What Ever Happened To Family Values At Christmas?

familyBah Humbug!

I try not to rant on my blog, Modern Philosophers, because I do that enough in real life.  I have to make an exception today, though, because it’s Christmas, which means I’m all alone with no outlet for my rantings.

I attempted to vent to the cats, but they scurried under the bed and refuse to come out.

So I really have no choice but to turn to my blog to get these Deep Thoughts out of my head.  I apologize in advance for putting you through this.

When I was a kid, Christmas was all about family.  We put on our Sunday best and after going to church, spent the day with relatives.  This gathering usually took place at our house, but I wasn’t allowed to run off and hide in my room, watch television, or try out my new toys with my friends.

My friends wouldn’t have been allowed to play with me anyway, since they would be spending the day with family as well.

That’s simply how Christmas was done.  Like it or not, you were stuck with family, and sometimes had to endure hours with family members you only saw that one “magical” day of the year.

Family values.  You didn’t have to like them, but you had to have them!

Rockwell 1As I got older and wiser (or perhaps that should read “more of a wise ass”), I would begin to question why we had to spend Christmas with family.

And you wonder why I’m not close with my family today…

I noticed that studios would always release a big movie on Christmas, so I asked why movies came out on Christmas if the day was meant to be spent with family.

My stepmother replied that movies on Christmas were for Jewish people and folks who were all alone and needed to get out of the house before they got too depressed.

Rockwell 2Which leads me to today’s rant.  What’s happened to our family values?  Why aren’t people spending Christmas at home, dressed in fancy clothes and trapped with family?

Are we turning our backs on family?  Do we hate Christmas and its traditions?

If this country still had proper family values, then there would not have been a line around the block this afternoon when I showed up at the movie theater to see Star Wars.

It was all this pathetic, lonely guy had been looking forward to about Christmas.  I’d assumed the theater would be empty because everyone would be home with family.

Instead, I was trapped in line behind family after family that was talking about Christmas.  These were not Jewish folks.  These were not sad loners.

These were family units, several generations in fact, standing in line to see a movie on Christmas Day.

Standing in line in front of me, to be more specific, and causing the flick to be sold out before I was even able to get inside the theater.

Where the @#$% are family values when I need them!!!

awakensBecause these people had absolutely no respect for family values, the only force that was awakened for me today was a voice in my head that reminded me that I’m alone on Christmas, which is a horrible, terrible, evil holiday.

I was so frustrated on the drive home.  I’d put on my Star Wars shirt like the geeky fanboy that I am, and convinced myself that being alone on Christmas wouldn’t be so bad because I’d have my friends from a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away to keep me company.

The Force is not strong with this Modern Philosopher.

Nor are family values strong with my fellow Mainers.

It turned out to be a crappier Christmas than expected.  I feel like the Darth Vader on my tee shirt has beckoned me to the Dark Side, and I’ve given in to his call.

Bah Humbug!

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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21 Responses to What Ever Happened To Family Values At Christmas?

  1. The irony is that some of us long for the opposite. All I wanted today was a moment by myself. Cheer up! I hate that the holidays place so much pressure on everyone.

  2. I’m sorry it was so Bah Humbuggy for you. We have strong family values here, and I work hard to keep them status quo. We work hard to keep our family together, so it’s 1-1/2 hour drive south on Christmas Eve and 2 hour drive north Christmas Day. As our family grows, so does our resolve. We invite friends who don’t have any particular place to go, along with solo brother-in-laws and various girlfriends/boyfriends. I hope this coming year will bring you a chance to start a family tradition of your own. Family is all in what you make it.

  3. Tim Gatewood says:

    I haven’t seen it yet, either, as I just can’t go watch it while my wife is still in the clutches of the hospital-nursing-home-hospital cycle. Once she’s home and rested up some, we may go see it together in celebration. Or I may save the $$ and wait until it comes out on DVD.

  4. I haven’t seen the flick yet, but I got the reviews of it from my niece and nephew (-in-law) who saw it last weekend. I was able to do this because I bestirred myself to spend Christmas with family. Perhaps your disappointment on the day will help soften your post-Christmas letdown.

  5. ksbeth says:

    one of the ways that families and singles celebrate a vacation day/holiday is to experience a performance together, that can mean sharing a theater space even if alone, or if a big group. even if a group, they don’t always have time to do this together, and if alone, you are with others, sharing the experience. for some families, even if a family struggles with issues, it gives them a chance to share a few hours without arguing, turmoil or drama, just enjoying something together. i don’t find it bad, depends on your perspective. here’s hoping the next holiday is a better experience for you –

  6. patricemfoster says:

    Gone are those days when family gather is the norm. Leave in to Beaver family on Christmas together pure joy. Now for a few hours and enjoy each other’s most are on laptop or cell phone interaction is becoming nonexistence. I am one of the 1% of people who has not seen Starwars…Don’t all laugh at once!

  7. donedreaming says:

    Oh bugger, I feel bad now because I thought you’d been to see it but not enjoyed it 😦 The problem with family values is what the heck is a ‘family’ these days? Everyone is so displaced, family units don’t look like they use to – and let’s face it we didn’t always enjoy the day, forced to spend it with people we only saw once a year and there was a reason for that! I agree with you though, they shouldn’t encroach on activities meant for people trying to find a bit of solo joy on a ‘family day’.

  8. markbialczak says:

    Sorry about your bum-out experience, Austin. Next time going to any blockbuster, pretty please, buy your ticket a couple of days in advance. To see Star Wars the Sunday of the first weekend, I stopped at the theater while running an errand on Friday and bought the two tickets for my dear wife Karen and I.

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