It’s just about the only day of the year where businesses actually close. Even when I was caught up in a day job at Wal-Mart, before I decided to make a living from the couch, the store was actually closed on December 25th. Wow! Imagine that! Big corporate retailer closed? Sounds like a dream. Maybe they just don’t wanna look like a complete Scrooge, even thoug they are the other 364 days of the year.
(Of course, they didn’t really give us the day “off” because technically we already received two days off per week and they just made it so that Christmas just so happened to be one of those two days. But I digress.)
It almost is, we’re almost living in a sort of fantasy world during Christmas, where we leave behind this work hard driven culture for 24 hours.
I mean even Independence Day, the great American holiday, is not just a day to enjoy barbecues in the summer park and watch fireworks at night. It’s a day to buy sales.
And good god, Thanksgiving has pretty much just come an expansion pack to Black Friday at this point. Don’t even get me started. Get up and go shopping for these limited time deals! Every holiday, besides Christmas, we’re expected to do something.
Even if we remove the whole go to the store to shop for the exclusive deals thing in other holidays, there’s still something we’re expected to do that requires us to leave the house in order to celebrate it, like walk around trick or treating for Halloween or go bustling through a crowd to watch a parade on St. Patty’s Day or take your date out to a fancy restaurant on Valentine’s Day.
You get the picture. Most holiday celebrations involve some sort of exciting activity, whereas Christmas it’s a rather passive activity.
Sit inside, open gifts, eat food. That’s it. You don’t have to leave the house. And sure, you may have to travel to your aunt or grandma’s house or whatever, but you don’t have to leave *that* house once you’re there.
Also you may argue that you have to do Christmas shopping and decorating. A lot of it at that. But that’s prep work. That’s stuff you do BEFORE the actual holiday itself.
I’m talking about the holiday, not all the ridiculous BUY NOW propaganda you get leading up to the day or the pressure to find a tree, cut it down, and decorate it with lights and ornaments that you gotta slug down from the attic. I’m talking about December 25th, not the days or weeks leading up to that specific date.
Christmas (again, December 25th, not the season prequel to the main event) is legitimately the ONLY day of the year where it’s acceptable, at least in the judgement of society, to not have to do stuff, the one day of the year where no one gives you a glaring eye if you say you don’t want to work or leave the house.
I mean people may ask, Oh what are you doing for Christmas/the holiday? And you’ll tell them “Oh I’m going to so and so’s house.”
And what are you gonna do there? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. You’re gonna sit in the house all day, maybe open presents, maybe eat a big hearty meal.
But you know what you aren’t doing? Leaving the house to do shit.
And Christmas is the only day of the year where that sort of activity, or lack thereof, is completely respectable, perhaps even encouraged.
There are such fond memories of the holiday.
I mean, you remember waking up as a kid Christmas morning? That pure blissful excitement! Pure bliss.
Man, I’ll tell you what, as an adult, I’ve been chasing after that excitement of Christmas morning during childhood. Nothing beats it.
The mystery of when Santa’s gonna come, what he's gonna bring. It was really something. And I’ll tell you what, the thing I enjoyed most, like any kid, was getting to open those presents and play with my new toys all day.
No school, no homework. My mom didn’t even make me do any chores on Christmas when I was a kid. It was awesome! A day to completely relax and be in my lazy, doing whatever I want.
Likewise, as an adult: no job, no work, just playing with toys all day, doing what I want, embracing my laziness.
Anyway, we’re gonna take a look at what makes Christmas such a holly jolly lazy good time in today’s blog entry, and without further ado, let’s dive…right into it!
Laziness is the spirit of the holiday
Parents let their kids play with toys and don’t really expect them to go around the house doing very many chores.
Employers let their employees stay home with their families instead of coming in for work. Everyone is given a “real” day off, without any expectation to do anything productive. It’s quite a rare phenomenon in this work hard culture in which we live in, truly.
