christmas is an unusual time for me, both horror at it's suddenness and irritation at the all consuming nature it has taken on. both feelings could be traced to several factors: too many years working retail to be thoroughly disgusted by the time december finally arrives; the small selection of thematic songs which are repeatedly played in every store, tv commercial, radio station, and supermarket, year after year; the constant reminder of being surrounded by family (painful if you're not able to be); the fact that work in my industry is slow and paychecks small during these months; and the driven consumerism that the holidays entail. one weeks celebration is fine, if each holiday stays in it's own month i would have zero issues with this one in particular. all of which combines to make one want to hide out in a part of the world where christmas doesn't exist (until the craziness subsides).
but, come the week of christmas, i am happy to be cheery and bright, put up small decorations, and cherish gift wrapped packages under a tree (however unusual). happily, though i was far from family, i had a lovely day and received even lovelier gifts!