Maybe it's because I am very pregnant at the moment. Maybe it's because Christmas season with Autistic kids is a challenge. Maybe it's because the more I "know" about the world the harder it is to get my head around the mass consumerism our society indulges in this time of year.
Whatever the reason behind it, I'm beginning to suspect that I am the Grinch. I am just finding getting into Christmas this year exceedingly difficult. I don't want to buy presents. I don't want to spend money on special paper to wrap them in that will just get thrown in the bin. I don't want to plan a special meal. I don't want to decorate the house with a heap of messy stuff that I'll just have to find the energy to put away again in a couple of weeks.
The excess of the traditions our society demands of us seems so wasteful and disrespectful of the millions of people in our world who don't have a place to live or enough food each day. While my kids get fed messages everywhere they go that they should want this and need that, there are kids who go to bed every night to the sounds of gunfire and bombs and they simply wish for a safe place to sleep.
The social demands placed on us to attend end of year and holiday events cause stress that I could do without at the moment. Taking 2 Autistic kids to numerous different events they find boring and/or overly stimulating is a kind of exhausting that is hard to describe.
The expectation that I should want to drag my 30+ weeks pregnant body all over the place, enduring uncomfortable car trips, less comfortable seating when I get there, having to find a bathroom every 1/2 hour, politely engaging in small talk conversation while suppressing my reflux burps is irritating to say the least.
To be honest, it is making me angry that when I have so many other more important things to worry about- like supporting my son through dealing with being bullied, helping my daughter adjust to her new diagnosis and medications, getting everyone to all the appointments they need to be at- the culture I live in expects me to drop everything and consume. And for what? So that my kids feel loved when I buy them lots of presents? So that my relatives know that I'm thinking of them? So that people don't think I'm weird? None of those reasons sit well with me.
So this year my family will be having a minimal Christmas. We are not travelling. We are not buying much in the way of gifts. We will not be eating a big fancy meal. There will be one or two gifts each, and a roast dinner. We don't need more. We don't even *need* those. We will be spending the day quietly at home. We will be thinking about the people in our local area who have nothing. We will be spending some time reflecting on all the good things we already have and the things we are thankful for.
So, Consumer Christmas- you've been warned. You are not welcome at my house. Bah Humbug to you.