I mean it’s not every day, namely once a friggin year, that you can sit at home and eat milk n’ cookies because it’s festive. Yeah, try telling your boss you wanna snuggle up in your jammies with some fresh chocolate chip cookies and a cold glass of milk any other day of the year. He’d look at you like you're crazy and better not think about it if you wanna keep your job. He won’t allow it.
Heck, try telling that to your friends that’s how you’re gonna spend your weekend and they’ll think you’re a lazy loser who doesn’t wanna go out. But on December 25th? It’s completely acceptable to eat cookies and drink milk all day. It’s fine to sit by the fire in nothing but your underwear downing a mug of egg nog. It’s okay to be lazy…for a day.
Christmas is the one day of the year where laziness is absolutely and completely okay, at least in regards to general public and its consensus. You’re not looked down upon for getting drunk on eggnog for breakfast. You’re just being festive. You’re not seen as a bum for not dressing up in a three piece suit and instead wearing reindeer slippers and a santa bath robe; you’re just spreading holly good cheer.
It’s odd, isn’t it? I mean how things that *typically* have such a bad stigma in society are 100% acceptable for one day.
Like what difference does it make if it’s December 25th or July 17th or September 23rd? It’s just a date on the calendar, really. There’s this arbitrary ruleset of what’s acceptable behavior during the other 364 days of the year that seem not to apply on just this one.
And often this ruleset dictates that you be professional, you be hardworking, diligent, or otherwise a productive member of society.
Yet it’s funny -- it’s funny how the one day of the year where no one is being productive is the happiest of them all.
Think about it, man. We’re told that hard work is the key to success and success leads to happiness. There’s such a heavy push in propaganda to frankly work your goddamn ass off in order to live life to its fullest.
Yet, then we see the joy in people’s hearts during Christmas time and are inspired to “keep the Christmas spirit alive all year long”.
And what is this spirit? Where does it come from? Well, look around. Are people working on Christmas day? Are they striving hard to achieve some sort of big goal? Are they on the clock, on the grind, making money moves?
No. Of course not. They’re at home or the homes of their families, relaxing, enjoying company.
I mean unless they’re some sort of Grinch. But hey, even that guy eventually feasted on the roast beast.
But in essence, people are being lazy for an entire day on Christmas, not having to work, not exercising and instead sittin’ around, stuffing their faces with fruit cake and figgy pudding. And in doing so, in embracing their laziness, well it's a common consensus that it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
People are merry because they’re relaxed.
They have no obligation. They have no commitment. They have no work or effort required of them.
I mean in the sense that they don’t really have to do anything productive or useful.
Certainly, one could argue there’s a bit of a commitment in gathering the gifts and going about your plans for the holiday, whatever and wherever that may be, but in doing so, you really don’t have to put in a whole lot of effort, compared to your daily life, of ya know, working 9 to 5!
Just show up. Be present. That’s enough. It’s the only day of the year where it seems like your very existence as a human is worthy. Otherwise, your worthiness tends to be determined by the sheer amount of profit, fame, or achievement you can make for yourself.
There’s a lot of expectations and pressure in society to always make more, do more, be more.
Not on Christmas day. On Christmas Day, you’re enough as a person just for being here (and maybe wearing a Santa hat).
You don’t have to complete a series of tasks or maintain a certain level of productivity to earn any level of value. You have value just for being you. You can relax and celebrate the holiday. There’s no goal to fulfill, no accomplishment to be made. Just the pure blissful opportunity to enjoy yourself with other fellow human beings of whom you are close to.
Outside of this little fantasy bubble of Christmas day, we’re always moving, always trying, always doing something productive, as a means of individual victory.
Life becomes an onslaught of worries and stressors due the never ending cycle of checking one thing off your to-do list, just to add two or three more.
Furthermore, we seek only to improve ourselves and our own livelihoods, or at the very least survive and fend for ourselves. During Christmas, on the other hand, we come together. We unite. We join together in our laziness.
