Monday, December 17, 2012

Bah Humbug!!… I really Hate Holidays... Repetitive, Ritualistic and Mundane

I hate most holidays, since as far as I am concern the only purpose they serve, are days from work where you still get paid. I do love the leisure concept of a Holiday but as far as I am concern we should rename them all to something like Holiday-1 through Holiday-n, instead of adding significance to them. It is the ceremonial aspect of most holidays that I do not like.


The British came very close to this when they invented Bank Holidays. People just walk around saying they have a bank holiday with most not knowing why they have a bank holiday. No one really cared about the reason for the holiday, so long as they are getting paid not to work. One of the main problems I find with these named Holidays is that they are repetitive, mundane and ritualistic. It is the grand performance that everyone goes through that annoys me and the expectation that I should also partake in this grand ritualistic performance and jump through hoops simply because it is that time of the year.

Well after the first 10 years of my life I have had enough of the lame tired songs, same tired smelly tree, same bun and cheese, same old Easter eggs, I do not even like chocolate, same decorations and even the same foods only eaten at that time of the year.

I really dislike Easter, ever since I was little I hated it. Here we have a holiday where every day of that holiday feels like a boring Sunday and growing up in Jamaica a Sunday had a completely different feel to it. A typical Jamaican Sunday when I was growing up started out with you waking up knowing that the next day was a Monday and you will have to go to school. So you got out of bed with an instant depression and a deep dislike for Sundays. Oh heck it was just Friday, how in heavens name did we get to Sunday already? The next thing I dislike about Sundays is that a Jamaican Sunday is a very quiet boring day, the radio played back to back church services, people singing nearer my God to thee, nothing but christian and classical music. There was nothing on the television but back to back church services, after which various Philharmonic Orchestras and symphonies with some big chested women bellowing out Opera. Followed by various ballet performances from some of the world’s finest ballet companies, the nutcracker was a special favorite of theirs. My father loved them all and played them very loud, he also played his church music for the entire neighborhood to hear while he sings along.

Growing up we were never allowed to play on a Sunday, any attempt to run around and make noise was met with shouts of “today is Sunday, it’s the Lord’s Day, come inside and sit yu butt down, find a book to read or something to do”.  We were forced to sit and watch people go lazily to and from church dressed in their special Sunday cloths, women in their Church Frock, and hat, clutching their handbags and bibles with men in their suits and hat while the kids dressed as miniature versions of the grownups. We were also forced to wear this Sunday uniform even though we were not going anywhere, when I was growing up Sunday was dress up day. To me Sunday was the longest most boring day as it dragged on and on with nothing to follow it but Monday. This now takes me back to Easter where every day between and including Good Friday to Easter Monday was a Boring Sunday, so now you understand why I hate Easter because it was multiple Sundays in a row!

I was also not a fan of some Easter bun, especially the ones with the red and green things embedded in them. I hated those things and spent lots of time picking them out of the bun and by the time I was finished there was hardly any bun left. Not to mention I found that some years I could not finish a single slice of bun because they became cloying after a while and so I preferred hard dough bread and cheese. Before you start saying things like Easter nice because of carnival, let me make it clear that I hate with all my heart and soul, really dislike calypso, soca, bacchanal music. In my days we played that rubbish when we wanted to end the party and get the people out of the house.

I remember I was about 5 or so, crying My eyes out as my father carried me towards the scary jonkonnu
I cannot begin to tell you just how much I really hate Christmas, after so many years of Christmas I am now sick and tired of it and refused from the age of around 10 to jump around like a circus clown when it comes around… “Merry Christmas … oh please! bite me!”. My family love Christmas which added to my yearly torture. I think the more I grew to hate Christmas, is the more they grow to love it, so it is safe to say that their love for Christmas is, grew Proportional to my hate for Christmas.

My father loved his Christmas carols and he played them very loud and often, he especially loved Nat King Cole Christmas Song, Chestnuts Roasting on an open fire. He not only played it loud but sang along with it very loud. It is a good thing my father have a golden voice, trust me when I say that man can sing. However the song would make more sense to me if Nat had sing about Breadfruit Roasting on an open fire. As such singers like Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and many more played all day and all night on the TV, Radio and on my home stereo. It was like a CIA noise torture, kind of what they did to Panama strong man and USA puppet-muppet Manuel Noriega who took refuge in the Vatican embassy while the CIA played deafening music and used other psychological warfare trying to convince him to exit and surrender himself.

I never liked pine Christmas trees, they smell terrible and mess up my sinuses. We had a willow tree in the front yard that I preferred as it did not smell that bad and was outside. My father and sisters took pleasure decorating the trees and the various edges, plus the grill work around the windows. I hate stupid blinking Christmas lights, there only purpose was to disorientate and drive me crazy… blinkblink blinky blink blinkblinky… blink… blink… Who plug out di light?!!!!!!!

