Friday, December 21, 2007

Thoughts on Christmas

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”. Maybe for everyone else, but not for this conscious questioning chick.

How do I feel about the holidays? I feel a sense of obligation chased by a sense of failure. There’s this urgency to comply that brings on rebellion and hopelessness.

There is no other time of the year when I feel forced into feeling or behaving a certain way. Most of the year, I’m able to just be me – to not have to conform to another’s expectations. “The most wonderful time of the year” is mandated, compulsory even, if you care about being mainstream.

At this time of year, it is an official requirement to find pleasure in the tiny lights sucking away our electricity, the Hallmark greetings printed with toxic inks, the death of millions of pine, spruce and balsam trees and the tinsel that causes intestinal distress for innocent cats and dogs.

I’m conflicted. I’m marinating in oodles of moral duty. At the same time, I'm angry at being told what to do. Feeling compelled to comply with this holiday that sets up a system of debt. This holiday where expectations abound. Expectations to give freely, to receive openly, to keep tabs on who did what for who and who owes whom what.

At the same time, I’m bound to refrain, to withhold, to stop feeling sad, despite the reality of my Bipolar Disorder which is magnified by Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Even Santa Claus insists.
“You better not shout,
you better not cry,
you better not pout,
I’m telling you why…”

Even Santa Claus is ready to punish me for my feelings and behaviour.
“You better be good for goodness sake”.

I suppose I should just go along with it, and believe what the songs tell me.

But how can I? Cause here’s the truth.

“All is calm” (only with lithium and copious amounts of self-medicating)
“All is bright” (only with my SAD light).

What’s the consequence for not fulfilling this Christmas contract? Having people think I don’t love them. Suddenly consciousness and having a mind of my own is equated to love.

Happy holidays, I guess.


  1. Do our love ones really expect us to spend a lot or do we believe we're supposed to spend a lot of money? I have to remind myself that I tend to be the one freaking out, not my kids, not my siblings or my parents.

  2. There are times when I wish Christmas was more like Thanksgiving and we just celebrated Jesus' birthday (if thats what someone believes). I'm tending to do less at Christmas and more for the ones I love at their birthdays to celebrate them.... I'm liking the idea of gifts of time for Christmas more too.

    Happiness to you!


  3. I hate feeling manipulated, too! The favorite part of the holidays for me is spending bits of time with members of my small family without the pressure.