Leisure is the big “L” in L.A.Z.Y. It’s important to take time to take a break, to do nothing, to fully and completely relax. Otherwise, you’re like the hare who couldn’t finish the race because he was too tired. Without giving yourself proper time to rest, you’ll never finish the race, you’ll never finish anything. You’ll fall short of your goals and wind up exhausted, completely burnt out.
You’ll do your best to make do, but realize you aren’t really going anywhere because you’re flat out too fatigued to move at all, yet alone make big moves.
You feel dead, a walking zombie. Your body has become an animated corpse, fueled by coffee to keep it from completely rotting
Frankly, one day in the entire year isn’t enough Leisure at all.
Come December 26th (Well maybe the 27th since the 26th is a Sunday this year), you’re gonna snap back to reality.
Man, that’s gonna be a heavy Monday isn’t it? I mean all Mondays are pretty darn heavy, but this one in particular, the one right after the holiday, is pure agony.
How can we say that we need to keep the Christmas spirit alive all year round, then in the same breath say “Back to work on Monday” or worse, “Gotta start a New Year’s Resolution.”
The point here is that Christmas is the merriest time of the year, and it’s the ONLY time of year where we fully embrace our Leisure.
And in our relaxed state of mind, we’re able to see the beautiful decorations all around us. Everything from the mistletoe to the holly to the plastic reindeer in your neighbor’s yard. It all seems rather…spectacular.
Yet the minute we go back to our ordinary lives doing ordinary things, the spectacular-ness of the world all but seems to fade away. The world becomes grey and it’s just another day. December 26th just another day of the ordinary.
But you’re not looking around you.
Notice the decorations in life throughout the year
Only on Christmas, do we see the brightly colored lights on people’s porches along with the giant inflatable characters and Christmas wreaths. We spot the stars and angels on top of trees, illuminating from the windows of houses on the street. We listen to the carols of people singing and hear the bells ring. We smell the freshly baked gingerbread cookies and taste the chewy cinnamon along with a cold glass of eggnog.
During Christmas, we notice the little things -- all the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells the world has to offer.
Perhaps all those festive things would become rather dull though if we were to see it every day. The Christmas tree would be just another plant. The colored lights, just another bulb. We’d become oblivious to the beauty of it all.
We tend to do that in our everyday lives with the beautiful decoration of nature that surrounds us, just ignoring it. Perhaps we’re too up tight, we’re too high strung, we’re too goddamn stressed and on edge to feel any sort of appreciation towards the elegant allure of the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of this little rock in space we call home
Give the gift that keeps on giving -- your laziness
Enter that state of mind you feel on Christmas day, one of true happiness and jolly good spirits. Become tranquil and achieve inner-peace.
Relax into your own self. Stop trying to become more than what or who you already are.
Know that you are enough. You’ve done enough.
You don’t have to strive to be enough. You don’t have to work hard at it.
You may not be the best, but that’s okay. Neither is your aunt Nancy’s fruit cake.
Besides, you’ll get better…eventually.
But for now, you’re already a present to the world. So go be you. Go be that lazy bastard you are.
Don’t stay wrapped up inside. Don’t top yourself with a bow in attempts to look pretty. Show who you are. Besides, some of the ugliest gifts can have the prettiest of wrapping papers. That is to say: some people attempt to look good in the way they “present” themselves but they really have a distasteful character on the inside.
And hey, maybe you’re a bit ugly. I’m ugly too. We all have scars and flaws that we’re afraid to show. But remember, your gift is in who you are, not what you can do or what you can provide.
I never wrap gifts. Of course that might just be because I’m too lazy, but part of me also wants to show what I’m giving without hiding it. I apply the same principle to real life.
You don’t rewrap the gift you give on Christmas after you give it. So when you give yourself, don’t hide and wrap yourself back up.
You say you’re lazy. Well, show the world how joyful it is to be lazy.
Merry Christmas and take it easy,