Christmas trees, to be exact. I'm not a fan. I can't remember what I used to think of them as a child. It's probably safe to assume that I didn't think much about the issue at all. But in recent years I've noticed myself developing something of an aversion to the things.
I don't have a Christmas tree at home. In fact, to be honest, I don't have any Christmas decorations at all. I own some, but I don't use them. I don't know why I've even bought them - total waste of money so far. If you saw my apartment you'd have no idea it even was Christmas right now. Partly that's for practical reasons ... I'm lazy and I'm never at home then anyway, so what's the point? In some ways it just makes it more special to arrive at my grandmother's house in the past, and at my parents' house now - I go from no decorations to fully decorated, so then I can really tell that Christmas has arrived. :-) But partly, or perhaps I might as well say mainly, it's because I'm not really into this holiday at all.
I do like some things about it. Time off is always nice ;-) and especially time off during which one has a total license to just relax and enjoy oneself. I like giving presents and getting presents ... although sometimes the whole present thing feels like it's almost more stress than it's worth. (Please note, friends & family reading this: I said 'almost'. ;-) I like - theoretically - the idea that at Christmas we should all be nice to each other. But.
I don't like what Christmas has become in the Western world. Far from a religious or spiritual celebration, I should sooner call it a gluttony of consumption. To be brutally honest, when I think about it too much, when I really try to take it all in, it makes me sick. Those of you who read Norwegian, please read this post over at my friend Gunnar's blog, unfiltered perception ... he has some excellent and important points to make on this same topic. When I hear statistics like the recent one showing that each Norwegian child will receive on average ten kilos of presents this year - and a lot of it will of course be Chinese plastic crap that's killing the planet - it makes my stomach turn. I just want to punch somebody in the face. But what can I do? It really is like Fay Weldon said. :-(
Anyway, back to the trees. This wasn't supposed to be a very long post. (Gee, quel surprise. ;-) Christmas trees are one of the things I have to say I reject about Christmas. I don't have one in my house and I never will. I just can't wrap my head around the concept. Here is a tree, one of nature's amazing creatures - because really, think of a tree, really think about them! they are fantastic beings! - living creatures who share this planet with us. And we kill them, just to drag them into our houses and drape a lot of weird shit on them - often more plastic crap - and let them slowly die for a couple of weeks. Then they're trash and we send them to the dump. That's if they're what, lucky ... a lot of them don't even get bought by anyone and just become trash right away. >:-( When I look at a Christmas tree, they just strike me as so wrong on every possible level. I know in my gut that I'm looking at something that is just totally out of place. It just doesn't in any way sense or form belong in that living room or whatever where it's standing. It's a tree!! It belongs in the forest! But no, we had to kill it for our temporary enjoyment. >:-(
And then when I talk to people like my mother, who insisted on having a Christmas tree even on those Christmases when we went to my grandmother's house and, obviously, weren't even home on Christmas eve ... then it's like I'm meeting a member of an alien species. Seriously. I don't understand how that thought process could even take place.
Instead of buying a Christmas tree next year, please consider donating the money you would have spent towards the planting of trees instead. Our planet will thank you. :-)
(Well, no, it obviously won't, but you know what I mean.)
Just to make this post really schizo, here's a picture of our Christmas tree, that I decorated. I know, I know ...
2 weeks ago