I’m seeing so much more of this than usual. Maybe people are so frustrated these days that they feel the need to force people to agree with them so they can feel better about their choices. Or maybe I’m just reading too much.

Opinions are actually judgments and demands. Wikipedia defines opinions as “An opinion is a judgment, viewpoint, or statement that is not conclusive, rather than facts which are true statements.”

And these are some of the ones I’m seeing.

Gargoyles and Hippos are not festive enough for Christmas (but apparently, camels are okay). Doesn’t she know about the song “I Want a Hippopotamus”?

Red and green are the only “proper” Christmas colors. While they are traditional colors, they are hardly the only proper colors. This is one of those things that center around likes and dislikes. If you don’t like my choice of black, white, gold, and silver color scheme, that is your privilege. But it’s my privilege to do it anyway. I’m also thinking of black, white, gold, silver, navy and pink. I saw a beautiful Christmas all done in yellow; yellow lights, yellow glass balls, and lots of bright yellow sunflowers. The owner suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder, and the dull, dark gray days of winter were getting to her, and she wanted to bring in some sunshine. I bet she keeps that gorgeous tree up until March!!

Christmas Lights; White or Multicolor? I saw one article that said: “One Thing I Will Never Have in my home at Christmas,” and I read it out of curiosity, and I’m sorry I did. She said that she would NEVER have multicolored lights anywhere in her home. Seemed kind of snooty to me. I have a friend who moved from the Pacific Northwest to New England. She was always the neighborhood queen of decorations. When she got to her new home just before Christmas, she put up all her normal decorations. She received a strongly worded letter from the HOA telling her that “we don’t do colored lights here, only white lights are acceptable,” and she had three days to remove the lights. She was crushed. It’s okay that this author didn’t like anything other than white lights and chose only white lights in her decorations. But reading this author’s article, it felt like a judgment and demand, “I don’t like these, so you better not do it.” It reminded me of a woman I had in one of my groups. She took great delight in commenting on everyone else’s posts with “I don’t like that” or “I hate that” or “I detest that” or simply a vomit emoji. I read her posts just to make she she didn’t get out of line too, which she often did. I thought it was just me who was bothered by her posts until I started getting complaints by private message. I sent her a PM asking her to tone it down, only to see a post on the group mocking me and demanding “who did I think I was?” It’s these kinds of attitudes that make it hard for me to read articles that have this kind of attitude and it seems I’m not alone.

It’s like the articles I see all over the Internet that says ‘I stopped doing THIS and you should to!” like, “I stopped using multicolored Christmas lights and you should too.” To me, this says “I’m only comfortable with my decisions and beliefs if you agree with me and obey.” I’ve gotten to the point that I won’t even read an article titled like this.

Another one is “The ONLY [book, recipe] you’ll ever need for [whatever].” That’s a pretty strong statement and is another egotistical article that I tend to avoid, as well as those who call their book, article, blog, etc. as “The Ultimate [book, article, blog] on any subject. Both assume that no one will ever come up with anything better or different. If that was true, we are in much worse shape than I thought.

I saw a Youtube video created by a 25-year-old who definitely wasn’t around in the 1950s but still decided to highlight “things they did in the ’50s but don’t do anymore” (bubble lights, aluminum trees, Christmas cards). She apparently didn’t do much research. Everything vintage mid-century modern (the ’50s and ’60s) is trendy right now. And that includes bubble lights, aluminum tree and Christmas cards, and ceramic Christmas trees like the one I made in 1975 and still have. Christmas cards really have never gone out of style. Some people have stopped sending them, often due to the cost of stamps; others have switched from ecards or social media. I do both. I still have bubble lights, and I’d love to have an aluminum tree and color wheel like my grandmother have.

It’s the same as when 25-year-olds tell women over 50 how to dress because they don’t like what the older women wear. This was caused quite an uproar with women my age and since the author refused to allow comments or provide a way to contact her, they went on social media and their own blogs to fight back. When you reach 50, you have earned the right to decide for yourself what you can and will wear.

Or the 40 year old woman who was aghast that people over 50 were still having sex. Considering she was just 10 years away from 50, she should have been relieved that they were still having sex.

Or the young woman who decided ALL older people eat nasty things because she knows one person who does.

Or the 20-year-old girl who said she would force her entire family to vote for Trump because that’s who she wanted to win. I wonder if they did so just to make her happy, at least the first time, and then told her to grow up the second time.

Or those who have no empathy for what so many people are going through a very rough time right, but claim that it’s their own damn fault if they are without a job; they are just being lazy. It doesn’t seem to matter if a pandemic took that job away.

And anti-vaxxers saying they will never get the Covid 19 vaccine and then bitching because there is not enough Covid 19 vaccine available for everyone immediately! And those Republicans who have spent the last 11 months insisting that the virus is just a hoax and are now demanding to be first in line for their shot.

And especially at this time of year when holier-than-thou Christians come out of the woodwork insisting “Jesus is the reason for the season” or “Put Christ back in Christmas” or simply “CHRISTmas.” Even when I was a Christian, I never said any of these things. I never felt the need to recruit people into the religion, believing that it would sell itself if the religion was good enough. I even refused to go house to house “witnessing.” Let’s face it, that’s not witnessing. It’s selling.

Just for the record, Jesus is not the reason for the season; the solstice is. And Christ was never in Christmas, to begin with, the holiday was appropriated from other cultures. The is no mention of Christmas in the Bible; the Nativity simply describes the birth of a child, and the Bible even contradicts that story. Which is all it is, a story. A story that was also appropriated from other cultures. Funny how those others, which came first, are myths but theirs, which came last, is real.

The main idea about all of this is something most people either don’t get or simply just ignores. Opinions are about yourself, what you believe, what you think, what you like, what you see. It doesn’t mean it applies to anyone else.

You don’t like pink Christmas trees? Fine, then don’t have one. Don’t want to send out Christmas cards? That’s okay too. Do you think your new recipe, book, or idea is fantastic, then just present it that way. Don’t make promises you might not be able to live up to, such as “only” and “ultimate.” But all of these are just extensions of other insecure beliefs like being against abortion and gay marriage. Don’t have an abortion or marry someone of the same sex, and your problem is solved. And all of that is just an extension of there being non-Christians and the need to force everyone to convert and be saved.

It may seem like I’m doing the same thing with this post, but I’m actually just pushing back on many of these narrow-minded ideas. Like the comment I saw on YouTube the other day, “Thank god you have a nativity set up. EVERYONE should have one of these!” Whatever happened to free will and making our own choices? These examples would prefer you not have those and that you just do what they demand you do. That’s pretty insecure and very sad.

If you have an opinion about how to celebrate a holiday and how to decorate for it, who to vote for, what to believe and how to practice your faith or not, what to wear, what to eat and what color of lights to have on your HOLIDAY tree, that’s fine. It’s okay, and it’s okay to voice those opinions as long as you make it clear that “this is what I like” or “this is what I believe” or “this is my preference” so that others understand that it is your opinion on things. Many of these came out as more than just opinions but as facts simply because they were their viewpoints.

So, with or without their permission, I will sit here and gaze at my Christmas tree with the white AND multicolored lights because it makes me happy to look at it while eating foods others may see as “nasty” because they taste good to me, and wearing my favorite clothing that others might see as tacky because they are comfortable. I’m sorry if this upsets you so much. But it is my life, not yours.

Photo by Adonyi Gu00e1bor on Pexels.com

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