10 Reasons I Hate Christmas. Love, The Grinch.

Via on Dec 23, 2009

by Sarah Miller

Picture 3*Warning*: If you are offended easily, don’t read this….

One doesn’t have to look far to see the atrocious side-effects of the Christmas season on the environment and on the psyche.

As a non-Christian and non- religious (but extremely spiritual) Being, I take offense to much of these customs that are seemingly forced upon us during this time of year.

Oh I can hear the backlash of comments to come!! I’m speaking blasphemy. Blah Blah…But here are my top ten reasons that I choose to be Grinchy at this time of year.

1) It all starts waaay too early: Shortly after they get done with Halloween, the Christmas crap starts showing up in stores- well over two months before the event. The DAY after Thanksgiving (don’t get me started!) people are out putting up the tacky “yard ornaments.” December technically starts on November 25th in America.

2) The yard stuff is tacky: I don’t mind making the long, cold winter months a bit more cheery with some lights and nog. Whatever. But when your lights/Santa/ candy canes/Mickey Mouse etc., are life size, they infringe on my personal space and vision. Furthermore, when your yard looks like Las Vegas, you’ve gone too far. When you don’t know how to artfully arrange items, or determine what is clearly distasteful, or what has nothing to do with Christmas in the first place, you have no business putting anything in your front yard. Period. (Example: dalmatians, lollipops, Mickey Mouse, blow up Santas, deer etc.)

3) Lights, electricity, fossil fuels: Have we thought about the environmental implications of the excessive use of electricity for all these lights, blow up machines and spotlights?! How many watts are being used when a yard is so bright it competes with the full moon itself? Then, on top of this, people DRIVE around in their cars to look at the Christmas lights. Talk about over-consumption and a waste of fossil fuel.

4) The “Christmas tree”: I don’t even have to say it, it’s so obvious. A living tree has been killed. For what? For less than thirty days of enjoyment. For putting gifts under (I’ll get to that in a second). To say that you “did a tree this year.” To hang chintzy ornaments on. It’s disgusting. Kill nature. Then decorate it. Then throw it away. Oh so American! I am obviously not pro-killing trees for decoration. Tree farms? Still a bad idea. Then there are the fake trees. Made of plastic and entirely non-biodegradable. Need I say more?

There’s also the reality that the “Christmas tree” is associated historically with paganism and several other traditions but gained popularity in the U.S. and UK during Queen Victoria’s reign mid 18th century. As it turns out, it is a fairly new holiday association.

5) Gifts?: What kind of gifts are these anyway? Gifts you need? Or gifts you want? Gifts your kids are whining about? Basically it’s more crap. It’s a holiday designed for retailers and makes people feel the need to buy, buy, buy. Long after the holidays are over, your finances have gone to sh*t. You are giving gifts just to give gifts because that’s what people do at Christmas; give gifts. Who needs gifts? Who needs anything? Right. No one.

6) Put the Christ back in Christmas: Let’s first point out that Christ wasn’t a Christian- he was Jew. Secondly, I’m all for celebrating Christs’ day of birth except for one small thing: he wasn’t actually born in December. In fact, he was born sometime closer to spring. The Christians actually disguised their celebrations under the auspices of Solstice (a considerably “Pagan” holiday by some standards) in order to avoid persecution.

Perhaps this holiday should be restored to its more truthful origins? Or is this the epitome of what the holiday itself has become?

7) Separation of church and state: So according to our government, we all must be Christians who celebrate such things as Christmas. Otherwise all government offices wouldn’t be closed and all working folks wouldn’t get days off from their employers- by law. I could have sworn that our Constitution states a separation of church and state? Hmmm. So let me get this straight, a country built on the very backs of immigration, that boasts its very founding on freedom of religion and the ending of an oppressive regime, is now telling me what holiday to celebrate and my government sees no conflict with this- even though the Constitution clearly states otherwise? Wow, we are so hoodwinked! Clearly, I’m not getting days off from work for Diwali or Ramadan. No. Only Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas…….

