The fact that one holiday's decorations begin to appear in retail settings before another holiday has even ended has been happening for so long now, it is often regarded in the same way as bad weather, shitty mass media, or even the shape of modern politics; something, which is grumbled about, sometimes to the point of borderline psychotic ranting, but nothing is ever really done. Perhaps there's a feeling of powerlessness there. Maybe it's that some just like to bellyache to hear their head rattle and auditorly masturbate to the sound of their own voice.
Now, when the holiday decorations appear that early on private residences, it just becomes offensive. Almost more so than the decorations that stay up for months after the fact. Or, worse yet, the ones that never, ever, come down, either out of sloth or forgetfulness. I have noticed an increasing amount of this in recent years.
The other mourning, I was walking to the gig in the darkness of the hour before dawn. The route I took was along the western end of Rue Main, just past the cantina. It was one of the newer houses, dysfunctionally kitty-corner to the park, that was strung with lights. Gaudy, multi-colored flashing things, which could have very well been an epileptic's vision of hell. Well, if they didn't just drop into a seizure straight away.
And I growled. The memory of the previous holiday was but a few days old. It was too bloody soon. On the rest of my walk, I saw two other residences with lights. To their credit, they were a little more tastefully done.
I got to thinking about it, because my mind never shuts off. Initially, I figured my vitriol toward the holiday season had to do with my mother, and the fact it was the first one without her, and remembering those last two before. I reasoned it may have had to do with the knowledge that Jibril would've been forty if he'd not died on the last day of winter, three and a half years ago. The fresh wounding of the bruja of my acquaintance dying right before a holiday figured into the equations within the mathematics of my thoughts.
But, I realized, as true as those three factors were, they were not the sole reason. I had to be honest with myself, and even backed up my supposition by checking over previous years' observations; I have been a humbug for a long time. Almost twenty years in fact. The holidays had long since lost their luster, and, if anything, it seems to be getting worse as I get older.
Initially, it was adolescent angst. Spending time with family is all gay and fine, but when at that age of wanting to taste the world, beyond the reach of one's parents, it can border upon torture. Even and especially if one is fighting with one or both parents on a frequent bases.
Of course, there's the theological expectation of some holidays. As I studied other belief systems, and found I was not of the one, which framed some holidays, I didn't have much desire to be involved. Some of that I equate to just being a angsty twenty-something. Spitting poison at a Christian holiday made of the same type of bigoted prick as the doomsday zealots who would condemn my Pagan friends to a Hell they didn't believe in for not believing in the supremacy of the Holy Bible.
The social and commercial expectations observed also added to my growing ire. Even especially around Christmas. Despite all the propaganda about joy and peace and goodwill toward one's fellow biped, I observed some of the most blatant and brutal examples of man's inhumanity to man. Often, over perceived valuable gifts and prices.
For awhile, I really dug on Halloween, but five years of cavorting and monkey watching in the Vampire Caste kind of made that all anticlimactic. The lunar/Asian new year was fun from the standpoint of my fascinations with that, which I find exotic, the lion dances, and firecrackers, but the crowds began to get to me, and, like the Gregorian new year, it was just another day. I've always been a fan of my own birthday, it seems like it's the one time I can get away with getting piss-liquored and not get shot a glance from whomever, but I do not like getting piss-liquored and do not care for the liver sprain of the day after.
Therein lies the rub, I suppose; the holidays, whatever holiday, is just another day when it comes down to brass tacks and bedposts. The sun rose and set on such affixed calendar date long before monkeys started putting some other special value to it. It seems as though it's the build-up is far more exciting than the actual day itself. Foreplay leading up to a faked orgasm, as it were. It's all a royal scam. An excuse to spend too much money, eat too much food, and/or drink too much intoxicant of choice.
Since the holidays have long since lost their luster to me, and I've documented it before, it's not as though I'm making any startling revelations. The only variable is I can add the mourning of my mother, Jibril, and the bruja to nearly twenty years of angst-laden emotional baggage. That very statement shows I have my own fetters to these socially constructed days, and, if I was truly above it all, I'd not note it at all. Maybe one day I'll reach that point.
It would be trite to say everyday one draws breath could be seen as a holiday. Cliche to suggest surviving another day is reason enough for celebration. Overdone to point out every single moment fucking magic. And yet, there's truth in those played statements.
I am not without hypocrisy. Fuck, I all but brag about it, because my hypocrisies are a source of great amusement. Well, at least to me.
I am a sucker for those small moments. Those little bits of simple humanity. For all my reptilian detachment when observing the half-bald primates called Man, such things can pull at my heartstrings and get me to smile. Sometimes, just despite myself. For all my angst and hoped for apathy with holidays, I'm sure there will something I see, a moment of some kind, which will hit me between the eyes and reach a soft spot. In that moment, the luster will return and the royal scam will be worth it. But just for that moment.