I Don’t Feel The Spirit Of Christmas Anymore

In three weeks time it will be Christmas again. I don’t know about you but I don’t feel the spirit of holiday season. 

It used to be different when I was young. We had only peanut butter and cheese sandwiches each year for Christmas and New Year but it was there, the true spirit of Christmas. I remember being excited putting on my new dress and going from house to house wishing the occupants Happy Holidays and in return getting few coins or sometimes a meal. 

I came from the land that celebrates the world’s longest Christmas season starting from early September till the end of January. My first Christmas away from home was a revelation. It was shocking to find out that Christmas and New Year here don’t differ from ordinary days. Aside from decorations on store fronts for commercial purposes, there is nothing to signify the most important time of the year. There are no carolers, no front door decorations, no Christmas songs on the radio, no merrymaking. On New Years Eve in my country we make noise both to greet the New Year and in the belief that the din exorcises their surroundings of malevolent spirits. We light firecrackers, or banging on pots and pans and blowing car horns. Here, in that time of the year, the streets are dead.

And when I thought that you cannot reduce nonexistent to nothing, gradually, even those slightest hints of Christmas dissolve into forgotten memories. Those who put up trees and lights don’t do it anymore, what’s the use anyway, it is too much ‘ado about nothing, most people don’t celebrate Christmas anymore. The changes don’t occur primarily here, I noticed that even in my country there are noticeable differences in celebrating the yuletide season. It becomes more commercialized, more hyped but the true spirit is gone. It isn’t the way it used to be.

The familial, traditional, holy, special, cozy, warm, wondrous old feeling of magic, acceptance and togetherness is not there anymore.

I don’t know. Maybe we grow old, money is tight, too little time,  maybe (I’ve read it somewhere) we have to realize that the commercialized version of Christmas is the marketer’s dreams, not ours. Maybe we have to stop trying to live up to that version and don’t fall for thinking we need to buy happiness at Christmas time. Enjoyment does not mean expense. I don’t know. Whatever the reasons, I don’t feel the true spirit of Christmas anymore.

How about you? 

broken-christmas

47 thoughts on “I Don’t Feel The Spirit Of Christmas Anymore”

  1. I have to agree with you on this point. It just doesn’t feel like christmas. I don’t work retail retail but I’ve been in some form of retail the last few years and it seems more and more that the spirit is just… gone. I haven’t felt it in years myself (which is pointed out in a recent post of mine) but now it seems like nobody except the very young feel it.

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      1. Slowly but surely, yes, it seems so. I try to be cheerful for my son but it’s tough when I don’t feel it outside of my family.

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      2. We haven’t gotten our tree up yet but will before too long. But the presents thing isn’t going to be a big deal, it’s the family time and all that we are going to try to teach our son.

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  2. We put our tree up the day after Thanksgiving. We’re the only one in our neighborhood with lights on and I’m not even religious haha. I moved from New England to Texas, I went from all out classic, traditional, whole town decorates for the season and ALL holidays to a very Christian state with almost no holiday spirit except complaining about this nonexistent war on Christmas….

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    1. It must feel special being the only one in the neighborhood trying still to preserve a life long tradition. What is your reason for putting up decorations if you’re not even religious? I ‘m curious.

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      1. My neighbors decorate, just not this early. My mom always decorated the inside of our apartment with boxes of christmas stuff. I do it for my kids to experience similar memories, they really enjoy it. We don’t celebrate Christ or Christianity with the holiday. We have a corporate tradition more than a holiday, basically. The same as my mom always had.

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      2. Whatever the reasons for putting up trees and decorations as long as they are making people happy especially children then I guess it’s good. Celebrating something doesn’t always have to do with religion. I like it better when it is done for the sake of family and tradition.

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  3. The best Christmases I’ve had since leaving the US early in the century were in Vietnam. There it is just a big party that lasts through New Year’s. It isn’t about either big time commercialism or religion, just a lot of frivolity for that sake of frivolity. Strange. Living in Vietnam completely detached Christmas from my nostalgia and made it something else.

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    1. Interesting to hear your take on this. I guess we all have our own experience and interpretation of Christmas. I don’t even know that they celebrate it there for as far as I know Vietnam is not a catholic country.