8) Santa Claus: We all know there was a St. Nick who lived once. Around the world there are depictions of a jovial Being and his generosity. I love it. I really do. There are pagan ties (Odin to the Germans) that have made Santa taboo for certain Christian celebrations. I like the guy. But……my point is, he doesn’t actually belong with Christmas at all. Call me a Puritan, but he’s not Christmas. And besides, you’re lyin’ to the kids and that ain’t cool.

9) “Merry Christmas!”: How many times do I have to hear “Merry Christmas!” in my lifetime? How many times will I have to respond with “happy holidays” before people realize that not everyone is celebrating their holiday with them? Isn’t it a bit egotistical to assume that everyone else is ALSO celebrating Christmas? I find it super rude. Especially for those who are celebrating Hanukkah and Kwanzaa at this time of year. And funny no one wishes me a happy Raam Navami…..

To put it into perspective, American Muslims don’t go around wishing EVERYONE “happy Ramadan” every year. Why? Because they know that not everyone in America is celebrating Ramadan with them. So why do Christians, or those celebrating Christmas, assume that everyone else is playing along with them? Weird.

10) Bottomline: I think this Christmas thing is WAY out of control. If you want to celebrate your holiday, go for it! I support you in that effort and honor your desire for celebration in the name of your personal beliefs. But please, please, don’t turn this into an everyone holiday. And to those who are just giving stupid gifts and cutting trees and putting up horrid light displays with Mickey and lollipops and dalmatians, you need to find some meaning in it all. You’re celebrating Christ after all. Aren’t you?

With love,

The Grinch.

About Saraswati J.

Saraswati J. is a Jyotish Coach and Consultant, bridging ancient wisdom with a Body-centered approach to Expressive Art Therapy. Her Jyotish work is especially well suited to the extra sensitive artists, mystics and healers---and those looking for insights for their dharmic path. Check out her website and find her on Facebook. Additionally, she creates unique adornments with the urban goddess in mind. Check out her jewelry at Swati Jr* Jewelry {Be A Goddess. Be Adorned.} #BeAGoddess and also on Facebook.

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134 Responses to “10 Reasons I Hate Christmas. Love, The Grinch.”

  1. Joe Sparks says:

    The entire population of most societies has been conditioned to treat any expression of religion with unthinking respect. People must examine their own religion for themselves and reach a decision on each part of their religion as to whether that part is rational and human or whether it is irrational. Each group must sort out its own religion, enhancing and cherishing the human (rational) parts and offering them to the world to share. Each group needs to awarely organize to eliminate the irrational portions of the religion.

  2. swati jr* says:

    to whom it may concern: this grinch has learned many lessons since this original posting. one thing is certain (as certain as the blow-up santa clause across the street) this is a joyful season. i sure wish we could do this everyday of the year (really!) which is what many of us strive to do with our spiritual practices. my hope is that each one of us can remember this joy- the joy of giving/receiving, connecting with family and community, gratitude etc. in every moment of every day throughout the year. at the least, for most, it is happening but once a year for at least a moment or a day or so…..and for that, i am truly grateful. om shanti*

    • elephantjournal says:

      You should write a new version! I still appreciate this classic, for its ability to inspire a new appreciation of this season—to separate what's wonderful about it from the commercialism.

  3. Amy Fowlkes says:

    Dear Grinch,

    Here are 10 reasons to celebrate Christmas, whether you are Christian or religious, or not.

