I don't hate christmas anymore
I just thought you folks should know.
When I was a kid (pre-Santa) I loved Christmas for all the mystery and toys. As an adolescent (after-Santa) I learned to really love Christmas for the religion behind it. I remember staring out the window at the moon and thinking of it as a star guiding Wise Men to Christ in His Manger before going to church where the most moving part of the service was a candle-light version of Silent Night. That song and it's a capella singing moved me more than I can describe. My love of Christ and what it promised was so very strong then.
But then I started to grow up and life got tougher, and the long story short here is that all that promise I thought was coming did not happen. The details do not matter so I will skip them, but the basics are that love and joy in the forms expected were absent. I was single with no prospects, and that to me was the definition of love and joy. I wanted the whole stereotypical experience of love followed by marriage and kids, etc., but this does not happen so often for people with disabilities, and so it did not happen for me.
Isolated, I began to resent Christmas, that resentment grew to the point of art. I collaborated with a friend of mine for a few years to create anti-christmas cards. They were quite funny yet extremely pointed - the f-word was used. This would be the time when I really did hate christmas. It got so bad that I actually sent out these anti-christmas cards to select friends and they were so very well received that I very seriously began to consider my own line of such cards as a way of making money and finding joy and happiness, etc. But i didn't. Something stopped me, and I just suffered in this state of dis-equlibrium for a few years. The only thing worse than hating christmas is being in a position to express that hate but not quite being able to do so. Talk about dukka!
Hate wore me out, eventually; it is relentless. There is just so much damn christmas cheer you can not tolerate before it wears you down. Somewhere in this point of my life I picked up Buddhism and things began to turn around. Most of the rest of this story is here in this forum in the history of my posts, though not about christmas explicitly. What happened is I discovered and grew on the Path. Somewhere early on in that journey, a very critical moment, I finally realized I was no longer a Christian - a big step - but that was the beginning of my freedom from christmas.
These days I feel I am pretty equanimous about christmas. I am not fully there; there are still tickles of resentment, but that's about all. I am fairly content to let them have their fun. I have a gift exchange with my family, but that's about all, and I am quite satisfied with that.