A No-Apology Christmas Op-Ed

| 07 Dec 2015 | 02:45

I am going to have myself a merry little Christmas.

Left-wingers deny there is a war on my holiday, and right-wingers insist there is. I have decided to let them fight it out and get into the spirit.

I am so happy that it’s Christmas that I’m not even mad at Starbucks; the cup is red, the logo is green and white; I don’t need a snowflake design.

As I am an ornament-aholic, I cannot wait to get the Christmas tree and start decorating. To those who prefer holiday tree, and have even demanded the one in Rockefeller Center be renamed that, call it what you will; in our house it’s called the Christmas tree.

Also in our house, we not only embrace the religious as well as commercial aspects of the season, we celebrate my husband Neil and daughter Meg, who were both born on December 25th.

As Neil is the music aficionado in our home, the seasonal tunes begin shortly after Thanksgiving turkey has been consumed. I get my fix of all traditional carols (The Boston Pops), the schmaltzy versions (Andy Williams – I kid you not), and the pop renditions a la Mariah Carey, yet still enjoy the festive song loop in the businesses I frequent. I realize that not everyone feels this way, not because of a letter-writing campaign or an op-ed, but from when a soon-to-be 18-year-old Meg was in middle school and one of her teachers griped that Christmas ruins her beloved shopping hobby because she couldn’t stand listening to “that music.” Meg told me about what happened in a dispirited tone, which was enough to express how badly she felt that someone she had admired was being so insensitive to a frill associated with something that has meaning to her. Apparently, taking out one’s bitterness on an 11-year-old was some kind of victory in the “war.”

As is baiting me into a conversation about the “beautiful” show at Radio City, as two mothers did, only to then engage – as though I wasn’t there – about how they leave before the end, “because, well, you know,” referring to the finale with a poor couple welcoming their child into the world in a stable amongst livestock because no one would take them in, and how the child grew up to be great leader.

Where I have no patience for just plain mean, I feel for those who suffer from loneliness and depression during Christmas. (They’re not usually the ones demanding Santa be banned from the mall.) I’ve had times like that over the years, when a professional or personal upset made me so blue that not only could I not deal with parties or crowded stores, but I didn’t have the energy to click the mouse for present-buying online. I hope they find help to get them through, via professional or DIY methods. I’m proof that you can get your Christmas mojo back, and having done so, I won’t postpone my own joy for the season for anyone.

Lorraine Duffy Merkl is the author of the novels Fat Chick and Back To Work She Goes and wishes all a Happy New Year.