on people you knew to a cause, or ask that all gifts to you be in the form of a donation to charity.  Now, I know I didn’t do any of those things this year, it’s something I honestly didn’t think of doing until someone got under my skin on Christmas day.  But really, I don’t like hearing people point fingers at everyone else when they are still contributing to this “materialism”.  Why is it not ok for everyone else to exhange presents, but it’s ok for you to?  My second message is: Sure, there’s materialism at Christmas.  But there’s materialism at every other freaking holiday of the year.  To supplement my first message, never allow yourself to receive material objects if this is really how you feel.  Especially on your birthday, because birthday presents are merely just material objects, no?  I know this all sounds a bit bitter, but I don’t like people telling me that I’m “materialistic” because I want to give my family and friends a present.  I love being able to show them that I care about them, and I don’t care if I do this at Christmas or any other day.  If I see something my friend would love while I’m out, I’ll pick it up for them without thought, because I think about them and like to do something nice to them.  Any jackass telling me that I’m being materialistic can shove their ugg boots, ipods and smartphones up their ass, because everyone is partially materialistic anyways.  I don’t care what or if I get anything for Christmas, if I do, I appreciate it, and I am thankful that someone wanted to express to me that they care and think of me.  I don’t expect presents, mostly because half the time I don’t feel like I deserve anything (whether that be because of my own issues, or people making me feel that way example: forgetting my birthday), or because I’ve never been “spoiled”, and have always been taught to be greatful for what I’ve received.  Maybe the people getting so bent out of shape about materialism and Christmas are the ones who didn’t get what they wanted the year before (Santa doesn’t like naughty boys and girls, after all).  I don’t know, maybe this is all speculation.  Maybe I’m just venting from all the annoying people who make this time of year miserable, when it should be joyous and festive. 

To me, yesterday was about remembering who is important to me, and expressing to them that I am thankful for them, that I appreciate them, and that I love them.  That’s what a typical Christmas is for me and my family, it’s one of the few times of the year where we aren’t sarcastic bastards to each other, where we forget our petty fights and arguments, where we leave our egos and pride at the door, and just appreciate each other.  And though a few people got under my skin, and annoyed me this holiday season, and though I have been exhausted, over-worked, and have dealt with unnecessary drama, I still appreciate and love the people in my life.  Because without them I am nothing, and this one time of year I am reminded that despite all my flaws, and despite everyone elses faults, we still have the capacity for kindness, greatness, and love, and that we deserve to be appreciated.  So, to anyone reading this post, or my blog ever, I appreciate you, I respect you, and I love you – thank you for being you, for appreciating me as I am, and I hope that you have had a very Merry Christmas, and hope you have a very Happy New Year!

And for those who still want to bother me about all the stuff I mentioned earlier, maybe you should be celebrating Festivus ;).  Happy Holidays everyone!

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6 thoughts on “A Typical Cochrane Christmas and a Quasi-Rant

  1. I agree Christmas is about family. When I was young we would sit around the table and talk while putting together a 2000 piece puzzle…an annual tradition. It isn’t about what you get, but spending time together. To me it is one of those rare days that you feel like the crazy rat race of life stops for one quiet day of peace, relaxing and fun.

  2. You are so right, christmas is about family, and showing them that you care and being able to spend time with them. Nothing else. Its a time of year to show you care, and I particularly love to buy presents for people because I just do, its just nice to do something special for someone else! ❤ you for all you wonderful thoughts!!!

  3. Sounds like you had a nice Christmas with you family. It sucks that some people feel the need to force their opinions on others. Why can’t people just be happy that others are happy and showing goodwill towards others? Oh well those things may never change, but at least you can stick to your beliefs and be happy with them.

    I love the part about your family useing their inside voices. Reminds me of that car trip we took to london before college. I didn’t know if I should talk loud too, haha your parents are awesome. I alway enjoy seeing them. Glad you guys had a good day:)

    • I did 🙂 And I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas as well!

      Haha, I remember that – at least you learned after the carride that it’s ok to yell in our family 🙂

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