Merry Christmess: An Open Letter to the Internet to Back Off My Holidays

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Dear Internet,

Yep, you, the whole Internet. Back off my holidays, seriously.

It seems you need a reminder of your role in my life. You are a tool. You are not judge, you do not care most or know best. You are there for me to use and not the other way around.

Internet, you've gone too far. In the past, I've let you question my time management, my parenting skills, my ability to cook, craft, and all things domestic. I've let you crowd my brain with plenty of bah-humbuggery the rest of the year, but now you got me questioning my Christmas, and that's just not cool.

Am I giving enough gifts to my kids? Am I spoiling them? Is it okay to lie to them about Santa? Is it okay to call it an ugly Christmas sweater if there's a nativity on it?!? 

In the last few weeks I've seen red cups become weapons of Christmas destruction, one mom's overflow of gift-giving be set ablaze by commentators, and a multitude of ads trying to manipulate my consumerism into "what's best" for my family. I can't take it anymore!

I'll give you credit for a few good things, sure. There have been toy drives, Christmas wishes, and viral videos of mall Santa's going above-and-beyond their call of duty. You can keep that coming, and in the spirit of the season, please don't feel you need to sensationalize the title of said videos with provocative script by using phrases like "You won't believe..." or "What happens next..." We get it. You want us to watch the video.

But, then what?

Internet, you are nothing without US. Without the doers, the watchers, the be-ers out there among the droves of holiday participators longing for a bright season of hope, you are as valuable as a lump of coal in Scrooge's stocking.

So, let's drop the attacks. Let's lose the judgment. Please stop the insanity of forcing us to feel. 

Christmas is already perfect. 

You only allow us to say "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" if we're being ironic, sarcastic, or fanatic...but that doesn't make it untrue. You don't get it, Internet, and that's okay. You aren't here to inspire us or even educate us. You are here to channel the best of what we are, with the hope of what we want to be. 

And that's up to us.

You can keep your cat videos and your pop-culture memes all you want. I'm just requesting you start to flush out the fear-mongering articles, the guilt-inducing ads, and the hiding-behind-handles commentary attacks that make us all want to set New Year's resolutions against you.

So, here's my effort. Here's my contribution to you. I don't care if one person reads it or it lights up someone's twitter feed. I'm using you in the best way I know how - to let someone stumble upon this and just feel one thing: not alone.

I want to extend a cyber-holiday-hug and let moms know that they're doing Christmas right, even if they forget to make nut-free cookies for their kid's Kindergarten Winter Party or use a bathrobe as a last minute shepherd costume in the church play.

I want to encourage people that this season of high emotion includes a roller-coaster of feelings that can dip down into despair, but still hang onto the hope of a new day ahead - that grief and sorrow are also normal this time of year, just rarely okay to talk about.

And, I want to exclaim tidings of great joy for all people, that thousands of years ago a tiny human came into the world when things were a total wreck (hate, terrorism, genocide) and a glimmer of eternal hope was offered to our unworthy souls that transcends all emotion and reason.

Internet, please stop making a mess of Christmas. The world is not worse off than it ever has been. The world is not less safe. The world is not less saved. 

Jesus is actually the reason for all seasons. Regardless of what season you find us in (alone or popular, rich or poor) I regret to inform you that what you have to say just doesn't matter.

You are nothing without us. And we are nothing without Jesus.

So, Merry Christmas, Internet. Peace be with you.


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