    1.Christmas is a time to reunite with family. Time off from school and work, which makes getting together as families easier. Past grievances, drama or conflicts can be put aside to celebrate a nice meal together and celebrate both friends and family.
    2.The yard stuff is cool to kids! Especially ages 4 and 6, like my kids. For the last 4 weeks, they’ve asked to walk before bedtime, so they can look at the neighborhood lights. The celebration of lights came from the winter solstice, as a celebration of the returning sun. There is a park in Iowa that puts up all kinds of lights and decorations. Cars drive through and pay a small fee that goes to charity. In the cold winter months, pretty lights and fun decorations and bring joy to many.
    3.Christmas trees and other greenery are brought inside during the month of December (or winter), as an invitation to invite nature inside, and to remind us that life goes on, even in the coldest and darkest time of the year. The trees are beautiful, they smell wonderful and create a very festive atmosphere. Much like cutting a flower, cutting an evergreen tree does not “kill” the tree. They grow back if you cut them correctly. At $50 a tree, it seems good for the economy.
    4.Teaching the gift of giving is celebrated in various different religions and holidays. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the look on my child’s face, a friend or family member, when they receive something they enjoy. The best gift I received this year was a photo album with our family history that clearly took a long time to put together.
    5.It is also a time to teach giving. Charities receive more money during the month of December than any other time of year. Giving gifts to schools, buying “wish list” items for the aftercare program at our school, and helping others is an invaluable gift.
    6.Santa is fun! So is the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, St. Patrick’s Day Lepracon. He is meant to be a symbol, of the spirit of giving. Santa really became a symbol after the writing of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, and many of the traditions came from a simple story, combined with the history of St. Nicholas. (thought to be a protector of children). Telling fables, stories of gods and goddesses that aren’t proven to be “true” isn’t considered “lying”, so why is Santa?
    7.Christians celebrate the birth of Christ. His date of birth is not known. It was thought to be in the fall. January 6 was thought to be his baptismal day. December 25 was later adopted in Rome, as it coincided with winter solstice, the Yule, and the Saturnalia. Celebrating spiritual leaders by those who chose to do so should not be criticized.
    8.Kissing under the mistletoe is a pledge of friendship.
    9.Learning to celebrate and embrace others, no matter what the holiday teaches acceptance. Inviting people into our home on Christmas Eve to have warm food, a glass of wine, and fun conversation is a tradition I love. We invited a Jewish family over last night, who really seemed to enjoy spending time with us on Christmas Eve. Our children are taught in school many different cultures, holidays, and celebrations. In the last month, they have come home with items from Diwali, St. Nicholas Day, St. Lucia Day, and Christmas decorations.
    10.The following holidays are celebrated in the month of December: Yule, Winter Solstice, St. Nicholas Day, Fiesta of our Lady Guadalupe, St. Lucia Day, Los Posadas, Sovaluna, Dong Zhi, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Omisoka, Hanukkah, and Three Kings Day. Seems like a time to celebrate to me!

    Getting time off work for “Christmas” encompasses several holidays. The customs and traditions that we know as the traditional Christmas is a combination of the Yule, Winter Solstice, and Saturnalia. It’s a time to be festive and a celebration of the home. It does not have to be thought of a just a Christian holiday.

    By the way, there are 6 national holidays that are given off each year. Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving Day, Independence Day. Easter is on a Sunday, is not considered a national holiday. And other than Christmas, none are religious holidays…

    ‎"And the Grinch stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store?…

    • guest says:

      Celebrating spiritual leaders by those who chose to do so should not be criticized.
      religion should not be off limits to criticize. There is nothing speshul about religion. You can criticize politics, why not religion? And the criticism is not about celebrations but about christians hijacking an entire month and complaining if others celebrate other (older) holidays around the same time.

    • EEEB says:

      Amy ur awesome!

  4. ex-mrs claus says:

    Mrs. Claus and Santa are getting a divorce after 72 centuries of marraige

  5. Tim says:

    The phrase "separation of church and state" is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. Please read the document before giving an opinion about what is NOT in it!!

    • elephantjournal says:

      That's a bit deceptive…that phrase may not have been in use at that time but the value most certainly was. Google it, just a little bit.

