The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



It’s a Christmas miracle

Andrew Miller | Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It’s that time of year again: the proverbial “most wonderful time of the year.” I, however, disagree with this statement. I want to make it publicly known that, much like Oscar the Grouch, I hate Christmas.

I’ve never understood why Christmas is such a happy and cheerful holiday for people. So many of my Christmases have been fouled and disturbed by such very different events and occurrences that I have come to have no faith nor trust in this ostensible day of warmth and family love.

First Instance:

I believed in Santa Claus for a very long time. My innocence was taken from me at a much later age than you would expect based on my current cynicism and bitterness.

It was when I was eight, during a routine early December game of hide-and-seek with my sister Katie, that I stumbled upon a set of gifts that looked like it could be for me. At first I was incredulous. Why would my mom buy gifts for my cousins that she knew I would like and why would she put them in the storage space that I clearly was going to use as my hiding place? How dare she be so inconsiderate? I stormed back upstairs, ended the game, and demanded answers from my mother.

“Well, Andrew, those are not actually for your cousins.”

I needed to know who they could possibly be for if not for the cousins I had assumed.

“Those are your Christmas gifts.”

When on Christmas morning, I went to open the gifts labeled “From Santa” and saw that they were the very gifts that my mom had “hidden” in the storage space, I finally knew that Santa did not exist.

Christmas ruined.

Second Instance:

My sister Maureen always used to joke around with me about what she was getting me for Christmas. “This year I’m going to get you a whole sock full of rocks, Andrew.” But she never got me any rocks. “This year I’m going to give you a push down the stairs, Andrew.” But the push never came. “This year I’m going to give you a big box of nothing, Andrew.” But on Christmas morning, as always, there was a legitimate present under the tree to me from my dear sister Maureen.

Then the next year, the motif of the “box of nothing” became a running gag in my family. Maureen, Katie and I would light-heartedly threaten on birthdays, anniversaries and any gift-giving celebration that the “box of nothing” would rear its intangible and depressing head. Maureen, more so than either Katie or I, loved talking about how one of these days she would give me the “box of nothing.” Finally as school started in September the joke became tired and we all moved on with our lives.

Around Advent-time that year, I developed a cane fascination that has stuck with me to this day. I wanted a cane so badly that the only thing on my Christmas list was a gentleman’s walking stick. As soon as the tree went up, Maureen put a present under it labeled from her to me. I looked at it confused but then she told me that she had bought me a collapsible cane. It didn’t matter if it wasn’t exactly a gentleman’s walking stick – it was a cane! On Christmas morning I rushed to open this gift, tore off the wrapping paper, and there inside the box were pipe cleaners spelling out N-O-T-H-I-N-G. A literal box of nothing. I cried.

Christmas Ruined.

Third Instance:

When I was 14, I asked my parents if I could have an electric guitar for Christmas. They said no. On Christmas morning I woke up and sure enough, there was an electric guitar, but it wasn’t the one I wanted.

Christmas ruined.

Now I’m not one to hold a grudge, but these three Christmases have combined with a bunch of other lousy memories that make me want to just do away with the whole event. I’m sick of people buying into such a campy, over-emotional, sap-filled crap-fest.

Honestly, Christmastime is a nonsensical and delusional period of time in our lives. What makes people change their routine unhappiness and all of a sudden adopt the most carefree and joyous attitude possible? Let’s all drink hot cocoa! Let’s all sing carols! Let’s all spread Christmas cheer!

Nuts to that. When will people wake up and realize that Christmas is miserable. In my mind there’s only one day worse than Christmas and that’s Christmas Eve: all the build up and fakeness of Christmas with none of the gifts. Readers, I implore you do not buy into this holiday season. Sure it may seem tempting. But after it’s over, where are you left?

With your family, in your home, trying to relive any good moments that may or may not have actually happened.

Merry Christmas.

P.S. – Some people may assume that I’m simply discussing the commercialization of Christmas. That’s not what I’m on about at all. I’m talking about everything related to the Holiday we collectively celebrate on Dec. 25. Eliminating Christmas is my prescription. It’s not like there aren’t other days to receive presents throughout the year. Think about your birthday. And then it’s just you – you don’t have to share the gift-receiving spotlight with anybody else. Unless your twin. But twins are a different story, readers, and not something I’m willing to discuss in my Christmas column.

Andrew Miller is a senior English major. He can be contacted at [email protected]

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.