Ever since I was a young girl, I was a grinch. My green claws scratched against the Mariah Carey vinyl records until they shrieked. My furry-green-fluff laced the cookies laid out for Santa. I don’t come from the type of family that rises before the sun on Christmas Day to tear apart trinkets from the man who slides down the chimney to lay presents out for each good little kid.
The instant gratification of gifts is amazing in the moment, but after I would open them up, just about a half hour later I would feel desperate for the next 365 day cycle to spin so I could then feel the same materialistic happiness that everyone who celebrates Christmas feels. My family does not celebrate Christmas, although we partook in some secular traditions. I now don’t celebrate Christmas and while I spend the day with my family, I envy the houses with lights that decorate their homes and the Christmas trees that peek through their living room windows.
My envy is one of my greatest vices. It’s something that I despise and I am ashamed of it. My jealousy that yearns for a family Christmas, and really any holiday reunion, is channeled into loathing the peppermint-pine-gingerbread world of Christmas. Now, admitting this to myself, I’m working so hard to overcome this, and writing about it is the first step. Now, I’ll listen to Christmas music and try to morph my envy into appreciation for a holiday season that I don’t celebrate myself, but the season I want to develop an admiration for.