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  4. We try to keep the spirit going in terms of getting a real tree, putting lights up and other decorations. This year we are in a new apartment for the first time in a long time and are excited to decorate things in a different way. As to the traditions themselves, it is harder to find and maintain them but every year we try to hold to certain traditions. First is the Christmas music-which ranges from classical, to the popular tunes, to everything else-folk, gospel and soul Christmas albums we love. At least once in the season my wife and I sit in front of our tree and listen to Dylan Thomas recite A Child’s Christmas In Wales. We sit in silence for the entire thing, letting his words wrap around us. It is getting harder and harder to ignore the crass commercialism but we find if we shut as much of it out, we can still maintain our Christmas enjoyment

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    1. It is nice to hear you’re trying. I’m sure There are still few people out there who are doing the same. I don’t want to think that all those efforts will be lost in the vast sea of commercialism but by doing so maybe we can keep the tradition alive even it’s only for ourselves.

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      1. That’s exactly what I tell people. Even if it is one thing. Shut the phones off, shut the TV off, step away from the craziness and just take it all in. One of my favorite things is to just sit there in silence and just look at our tree with only the tree lights on. It comes once a year. Do I want to remember that moment or do I want to remember the commercialism? Easy choice!

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      2. I used to do that. Putting up decorations and stare at them but lately I don’t see the use of making efforts if there is no one there to share it with. It is difficult to keep the enthusiasm alone. Keep up the good work Robert. Your family love and appreciate them.

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      3. I guess I can understand that. It makes me sad to hear that in some ways but I know we feel differently about things eventually. Thanks for the compliment 🙂

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  5. I haven’t felt the spirit of Christmas in a long time, mostly due to family trauma and tragedy. It’s hard to find joy during those times. I haven o family now, mostly estranged from parents and siblings. But I started healing from all that this year and I thought this was going to be the first year I got a little holiday spirit back. But then my dog got sick and we had to put him to sleep yesterday, and now I look at our tree and decorations and it almost makes it hurt worse.

    I also hate the commercialization of Christmas. So much money spent and for what? To not use those things a couple days or weeks later. I’d rather Christmas be more about family and friends, but it seems like we don’t have that anymore. Right now it is just my husband, me and my stepson. It makes it feel lonely, and now even more so with the loss of our beloved pet that ws with us for 13 years.

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    1. I think spending tons of cash for holiday season or on any occasion is never meant for personal satisfaction but to impress others and protect/maintain the self image people have in their minds.
      I am estranged also from siblings and my parents are dead. I don’t miss them because they only see me as a meal ticket. What I miss about yuletide season is the general ambiance, the atmosphere the merrymaking and the genuine feeling of celebrating a holy tradition. I feel lonely too. More so around this time of the year.

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  6. Christmas is a strange time for me. I am on my own, so decorating doesn’t matter to anyone but me. Usually, I put up a little something. When I had my cat, I often put up a tree so she could knock things off it. Every year, it seemed she had to play with the tree until she knocked an ornament off and broke it. And then she was done with the tree until next year. Our little ritual. Having worked for churches for a time, I assisted in the celebrating of the Christmas season. It all seemed pretty vicarious. This work got me into a habit, though, which I still enjoy. I worked through Christmas Eve so drove out to visit with my sister’s family on Christmas day. The drive across the state on Christmas day itself is, well, I don’t know. It seems quieter, and I like the lack of traffic. When I stop someplace to get coffee or whatever, I try to be especially friendly toward those working on this day. Anyway, this year I’m writing an Advent devotional for myself each day (I finished Advent 5 earlier today). This should, at least, keep my attitude on the spiritual nature and purpose of the season. Christmas spirit? I’m not sure I feel it. I’m not sure for me it matters. Maybe it should matter. Thanks for posing the question.

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    1. The grandmother of my husband called the other day. She was clearly drunk and lonely. They took her husband to home for the aged the week before. I guess she’s still trying to cope with being for the first time alone. It is inspiring to hear that despite of you being on your own you are making the use of your time in a worthy manner by helping others instead moping around. Driving lately is like running through a gauntlet, every time with the prospect of not reaching your destination alive. I don’t know, but people seem to be so aggressive these days not only on the road but in everything they do. Good you find the time to be friendly. It is another dying custom. Very scarce nowadays. Keep up the attitude and the good work.