      Here's Jefferson's letter on the matter: http://www.usconstitution.net/jeffwall.html

      • frost says:

        I hate Christmas as much as the next person with half a brain. However the seperation of church and state thing is just hog wash! I still don’t know how that phrase rose to such popularity! With a little reading, and I don’t mean reading what the liberal media shoves down your throat, but reading the documents and letter of our fore fathers its VERY obvious that the point they were trying to make was that our country and government would both be built around and have deep ties to God and Christianity, the government would/could never FORCE someone to practice a certain religion or practice in a certian way. At no juncture do they make any indication that religion is to be completely removed from government. If you don’t want to pray in school don’t. Just sit quietly while those who chose to practice their religion do. Don’t want to say “under God” in the pledge, don’t. Just let those who do chose to carry on. This country and government were intended to be deeply rooted in religion, it however is never allowed to FORCE anyone to be religious. At the same time those who do not wish to be religious should also never be allowed to take away the rights of those who wish to practice.

      • David says:

        The author explicitly states that the Constitution requires a separation of church and state, but Tim is being deceptive when he points out it doesn't? Certainly the value existed at the time, as did many other values, as did state churches…or so Google tells me.

  6. elephantjournal says:

    Always healthy to ask questions, reexamine held beliefs…thanks for the article. But…here's two rebuttals to two of Sarah's 10 points: 1. Tree farms can be okay: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2008/12/pine-or-pl… and Why I say "Merry Christmas" http://www.elephantjournal.com/2009/12/merry-chri

    ~ Waylon

  7. barbaranelles says:

    I am so happy not to be involved in the whole obligatory gift-buying mess. We have completely checked out of that ritual. Although, I do love certain Christmas carols and Christmas cookies–baking and eating. When someone wishes me Merry Christmas [which they often do around here, with a vengeance] I always respond, 'and festivus for the rest'uv us!'

  8. guest says:

    sweet post. I am not a christian but I love christmas! probably because its a tradition I grew up with. But I can understand that it's overkill. It's December 4th and christmas music is making me want to hurt someone already.
    The christmas tree is eastern european and German by the way (and pagean, so happy holiday ;) ). In Germany, Santa Clause has it's own day: December 6th. And if you put your boot in front of your door, you'll get chocolate or a small gift.
    While it's out of control, it depends on what you make of it in your own life (you are a yogi, shouldn't you know that ;P)
    I am torn about the Happy Holiday/winter solicit/christmas/winter thing: Wishing someone a happy [enter the holiday you celebrate] does not imply that's the only holiday. If I know the person well enough, I would obviously wish them whatever their own holiday is. But either way, wishing someone a peaceful/happy/ awesome time should be seen as is: wishing someone a peaceful/happy time of multiple holidays coming together within a couple of weeks. I wouldn't hold it against anyone. But then again, I am not american ;)
    keep posting !

  9. EEEB says:

    Omfg lighten up for crying out loud. Winning about shit that makes other people happy is more annoying than any of the stuff u mentioned. Go move to somewhere dark and gloomy. No one will miss u trust me.

  10. Brad Pitt says:

    Wow have you missed the entire point. Yeah I guess a season of giving and joy and celebration and love for your fellow person are all wrong.

  11. creativewhimsy says:

    Yes, Christmas, like all of our society's holidays, festivals and celebrations have become ridiculously commercial and long since lost its meaning to many. But I will continue with this tradition as it feels to me to be a time of joy and goodwill to others.
    I am not a practicing Christian but the teaching of Christ as a child resonated with Love and this holiday makes most people in my town, smile for no reason at all. There is a community dinner held for those who wish to come, free of charge, put on by folks who donate their time and others who donate what ever they can. I wish it were Christmas all the time! I do try to remember to sing out Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas but sometimes forget in my excitement and exuberance. These greetings are full of joy and truly wish others the joy I feel! I make a lot of items I give for Christmas and usually can't wait to see the look on the faces of my loved ones when they open their gifts! It's about the giving and not the getting! My children are so good at this, wanting to give more than get!
    In these economic hard times, I hope we will all ponder the meaning of this holiday as we pare down our spending, scrimp and save for that special something for someone special, and truly look towards the well being of our fellow man.

