Today is Christmas Day, so naturally I am reminded of the only song about the holidays I’ve ever written: ‘Happy Holidays.’ It’s funny how you can feel a certain way when you write a song, and listen to it ages later and be reminded of the same emotional headspace – especially if it’s a song you wrote on Christmas one year, and you listen to it on Christmas of another. I think I feel pretty much the same way every Christmas, thus it’s especially easy to transport myself back in time to the day I wrote this.
I suppose Christmas is a very happy time for some, and a totally depressing time for others. Maybe it’s the one time of year you see your family, or maybe it’s the one time of year you’re reminded that you have none. There are enough shitty Hollywood movies that illustrate every possible scenario and cliché. You know them all, and you probably live one of them too. Either way, I think we can all agree that this day means something to everyone, for better or worse.
I’m always struck by the split that Christmas creates in relationships. For the most part, if you’re ‘with someone’, you either have to choose whose family to spend it with (splitting the families), or you have to go your separate ways and each have your own individual holiday experiences (splitting the couple). For me, it’s always been the latter. On one hand I am visiting my family – which is nice – but I’m sort of leaving another family behind when I do so.
So this song is for all the boys that miss their girlfriends on the big day. You’re both having similar experiences at the same time, yet you are totally apart. I can’t think of another event that a couple can share so closely, yet experience completely independently of one another. It’s confusing, isn’t it?
‘Confusing’ is a good word for the holidays. Seeing your parents is good, but it’s also frustrating, right? Nagging is caring, loving is arguing and boredom is togetherness. I wouldn’t call it fun, but I wouldn’t call it bad. I wouldn’t call it relaxing, but it’s supposed to be. It’s not necessary, but I would never miss it. The whole thing is ripe with contradictions.
Anyway, Merry Christmas to all of you who read this feature, and whomever you’re spending your holidays with, try to think of the ones who you’re not with as well. Our social lives are a complex web that can’t be covered in one day, and like kids realize Santa can’t possibly deliver all those gifts in one night, neither can we deliver all our ‘holiday spirit’ to all those that we care about on one day. That task will take us all the rest of the days of the year.