I've been meaning to post since I got back from Texas, but it just didn't happen, obviously.
I've been working doubleshifts pretty much back to back to back, since I got back, and we got a new computer/register system in, that everyone is having to learn. New policies for everything too, just in time to confuse us all (employees and customers alike) for the Holidays.
Partially related, I am someone who tends towards Holiday depression, and have, as long as I can remember. Tis the season for hurt feelings, shame, guilt, and feelings of worthlessness, for me at least. There doesn't even have to be anything big or new or stressful going on, for the seasonal depression to kick in, or intensify, depending on my base level. I'm doing okay at the moment, and I do still have my anxiety medicine to take as needed.
It does tend to be exacerbated by Pop Holiday music. I prefer classic Hymns for Christmas. I also get a bit ticked every time I hear that damn country song about buying shoes for the dying Mom for Christmas. I don't know exactly what kind of message they want it to send, but the message it sends to me, is that there is no reason to want to live, that life sucks and then you die, so get your crap together. So, when I hear this song at least once an hour because we are playing Pop!Holiday mix music (which includes some instrumental pieces and country), it makes me sad and angry.
I want to hear beautiful Chorus music, classic hymns, classical instrumental pieces, not people crooning about Santa, and Shopping, etc etc. On the other hand, I'm finding myself cross at some of the people posting on Facebook things like "It's MERRY CHRISTMAS, not HAPPY HOLIDAYS, REPOST if you're a PROUD CHRISTIAN!!!". I'm happy for you, and pleased that you are comfortable with your religion, and that you know why you're buying Winter Holiday gifts for friends and family. But what about those who celebrate OTHER religious holidays? What about Yule? What about Hanukkah? Kwanzaa? I may not celebrate them, but the are still valid religious or cultural winter holidays that take place around the same time as Christmas. I RESPECT that, and I wish my friends did too. It really gets under my skin actually.
I know probably 85% of my friends are Christian, and that's totally fine. I don't have any problems with Christians or Christianity. However, I also have friends who are Buddist, Pagan, Jewish, and probably some other religions I'm not aware of. And NONE of them have done that heavy handed "THIS IS ABOUT MY RELIGION NOT YOURS" crap.
Christmas in America SHOULD be about the Christian aspect if you are Christian. But if you aren't Christian, you're probably "celebrating" it out of cultural/social responsibility/expectation. And that's okay. You do what you have to do. But.. Please don't tell me how to celebrate my Winter Holidays.
And, so that this isn't just a long long rant, here. This is my family, together on Thanksgiving. I love them. The only ones not in the photo are one brother-in-law, and the nieces and nephews.
And this? This is my beard. It's beginning to fill out some.
Some of ya'll will recognize the majority of my family from the above photo. The rather tall older man in the back is my new Step-Father, as of January 14th 2012. I will (hopefully) be going home for the wedding. My Mom and he are a great match and I'm very happy for them both.