  12. J-dog says:

    I find everything about christmas wonderful. Its more than just tradition, its a tool used to create family memories. sitting around the tree with the fireplace going. and the songs that come with christmas not the new meaningless ones mind you I'm talking about the old styled ones like "we three kings", "silent night" and ones like that. What I hate is the commercialism which has nothing to do with christmas itself.

    I understand everyone has an opinion but opinions are like armpits everyone has two and they usually stink.

  13. Thanks for the good writeup. It actually was once a entertainment account it. Look complex to more brought agreeable from you! However, how could we be in contact?

  14. Louise says:

    Okay, so Christmas is unavoidable and annoying from November until January.

    Say you go out for a coffee. You only like black coffee, but there is cream and sugar on every table, including yours. Do you have to put them in your coffee just because they are there? Would you complain to the waitress for wasting less than a square foot of the table that you would not have used anyway for the cream and sugar even though there is no way she could have known you do not like them? No, that would be ridiculous.

    Likewise, there is no reason to give in to anything that bothers you about Christmas just because it is there. Just leave it on the table for the next person to enjoy (or not) and go about the rest of your life as you please.

  15. rosalee says:

    I enjoyed this article. There were some interesting points. As a law geek, I just thought I would point out that the US constitution does not guarantee "separation of church and state."

    The constitution says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …."

    The phrase "separation of church and state" is from a letter published by Thomas Jefferson in 1802. The courts sometimes interpret this to mean that church and state should be separate, and sometimes they interpret it differently, but it's not actually written in the constitution.

    That said, I would probably rather celebrate Solstice than Christmas, and with windmills as lawn ornaments instead of Christmas lights.

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  19. Guest says:

    FUCK CHRISTMAS!

  20. William says:

    Hey…here's a "Kill Santa" game if you're bored on Christmas and just generally hate the whole thing. http://www.365flashgame.com/flash/kill-santa-flas

  21. Mavis Chang says:

    I do LOVE the point of views in this essay. Although Christmas is not a historical custom in Taiwan, people who live here celebrate this holiday without any motivation due to it's a trend that most people do in this month; December. I also strongly agree that Christmas is a holiday designed for the businessmen and retailers, they make people feel need to buy then these people earn bundle of money from the cash cow; customers. Lastly, I would like to get the Chinese New Cards from my friends rather than a Christmas card.

  22. Tereza says:

    wow, being so wantonly negative must really improve your quality of living…
    It's possible to have a pleasant, small-scale christmas about food, fellowship, family and suchlike. Of course America overdoes it, but America overdoes many things. You can either create a pleasant existence for yourself and try to positively contribute to the world around you, or you can rant pointlessly on the internet.

  23. Aella says:

    I like your article, I dissagree with most of it to some extent or another, but its a good read, I kinda found it funny, because I hear so many people say the same stuff you have listed. For the second last reason you had; if you don’t wanna hear merry xmas, I say to all my friends to have a happy yule as that’s what I celebrate for religious reasons, while celebrating xmas as just a family get together. Though people do tell me I’m crazy when I wish them happy holidays I celebrate and they don’t.I totally agree that we should be able to have official days off for other religions too since it is kinda worrysome for some ppl to have to explain to their very angrily Christian employer that they need the day off for their religious holiday.

  24. angel says:

    lmao agree with ALL!!! thanks for joining the army of ecogrinches! my family will never understand my wishes to be excluded and never respect my requests for zero gifts. bla.

  25. Guest says:

    You harshed my buzz

  26. [...] this video doesn’t make even the Grinchiest of you laugh, I’ll eat Santa’s [...]

  27. [...] you call the Pope a “Grinch” and still feel good about your Mom looking down reading from daily mass in heaven? Probably [...]

  28. I seems like you have a passion health and wellness just like me

  29. Thank you for this kind of a good blog. Where else could 1 get these kinds of facts written in these kinds of an incite full way? I have a presentation that I am just now working on, and I have been trying to find these kinds of information.

  30. 79spitfire says:

    Thanks for reminding me of all the senseless trivial reasons to be a grinch. It helps me focus on exactly why the Whos were singing anyway in Whoville.

