Christmas. I don’t really care for it.
“But WHY, eczemaexcellence?” you ask. “How can you not like Christmas? It is the season of all things magical and twinkly and bright! Santa and gifts and warm drinks by the fire! Christmas lights and songs! Good cheer and tidings!”
There are reasons that I’m not big into the holiday. Call me sour if you will, but take this list with a grain of salt. Of COURSE I don’t just spend all of December gritting my teeth and whining about my dislike of Christmas!
REASON ONE: GREED. Christmas has turned into something entirely too materialistic. I’m a simple girl – give me adequate food that I like, clean and reasonably in-style clothing, a clean house, a warm bed, a car that runs, and other creature comforts, and I’m happy. I HAVE all those things, so I am content and don’t require anything else. I’m very blessed: I have a respectable job and a great husband besides the material necessities of life. I really don’t have an innate urge to receive something new and shiny just ’cause a holy little guy was born in a manger. If I really want something bad enough, I’m a working adult and can buy it for myself any time of year. There are people I know who make a six-figure salary, live in a half-million dollar home, and STILL want all kinds of presents to paw through on Christmas morn.
REASON TWO: THE EXCHANGE OF GIFTS. This kind of plays into Greed a little, but the gift thing is only a wonderful novelty when you’re a little kid. Here, you can RECEIVE nice things without having to give anything in return. As an adult, the exchange of gifts is a social nicety that we do just because we “have to”, since that’s what we’ve “always done”. Literally one year, I received a restaurant gift card from a family member, after having given THEM a gift card for the same amount. We could have just kept our money and broke even, and not had to spend any time shopping.
REASON THREE: KIND OF GIFTS. With sensitive skin and eczema, a lot of gifts are off-limits. Every year I get some type of lotion, shower gel, bath product, or cosmetic product as a well-meaning gift. I open it, express appropriate delight and thanks, read the label and confirm there’s no way I should be putting this on my skin, and later quietly end up giving it away to charity (or even re-gifting – no shame if you never opened the thing).
REASON FOUR: INCREASED SOCIAL EVENTS AROUND THE HOLIDAYS. My skin and allergies don’t do very well with certain things, such as being in houses with animals, being around smokers, staying out late, or drinking alcohol. Apart from the fact that I haven’t consumed any significant amount of alcohol for years, going to different places throws an additional stressor into my routine. My idea of an awesome time is more aligned with getting some quality exercise in and then reading a good book in bed.
REASON FIVE: FOOD. I’ve gotten very selective in my eating since I started having eczema flares again. I could write a whole post on my dietary habits, but suffice to say there are some things I’m just picky about (meat, excessive gluten, excessive sugars), and some things that I try to avoid because they seem to aggravate my skin (dairy, citrus, tomatoes, garlic). Having Christmas dinner at someone’s house, therefore, is usually a fun exercise where I try to find adequate edibles while hoping the host doesn’t notice that I’m subsiding on olives, rolls, and celery sticks while leaving their famous cheesy potatoes and ham untouched.
REASON SIX: MUSIC. I have zero affinity for Christmas music. I switch the channel if I hear it on the radio. What can I say… maybe I really AM the Grinch!
REASON SEVEN: DECORATIONS. Yes, they look pretty. But stringing lights is a pain in the behind, and putting up decorations in the house just ends up gathering dust. I don’t like having a bunch of holiday tchotchkes scattered about the house anyway.
You know the only thing I want for Christmas? The cure for eczema, wrapped in a nice, shiny box 😉
*** EDIT: I thought of two other things as to why I have an ambivalence for the holiday. Reason eight, it’s usually COLD, and per my last post, clearly I really dislike cold. Reason nine, I wasn’t brought up to believe in Santa, so there was never that shiny-eyed anticipatory delusion for me as a kid. Presents appeared under the tree, and I knew exactly where they came from…. Not from the jolly old man with his eight tiny reindeer, but from my mom’s closet (where I had likely already snooped and found out some of what I was getting anyway). 🙂