I fucking love Christmas and I don’t care who knows it.
Yes, the holiday is wrought with consumerism and completely taken over by mad shoppers. The malls are full of annoyed parents, irritating carols and overworked retail associates. But you don’t have to cave to the huge attempt to revive the slowly dying economy and then get mad about the state of Christmas.
If you’re feeling extra bitter post-Black Friday and Cyber Monday because you splurged on things you probably didn’t actually need, take a second to remember the reasons that Christmas is actually cool. You have a wealth of things to look forward to once your last final of the semester is done.
Christmas is fun, because living in a predominantly Christian society means that students get approximately three weeks off from doing school-related things in the month of December. That’s three weeks of no homework, no trekking from the Telus Building to the CCIS lecture halls for boring classes in three feet of snow and -30 C weather. You can spend a few days sleeping in, tucked into your warm bed.
If you’re lucky enough to have some work lined up, you can spend your three weeks productively. While not the most ideal way to spend some time off, the extra income will mean slightly less stress about money in the next semester. Maybe you can even treat yourself to a snazzy new calculator to get you through your math class next year.
Perhaps you don’t even celebrate Christmas. That’s pretty cool too. But since the system is forcing a three-week chunk of free time on you, why not take advantage of the freedom? You now don’t have to worry about school for almost a month. You can spend some time with your family (who you presumably disregard just a little bit when you’re up to your ears in term papers and lab reports). In between hanging out with your family, you can also see your friends, who you have probably also been neglecting. Sometimes you just need to study instead of hanging out watching bad TV on Saturday night or playing Settlers of Catan.
Speaking of which, you now have time to binge watch as much TV as you want, guilt-free. Because what else do you have to be doing? Friends will be on Netflix on Jan. 1, and if you want something a little more intellectually stimulating, there’s always all the independent dramas featuring a strong female lead that you’ve been meaning to watch since October. Or just drift into a vegetative state and watch Spongebob Squarepants and Adventure Time, because now you can treat yourself to doing something completely mentally unstimulating. Bring on the Christmas cheer.
But with all this said, my personal favourite part of Christmas is definitely spending quality time with my family. Having moved out of my parents’ house for the first time this year, I’m definitely missing fighting over Skyrim with my brother and sneaking my parents’ cheapest beer (buying your own is surprisingly expensive, I’ve learned). All joking aside — Christmas is great mostly because I get to hang out with my family. They’re cool, and the break is the time that I can hang out with and appreciate them.
This is just the short list of reasons to enjoy the Christmas season. More non-gift-related reasons include pretty lights at night time and a large variety of tasty baked goods. But really, this list is probably exclusive to me. That doesn’t mean that you have to be grateful or anything. Just find things you enjoy to do in your off-season between semesters instead of complaining about how commercialized Christmas is. If all you can do this time of year is bitch about the fact that everyone else is buying stuff, take the chance to change your own perception of the season and stop being so damn mad all the time. If all you can think of to do is whine about what other people are doing, you suck and need to change your perspective.
Take the season to remember what’s actually fun. Not buying stuff, but hanging out away from campus, with your family and friends.