  31. elephantjournal says:

    Via FB:

    Shannon: Beautiful piece.

    Natalie J But if we took away the "Christian" holidays we get off work, what assumed time would there be when everyone you love is off work, and together? Tricky.

    Cathy C I LOVE THIS!!! I have one to add…wrapping paper and bags!!! what an eco disaster…what a total waste!!

  32. cj says:

    Tolerance needs to be learned. If someone wishes me a Happy Hanakah, or Merry Christmas, whatever… I take it that good wishes are meany. I don’t judge its this or that. It is meant in good spirit not an offence.

  33. ≧◉◡◉≦ says:

    I am 11. And muslim. I completely agree with you. Ithink celebrating CATURDAY would bring me more joy.

  34. shooz says:

    First of all it starts in October, the stores all have the decor out, second-the jewelry stores have ridiculous ads showing non-realistic scenarios to sell jewelry, as do the car companies ie: Lexus-like go buy your significant other a Lexus for the holidays-puullleeessse. IT is really supposed to be for Children not spoiled adults. I have yet to see a happy, cheery person shopping, prices are higher then marked down to normal prices and call it a sale. Every tv & radio station has unrelenting Christmas music 24/7 starting on Thanksgiving. TV commercials to wind up the kids to start annoying you that they want this and that. They never show what Christmas is supposed to be about-it has been overly commercialized, putting most people in debt for the next 6 months and then it starts all over again. You have to tear your house apart to accommodate the decorations, the huge dinner table and the tree. Then clean it all up and put it in storage for next years hoopla mess. The waste of food is over the top. Then there is the returns time. Hence why suicide rates are up for this time of year. I myself have to take calming supplements this time of year.
    Can't stand the holiday for all reasons above mentioned.

  35. Robyn O. says:

    I agree…..not to mention the family who treat you badly at Christmastime. What a crock.

  36. I hate Christmas for the same reasons. However, I must point out Queen Victoria was born in 1819, well into the 19th century and did not rule until 1837-1901…IN THE MID 19th CENTURY! Unfortunately, getting the century wrong for such an important monarch undermines your credibility and I'm an American who is not an expert on British history.

  37. swati jr* says:

    *smooch*

  38. Steve says:

    If you wanted me the reader to pause and think – you got it! (and good for you). I think we are all trying to figure this spirituality thing out. I am simply suggesting we let the more benign aspects of an others spiritual journey that conflicts with ours simply be okay. When true proselytizing and conversion is occurring we should call it out. I would challenge you that a call for being "authentic in our lives" might sound a bit dogmatic as well since we all have many conflicts everyday in our words and actions. It is the hardest challenge to living in society since compromise is always required. I hope my general trend in life is that I am always traveling toward the "good" (whatever that means) and away from the "bad" (whatever that means). Thanks for replying and sharing and provoking thought in many of us.

  39. erin demarco says:

    that comment seems grinchier than even sarah's! woops. good thing i've got no claim on spirituality ;-) love love love

  40. Kira says:

    i hope you're joking.

  41. Scott Robinson YesuDas says:

    I, for one, am quite sure Crabby Holidays is joking, Kira. Even in the snarkfest that Elephant can be sometimes, that's WAY over the top!

  42. Scott Robinson YesuDas says:

    Well put, Candice; my 6 y/o told us that she loves the songs at Christmas time because "they're about the world being new." Until you've watched them decorate the tree, and decorated cookies with them for the parish carol sing, you may be missing a big piece of the equation.

  43. candicegarrett says:

    yes! My 6 year old son has been singing Christmas songs night and day for about a week now! His enthusiasm is very sweet.

  44. Jean LeBlanc says:

    Also, why would you complain about a free day off? When I was in school and I got two days off for Rosh Hashanah, I never complained about not getting Vesak. Instead I sang Hava Nagila, ate some bagels, seized the day, and had fun!

    Happy holidays all! And merry Christmas if you celebrate it!

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