Here we are at the end of another year, at the beginning of another long frozen winter. Hopefully the last one I’ll spend this far north in a long time, if not the rest of my life.
I feel aged and empty and alone. My family is gone. My memory of them fades. Did we have any particular Christmas traditions? I don’t think so. Just the usual ones practiced by people who live in a theoretically Christian society but make no pretense of believing in that. There were gifts, and a tree, and tinsel, and lip service to traditions from frozen lands that none of us ever lived in. I understand more of the whys and wherefores of the winter traditions deep in my bones, now that I’ve lived far enough north for the changing seasons to steal more and more of the Sun away until there’s only a few precious hours of it in any day, and I will never like them.
And more and more I come to loathe these ceremonies grown up around the raw need to huddle together, share warmth, share light. and share scarce resources with those who were unlucky this year and don’t have enough to survive the winter. The relabeling of them as “Christmas”, honoring the birth of a prophet I don’t follow, who was probably born in the summer anyway. The way it’s become a frenzy of buying things, with a thousand cheap gifts made by a thousand woefully-underpaid elves in Chinese factories given to a thousand people who don’t need them. The way it’s become a celebration of Family when I have always had very little of that, in a culture that pushes everyone out into their own little box, the better to sell everyone the bare needs of existence in individually-packaged servings.
It is Christmas Eve and I am alone and I am tired and cold and really I want nothing so much as to go to sleep, wake up three months from now, and leave the North forever. “And barring that”, a small part of my brain says, “suicide sounds good.” To which I roll my eyes and reply that it always sounds good when I’m sad and tired and empty and cold, and I will only give such ideas serious consideration when I am comfortable and warm.
And so, once again, as I have for most years of my life, I say fuck Christmas. Fuck Santa Claus, fuck gifts under the tree, fuck this propaganda about spending time with your family whether it be the one of blood or the one you’ve made, for I have always been an antisocial beast who does not love much or easily.
Burn it all, that I may be warm for one wonderful day.