Saturday, December 24, 2011

The True Meaning of Christmas (is Doctor Who, of course)

"Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store." - Dr. Seuss a difficult holiday for me. Mainly because I really, really, want to adore it, and then don't. I don't have the religious aspect going for me, and "OMG SANTA" was over a long time ago.

I once woke up at 3:30 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep Christmas morning because I was just that excited.

Now it's not Christmas Day I'm looking forward to at all (except for Doctor Who). It's today, and fancy dinner with my family. But I always look forward to seeing my aunt and uncle and cousins, so what's different? Nothing, really. We'll have a good time, and I'll be happy, but not because of Christmas.

My sister asked me what I wanted as a present about a week ago. I said I didn't want much of anything.
"You're boring. Why don't you want stuff?"
"Because I don't want stuff just to have stuff."
She made a face and said, "That's the difference between you and me."

That's the thing about Christmas: stuff isn't meaningful, unless it's a gift with sentimental value. But gifts with sentimental value aren't meaningful because of what they are. They're meaningful because they invoke memories of experiences, and people. And those are what do matter.

Which is why the Grinch Who Occupied Whoville kind of failed, of course. You guys know all of this already. But see, experiences and people aren't tied just to a holiday. So maybe it's okay that I'm not over the moon about today and tomorrow anymore.

The one holiday-related thing that really made me smile this year wasn't strictly about Christmas at all. It's a book called the Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming, by Lemony Snicket. It is a beautiful, beautiful thing. And downright hilarious. And I adore it.

1 comment:

  1. All very true things. Because of the whole not being a white person thing, I have never really celebrated Christmas- but I there is something about the holiday that I really love. I think it may have something to do with it being the one day when industrialized society reverts to mechanical solidarity and people treat the things that actually matter like they actually matter. And also the pretty, pretty twinklies. And ridiculously cheerful music that I have a deeply twisted love for. And peppermint everything. Anyway, I hope you enjoy valuing the things that actually have value tomorrow and that the Doctor Who Christmas special is as out-of-this-world amazing as I know it will be. Also, the Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming sounds like one of the few material gifts that actually do matter. A little. I love latkes.


Talk to me.