bah humbug
He might just be the epitome of Ebenezer Scrooge. The holidays were nothing but hum bugs and nonsense that Jason wanted no part of. It was all consumerism at its finest, masquerading as a holiday that was allegedly about love and family. It was all so fake, so trivial and so depressing, really. Everyone was miserable, families got into arguments, he swore that he was busier after the New Year because most people were trying hard to fulfill New Year’s Resolutions (which was ridiculous) or they were coming to resolve family drama.

Family drama was something that Jason knew all too well, thanks to his own upbringing. Every Christmas, Jason would be forced to attend mass after mass on the holiday season. His Catholic upbringing had not taught him love and compassion but rather fear and resentment. His grandmother would preach the good news about Jesus, son of God being born but would go home and beat Jason to a bloody pulp, quoting scriptures while she did so. It was all rather ridiculous and, in retrospect, something that Jason found absolutely hysterical now. The woman was certifiably insane but he feared her. To this day he feared her and if he was ever around something that was Catholic in nature, he would cringe at the sight of it.

One particularly horrible Christmas, Jason was around six, they attended midnight mass, at midnight. Understandably, the little boy was exhausted from being up so late but Marion didn’t care much about that. The minute that Jason would start to nod off from being so exhausted, he would be hit with the ruler that Marion carried inside of her purse. His mother was nowhere to be found, most likely passed out at home from the excess of wine that she had consumed at dinner. When they had arrived home from mass and his suspicions were confirmed, Marion dragged him up the stairs by his blond locks and beat him. “God is a righteous judge, a God who displays his wrath every day.” She repeated herself while she beat, punched and kicked the little boy until he was nothing but a puddle on the floor, sobbing from his horrible behavior and thinking that he was absolutely in the wrong about everything.

When Jason was ten he made the horrible decision of speaking in the middle of mass, asking calming if he could go and use the restroom before he wet his pants. Once again, Marion hit him with the ruler and Jason didn’t make a sound, knowing full well that they were in public and he would be shamed by everyone if they ever knew of his bad behavior. It was bad enough that they were in the place of worship and God and Jesus were both judging and seeing his awful behavior. He tried to hold it as long as he could, holding steady and singing the songs and saying the correct responses to keep him from committing an act of shame upon their family. When it was time to receive communion, Jason walked up and suddenly lost control of his urges and, just as he said Amen, his pants grew wet. It was shame, shame, SHAME, on his family. When they arrived home it was much of the same; hair dragging and beating and bible verses about keeping silent . “A time to be silent and a time to speak.” Jason didn’t speak at home for two months following the incident.

When he was sixteen years old, Jason had started to have doubts. He was much more interested in science and blind faith in some sort of God seemed absolutely silly to him. Why would such a God let horrible things happen to those who had faith? Why would he continue to reward those, namely his grandmother, who had faith but were the despicable people that he should have shunned? It made absolutely no sense to him. That year he had refused to go to mass and, now being much bigger than his grandmother, the abuse had stopped but the verbal abuse did not. Marion screamed, at the top of her lungs, “HAVE MERCY ON THOSE WHO DOUBT”. And she slammed the door, locking it behind her. The only way out would be to climb out the window. Jason would have preferred just to stay locked, even if it meant no food for the next few days. She didn’t let him come out until December 27th.

It was a relief when he had been able to move out of the house and go off to college. It meant that he didn’t need to participate in such lunacy anymore. It meant that he didn’t have to acknowledge Christmas whatsoever. Until he met her. The love of his life. It was grad school and he had completely fallen head of heels in love with her. She was his everything, his rock and he had finally found something stable in his life. Their relationship was volatile; both were workaholics, they both were much more analytical than they were romantic, but they made it work. On Christmas he had planned a proposal, mostly because the day meant nothing much to them but he was going to make it a wintery wonderland proposal. It was going to be perfect.

On Christmas Eve, he had flashbacks of Christmas past, and had a breakdown when she claimed that she was going to spend the day with her family and she did not want him to go with her. In a blind rage, he struck her, hard, and she fell to the ground. Her face was bruised and Jason started to apologize immediately. His apology was hollow to her, though, and she wanted nothing to do with it. She stormed out of his place and he went to unwrap her gift, the sparkling diamond reflecting in the window and the snow outside.

The holidays were nothing but a humbug, that much he was sure. It was the week before Christmas and there were no decorations up. There were no ugly Christmas sweaters in sight. He had pulled out a scotch and poured himself a drink, sipping it slowly and pitying the poor people who went out of their way for a holiday that was probably the most vile and hateful holiday that they could possibly celebrate. Bah Humbug, indeed.