I know someone who used to date a guy who would preface anything serious he was about to say with the term "real talk." So, for instance, he would say something meatheaded like: "Real talk, I think that shirt might be a little bit too small on you." Or: "Real talk, does this look infected?"
So real talk, Company, I want to talk to you about Christmas, which is approaching not fast but at the same speed as it does every single year. I want to do some real talk with you about why I dislike the Christmas season. Because when you strip away all the stuff about being an award-wining media mogul, a famous North Korean metal foundry owner, and larger than life oppressor of hundreds of Unpaid Interns, I am just a super charismatic, handsome, and incredibly awesome person just like the rest of you. And I have the same issues and insecurities as you all do. Issues and insecurities that are heightened at this time of the year.
Tons and tons of people are going to be running around and lamenting how the meaning of Christmas has changed, how it has become this ode to mass commercialism and extravagant gift giving while losing all of the meaning that is supposed to be wrapped up in the season. (That's a sweet pun, did you see what I did there?) And maybe it has to a degree, but the people posting memes about that on Facebook are the same people posting photos of themselves with their new 60 inch SmartTVs at Wal-Mart. Or they are hipsters who just finished filming a Budweiser commercial. I reject that argument anyway because on the first Christmas, the day on which Jesus Christ was born, the three wise men are specifically noted for the gifts which they bring, and their astounding sense of direction. So Christmas has ALWAYS been about giving gifts. That was the blueprint that was set out for us.
Besides, I LOVE giving gifts and making people happy. I LOVE IT. It is one of my favorite things, especially when you get to have the sort of element of surprise and the person doesn't know it is coming. When it comes out of the blue. Birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays - read Christmas - are fraught with peril and nervousness for me because the element of surprise is gone. There is a real expectation which is wrapped up (there it is again!) with the holidays, and I just can't handle that emotionally.
The problem is that I am totally insecure, and in the end I just desperately want to be liked. That is all I want. So while I like to give gifts to people, once you add that sense of expectation to the equation now I am unbelievably afraid that I am going to fail at the gift giving. If you know the gift is coming then you know what you expect to get, and if I fail to deliver that for you, then there really isn't a reason for you to like me anymore, is there?
So I do the grown up thing and I ask for a list. Or at least some suggestions. And I get nothing. Oh, I pony up and tell you what I want, but invariably I do not get a list in return. So I left to wander the wasteland of my mind and store after big box store after strip mall after Chinatown back alley to try and find just the right gift for you, which is impossible because YOU know what you want, but God forbid I get to get in on that action.
Stress level, through the roof. Because to me, Christmas is not about simply giving you a gift in the spirit of giving. It become this sinister self imposed test as to whether or not I am worthy of being liked by you., which is absolutely fucking absurd. Because it is a test in which no one else is participating, whose results are actually meaningless, and which I know I will not pass. Because I am the grader and I know what the results will be, regardless of what the results really are. So I stress out about it, and invariably I fail at giving the gift because that is what I set myself up for. Complete and utter failure in no one's mind but my own.
So that is it. That is why I dread the Christmas holiday every single year. And that is why I fail at it, even when I don't really fail at it. Because, in my mind, I cannot succeed. And I will not succeed. And I don't deserve to get the wonderful gifts that you got me because mine are so subpar that they aren't really gifts at all. That is my problem with the holiday. And thankfully, wonderfully, and frustratingly it is my problem alone. Great. Merry Christmas.