The Season of (No) Cynicism

Charlie Brown Christmas

I’m going to make a confession here that, if you know me very well, is no confession at all. If you’re familiar with the content of this site, same. It may come as a surprise to some.

I like Christmas music. Only after Thanksgiving of course, and upon December 26th, let it be gone entirely. But I like it. I listen to the Christmas music stations on Pandora (Indie Holidays is good for the hipster in all of us), I have a pretty decent playlist going in my own music collection (including Bad Religion and Weezer’s respective Christmas albums), and in certain desperate times I even listen to it on terrestrial radio.

It’s not that I think the music itself is great. Some of it is great, some of it is mediocre, and some is downright God awful. And I understand that in most cases it’s completely fucked out. Crammed into our consciousness by retail stores that start playing it exclusively well before Thanksgiving, driving their employees mad. I understand that its saccharine, manufactured cheer can be grating, or immature. I understand all of this. And yet, I listen to it. I enjoy it. (December 1st – 25th)

Thinking on that fact led me to a revelation about my approach to the holidays that I didn’t see before. On my Halloween site, I often examine what makes me such a big fan of the holiday, and it usually boils down to a form of nostalgia, writ large. That and vague notions about simple happiness, which I couldn’t really articulate fully. But what I’ve come to understand just recently is that the thing I really enjoy about the holiday season, the thing that gets me on a deep level, is that the holidays are my own personal break from cynicism. 

I didn’t choose to be a cynic. It was simply woven into my DNA, from birth (or somewhere around there). Without getting too psycho-analytical, I suppose I always assume the worst from every variable, as an emotional defense. It’s in my nature. But during the holidays, all that just seems to go away. And if it doesn’t go away on its own, I make a special effort to extinguish it. For one reason or another, I just feel that cynicism has no place in the holidays. I know why certain people’s cynicism actually amps up because of the holidays (especially Christmas), and I don’t necessarily begrudge them that. But for me, the two are mutually exclusive.

The older you get, the harder it is to recreate those emotions of pure joy that the holidays inspire in us as children. It’s the just the way it is. With Christmas in particular, that contrast comes into much sharper relief. You derive less joy from simple pleasures. You become more averse to artifice and cliche. You find it harder to get excited about the giving and receiving of gifts. And the many stresses of adult life interfere in a huge way. But I argue – I plead – that those things are worth holding on to during the holiday season, even if it’s outside your nature.

In 2015, there’s so much to be cynical about. A turbulent, divisive political climate. A rash of mass public gun violence. The threat of terrorism. Internet trolls. We’re unavoidably bombarded with this stuff every day of our lives, if we dare to make an effort to stay aware. And for 9 or 10 months out of the year, our cynicism is justified, and maybe even helpful. But from Halloween to Christmas, we all have a choice. Do we throw the holidays into the pile of things that add to our general state of annoyance and frustration, or do we embrace the simple, corny joy of it? Again, I don’t begrudge the people who go with the first option, but that’s now how I choose to live.

The Christmas season gets harder and harder every year for me to hang on to that anti-cynicism, but I still do it. I hope I can always do it. Because I need a break from cynicism every once in a while. It’s exhausting in a way. If I can turn on a radio, hear It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas playing, and smile instead of grimace, I know I’m still doing OK. Для игры в онлайн может себе это позволить, подобраны залы с наивысшими показателями всех важных параметров достойного азартного клуба. Игровые автоматы абсолютно бесплатно и других азартных же игроков, ценящих неподдельные чувства, для тех, кто может себе это позволить, подобраны залы с наивысшими показателями всех важных параметров достойного азартного клуба. Игровые автоматы бесплатно . бесплатные игры играть без регистрации Выбираем сначала платформу автоматов, потом — сам аппарат. Вы можете играть в игровые автоматы онлайн без смс. Выбираем сначала платформу автоматов, потом — сам аппарат. Вы можете играть бесплатно и без смс. Выбираем сначала платформу автоматов, потом — сам аппарат. Вы можете играть в игровые аппараты прямо .

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