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  7. I know this too well. For the last couple of years, I haven’t been the same person I was when it was Christmas time. Yes, I was thankful for having my whole family having fun and eating but there are things that have changed within myself and in the world that made christmas a thing that’s not giving me the feelings that it used to.

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    1. I’m glad you understand. It is becoming a universal thing, watching deaths of life long traditions and being sad about it. I can’t explain as well in too many words what I mean when I said I don’t feel the spirit of the holiday anymore. Like you said, it just a feeling of missing something that used to be there.

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  8. I haven’t felt the spirit of Christmas since my mom died. This will be the 8th Christmas I will celebrate without her. My mom’s love filled the house with the spirit of Christmas, even when I was an adult. She made Christmas special for all of us. Now I celebrate Christmas for my kids. I try to put the same love and effort that my mom did into their Christmas.

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    1. I like the way you try to follow your mom footsteps for the sake of your children. It shows how generous person you are. I did that as well when my children were little but I did other things too like leaving them during the holiday season after setting up tree and decorations to chase my own idea of Christmas in my own country. I still feel guilty about it. It is not enough excuse that my ex used to trample decorations and severing the heads of holy family under the Christmas tree and opening gifts simply because he was drunk again to ran away and leave my children alone. But yeah, we all make mistakes.

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  9. I do feel as if the true holiday spirit isn’t there because we don’t hear the Christmas songs on the radio. But, I do believe we have to find ways to create that Christmas spirit for ourselves and not allow the people around us build it for us. I don’t know I just think we rely too much on others to give us the Christmas spirit that may have vanished overtime.

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    1. I agree with finding a way to create the Christmas spirit for ourselves. However I disagree on relying too much on others to give us the feeling because when I say I don’t feel anymore the holiday season I mean I don’t feel it personally inside me regardless of what others do around me. I can be in the middle of it and don’t feel anything because I miss the authenticity, the genuine atmosphere of the holiday season. All those commercialized efforts feel fake to me. It is very difficult to feel something when there is no facts to support it. It is like fooling yourself.

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      1. Yea I get exactly what you mean. When the atmosphere isn’t the same as us to its hard to build that holiday spirit within yourself. I hope you do get to a point where you can recreate that holiday spirit though.

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  10. I haven’t put up any Christmas decorations yet….I like them, especially a tree decorated and sitting in the room with just the Christmas lights on. However, I don’t need a tree or decorations to remind me of the whole reason for Christmas. Actually, there are Christmas decorations and advertisements everywhere, but mainly just promoting sales of merchandise and not the celebration of Christ’s Birthday….which is the kind of Christmas I celebrate. We always had decorations and a tree in our house when our children were growing up, but now it is just my husband and I and I don’t do all the things I use to do. We use to celebrate the whole month of December.

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    1. Yours is my kind of Christmas. Genuine celebration of the holiday season and not for commercial purpose or to impress neighbors and friends. How I wish we can keep the old traditions that matters.

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    2. Yours is my kind of Christmas. Genuine celebration of the holiday season and not for commercial purpose or to impress neighbors and friends. I wish we can keep old traditions that matters.

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  11. I get two weeks off to relax, escape and consider my loneliness, then get thrown into a family do with conscious efforts not to counter the covers and lies about things I know too much of
    Before remembering i’ll still be working over those two weeks
    There are moments that make it worth it, but they get less and less each year

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    1. I can understand. Like I said on my other post I don’t understand why families insist to get together when clearly they hate each other and rather be somewhere else. I need also few weeks to recover after such parties. I hate crowds.

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  12. My funds are the tightest they’ve eve been. So my sister sent me a little Christmas tree with lights and holly already on it and I plugged it in. I cried because it was a bit of joy and great love from my sister. I left the lights on all night and when I awakened during the night, I’d think “is it morning yet?” And then I remembered, “no it’s my Christmas tree” and I turned over and just stare at it until I fell asleep again. ❤

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