The Politics, Preparation and Presentation of the famous Grand Christmas Feast, The Christmas Dinner. The selection of which family members will host this Grand Christmas Feast was sometimes done after the previous year’s Christmas dinner. It could be as simple as calling first dibs or having one family member nominate the other. Most times the selection process is a lot more complex when multiple members want the honour of hosting the next feast at their house at which point the entire family now finds themselves caught up in a Hatfield and McCoy type quagmire family feud. Which if not solved quickly would find the family split into warring factions and as a result will see some going to one house and not the other house and some having to go to both houses, which means saving room to eat more and driving like a bat out of hell to get there on time.

It has gotten to the point where my family now has 3 Grand Christmas Feast on Christmas day with equal importance now giving to the Christmas Breakfast and Christmas Lunch and these events are kept at three different location. You wake up get dress jump in the car and head to the Grand Breakfast, eat your belly full and before you know it… it is time to jump back in the car and head to the next family for the Grand Christmas Lunch where you must stuff yourself once again. After the lunch you have to go home and purge for the main event that night. It is a good thing my family do not know how to tell time because while other people are having their Christmas dinner at 3pm, my sisters would give a 5 o’clock start time which translates to 9 PM normal time and because most other normal people finish eating early, they end up at our place. It has become a tradition for the Christmas dinner to turn into a Christmas party, music fired up and furniture move out of the way…. And where am I through all this, for the most part locked away in my room, just opening my door wide enough to take my plate of dinner or chilling with my friends drinking beer and having a chat during the party phase. My sisters started soaking the fruits for the Christmas fruitcake in rum just after the previous years Christmas and I must say their potato salad is to die for.

This Child would not be crying if his parents did not lie to him
I take great pleasure telling the young kids of my family that Santa Claus does not exist, that he is not real and all those presents they got, came from their parents and family members who love them and through hard work and sacrifice were able to buy them presents. Some responded by crying their eyes out, others look at me like I was a mad man and some of the parents would get upset, asking me why do I have to tell their child that Santa Claus does not exist and I would ask them, why do they continue to lie to their poor kids.

Everyone I know gave up on me when it comes to gift giving, I cannot understand the need to run around like a crazy person trying to find presents for people at that particular time of the year. On a normal basis I hate shopping, I totally dislike it. When I am going to buy something, I know before I leave my house what I want, what size and colour it should be and where in the store it is located, so I am in and out without even trying it on, if it is a piece of clothing. I made a mistake once going shopping with my sisters and cousins, one bunch a woman and me alone. For some crazy reason I jumped in the car with them. Listen people I have never been so bored and frustrated in my entire life, what should have been an hour of shopping turned into several hours for them, because after 3 hours I left the store/plazas and walked all the way home, into my room and into bed…. swearing never ever again.

These people don't know about the Internet yet
The very idea of walking around looking for items for someone else is not in my nature. At Christmas and Birthdays my sisters would walk into my room and say... sign this and this and this…. Families and girlfriends would get gifts and cards on my behalf, even though I have a massive dislike for Greetings cards, ...what a waste, spending money to buy a piece of paper knowing that after the event it will find its way into the trash bin. The same for Christmas trees… if you decorate a rooted tree that is alive and growing then OK but to chop up a tree moving a piece of dead branch into your house… decorating it and watching it slowly wither and die, dry out, turn brown and mess up the living room floor… what a waste.

It is the ritualistic nature of some holidays I do not like and it is the ritualistic nature of events like weddings I hate. The last time I was invited to a wedding I sat in the church watching the grand performance, people dressing a certain way, acting a certain way and walking a certain way, the wedding march belongs in the hall of Funny walks as it is very amusing to watch.

The entire wedding party looked like a bunch of umpa lumpas marching up the aisle.

There are some holidays I liked as a child, the Jamaican Labour Day was a favorite of mine and use to be a pleasure. I remember heading down to the Primary school with my father, we had paint, brush and brooms, meeting up with other members of our community and planning the day’s work. We swept the school yard, planted trees and flowers, paint the class rooms and when we were finished we stood up and look at what we had done and I was pleased with myself and proud of my father and members of my community. It was a day when all of Jamaica worked together and give freely to their society and community, in the interest of humanity…

A FESTIVUS for the rest of US!


  1. Oh my word....this is the BEST POST EVER...I was laughing with tears about halfway through!! Although I must say, your family's Christmases sound kinda cool; we have no family so we basically do nothing and that's one reason I dislike Christmas, but I digress. Thanks for making me feel better about my own morbid dislike of holidays! :)

  2. Thank you, I am very happy your enjoyed it, the pleasure was mine...

  3. You're killing me here, this post is just too funny.

    You mean... mean man ;-)
    "I take great pleasure telling the young kids of my family that Santa Claus does not exist, that he is not real and all those presents they got came from their parents and family members who love them and through hard work and sacrifice they were able to buy them presents, some respond by crying and others look at me like I was a mad man and some of their parents get upset asking me why do I have to tell their child that Santa Claus does not exist and I would ask them, why do they continue to lie to their kids"

    Combined with the picture of the kid crying in front of Santa Clause's last resting place... brilliant!