One of my daily stops on this wild web is my recent activity page on flickr where I can see which photos I’ve posted that people have commented on. Recently I was talking with a few friends about the different uses of flickr, some people use it as a showcase for their best photography and others use it as a bit of a window into their lives. I fit in the latter category, and so it’s interesting for me to see what people think about what I saw or noticed enough to put online. Yesterday there was a new holiday wish posted on this photo:
It was an innocent enough comment, but I really wasn’t something I was expecting. Not so much the comment, but seeing that photo. You see, that photo isn’t recent. It’s from last year, Christmas eve on 2006. I’m not really sure where I’m headed with this post so if it seems scattered please forgive me. For whatever reason I’ve never been a huge fan of Christmas. I mean, I appreciate the concept of what it all stands for but it always struck me as the kind of thing people should just be doing all year around, not just on one day at the end of the year. Plus for the majority of my life the entire holiday season was filled with some kind of family related stress. This wasn’t anyone’s fault, and I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining because I know everyone always had the best intention but there’s something about being worried if you bought someone the right gift so as not to hurt their feelings, how to react if someone didn’t buy you the right gift so as not to hurt their feelings, how to react if someone bought you a gift which tells you very clearly they don’t know who you are at all so as not to hurt their feelings, who to spend what time with so as not to hurt their feelings? See the theme here? Rather than just relaxing and enjoying friends and family this time of year has traditionally been, for me at least, a lot of juggling so as not to hurt other peoples feelings. The cliche about needed a vacation after a vacation was never more true than when I’d return from Christmas holidays. Plus all the drama about the consumerism of it – are you buying gifts for everyone you should be, are those gifts in the right price range, what about people you bought gifts for last year but haven’t seen since, is it rude to not spend money on them this year. It goes on and on. I couldn’t wait for it to be over, really.