"In Defense of Humbug"

This is a video from 2009, which Jay Smooth retweets every year, for people who aren't having happy holidays, and to say it's okay if you're not, and to urge people to think about maybe just saying "hi" or whatever.

Happy Holiday! Happy Holiday! Happy Holiday! We're a good six weeks deep now into the "telling everybody to have a happy holiday" season. And the closer we get to the end of that season, the more urgent the need becomes to tell everyone everywhere to have a happy holiday. Even though, at this point in the year, that's probably the least useful thing you could say to anybody.

Pretty much anyone you run into this week, you can be confident they already know there's a holiday taking place, and that they're expected to be happy when this occurs. So instead of me telling you to have a happy holiday for the forty-eleventh millionth eight hundred millionth time, I'd rather take a minute to acknowledge everyone out there who's not having a happy holiday.

Everyone who can't be with the family that they love. Everyone who has to be with the family that they hate. Everyone who can't afford to express their love through the season's mandatory rituals of crass consumerism. I see you. I know that you're out there.

I know that this is the most stressful, most depressing, most unhappiest time of year for millions of people. And I know that if you're one of those people who's already unhappy, and then you gotta spend six weeks having everyone else come up to you like, "Hey, have a happy holiday! I hope you're having a happy one! Don't you go wearing a frown! Whaddaya—some kind of Scrooge? Is something wrong with you? Society DEMANDS that you BE HAPPY!" If I'm one of those people who's already unhappy, that is not helpful. That makes it worse.

If I'm not having a happy holiday, it isn't because I forgot to do it. I don't need you to remind me. I'm already acutely aware of my failure to be happy.

And, well, I mean, let me just pause for a minute and say: I'm not mad at people who say happy holidays. I say it; we all have good intentions when we say it.

But I also know that, for a whole lotta people, this holiday season is like a little box that you know everyone's supposed to fit into—and you wish that you could fit in the box, too, but you just can't fit in the box. And when you can't fit in that box, it makes you feel like the whole purpose of this holiday season is to remind you that there's something wrong with you.

So I just wanna say to everyone out there: No matter how you spend this holiday, there's nothing wrong with you doing that. And give a little love to both sides of that holiday divide. For everyone out there who is able to have a happy holiday, good for you! I'm sure you're already on top of it. Keep up the good work! And to everyone else out there, who's not fitting into that happy holiday box, I especially wanna send this out to you, and let you know I see you. There's lots of people right there with you. I've been there. And you're not alone.

Basically, I just wanna say that, wherever you are, whoever you're with, whatever your circumstances, happy holidays...are optional! If you're into that kind of thing.
The holidays don't particularly make me happy, but Jay Smooth does.

[Related Reading: Does your family look like this? Mine, neither.]

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