Before you “at” me or cancel me for not being in the holiday spirit, I feel compelled to share with you the reasons that I’ve never bothered to write much holiday themed content. There was a time I may have written a Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas related piece on occasion, if I was feeling in a particularly festive mood. For a variety of reasons, I’ve become rather muted about the holiday season that begins right after Halloween. While I certainly don’t go overboard in celebrating Halloween itself, I do enjoy a lot of the creativity that All Hallows’ Eve inspires, even I don’t participate in much of it myself. My issues begin as soon as Halloween is over and everyone’s eyes turn to the end of the year.
There seems to be this trend towards the month of December being a time to absolutely flood your social media and favorite blogging apparatus with any thing remotely holiday themed. Whether it’s gift guides (which honestly can serve well at other times of year, too), Thanksgiving recipes, Christmas decoration ideas, or just top ten lists of favorite holiday whatever, I feel like so much of this content is simply derivative and doesn’t add any value to me. That’s not to say there’s no value in it; I simply find most of it the same thing over and over again, just with different brands or names thrown into the mix, but the products remain mostly the same.
Perhaps I’ve grown quite cynical in my three and a half decades on this earth as I initially pen this article, but the commercialization of the holidays has gone a bit too far. Heck, it seems the holiday content begins far before December. “Black Friday sales” seem to begin as soon as Halloween ends, which is bizarre considering that Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. While I credit retailers, clever wholesalers, and resellers with banking on the keyword phrases early, it’s simply creating a vicious cycle of gluttonous over-consumption that doesn’t really do the general public much good.
Yes, I do find sometimes very personal and relatable stories being shared in the Q4, and I appreciate these moments of candor. But, for the most part, most of what I come across is literally a sales pitch with holiday-related phrasing and visuals plastered all over it. Sure, it’s how people sometimes have to make a living and I get that. But, that doesn’t mean I have to be involved. Whenever I’ve dipped my toe in the holiday themed content arena, it doesn’t really have much long-term value, because these days, it’s all about the year it comes out and what’s trendy at the time. I don’t have much use for trends other than retroactively analyzing them for my own edification, and perhaps even amusement.
This piece has become a bit snarky, but for personal reasons, I tend to pretty much ignore the holiday season. Yes, I do give gifts this time of year, but I prefer them to be things I can do with my own time, and if I do buy something for someone, there’s a practical reason for it. I no longer have any use for frivolity or excess that adds no long-term value to your life or loved one’s life. While the holidays are often heartwarming touchstones for a lot of people, keep in mind how many people absolutely hate the holidays for one reason or another. There’s a lot of forced awkwardness and thoughtless gift giving; thank the Lord for gift cards, right? It’s all a bit silly, really.
Of course, I do wish everyone who reads this a grand ole time this holiday season, or when you happen to read this, whatever holiday season is to come. I have no intention of bashing the holidays themselves, especially for those of you who are obsessed with them for whatever reason. I simply find no joy in the holidays anymore; they are just another day for me. Perhaps it’s a sad thing for me, but if you feel any sort of pity for me, don’t bother. I’m just growing old into a cynical grinch, I suppose. I’m never going to write holiday themed content again, not that I ever did much of it anyway. I’ll leave that to the kiddos who need to make a buck, and some perhaps well-deserved commissions for their cleverness.
Happy holidays, everybody.