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10 Reasons Why I have a Love/Hate Relationship with Christmas

I have the best memories of Christmas growing up in my house. My parents didn’t have a lot of money but they were sure to make every holiday special.

They made decorating a family affair, with the Jackson 5 Christmas album at full blast on the hi-fi (no, younger generation, I did not mean wifi) and showering us with second hand Salvation Army toys washed in bleach. As we got older and the financial situation got better, bleached toys turned into Atari and Jordache jeans.

Then I got married and became a mother myself. I continued the tradition (minus the Salvation Army and bleach) with my child.

Then suddenly, it wasn’t as fun anymore. Fisher Price turned into Abercrombie which turned into Lilly Pulitzer. The cost per item substantially went up.

But that’s not why I’m stressed. I’m just saying having a teenage girl is costly. Don’t know where she gets that from. I grew up in Cal-pros and homemade polyester bell bottoms. But I digress.

I find as I get older, I lose the energy for it. I love Christmas. Don’t get me wrong. I love the carols, the lights on the houses, the festivities, the cheer, the eggnog. I love it all.

I love it all except what I don’t love. So I am here to tell you these are a few of my least favorite things:

  1. Sending Christmas cards – Choosing a perfect good enough picture, sending it to Costco via the inter webs, putting them in envelopes, licking them closed, printing the labels and stamping them is too daunting a task. And if you don’t have someone’s address? It sits on the corner in the “to-do” pile until next year because you are too lazy to go look it up.
  2. Decorating and Un-decorating – I love to go Christmas tree shopping. I love putting on the ornaments. But that’s where it stops. Because inevitably there are some lights that won’t work, I will break a favorite ornament and run out of extension cords. I find if I don’t have a nice stiff glass of spiked eggnog within arm’s reach, I just can’t get through it. And then putting it away is an entire weekend and makes me wonder what the point was. That requires much more eggnog but can be dangerous with the fifty trips down into the basement. I could fall and die. Which wouldn’t be the worst thing because then I wouldn’t have to do this again.
  3. Gift Buying – I love the gift giving part of it. Just can’t someone else do the work? With half a million nieces and nephews and cousins and now another generation in the world, my brain is overloaded with who I have to buy what for. There will never be an end. Well, until I die. If I drink too much eggnog during my un-decorating weekend, that could happen.
  4. Teachers, troop leaders, dance teachers, pastors, co-workers, neighbors, friends, bus drivers, UPS person, mailman, garbage man – Oh, did I already cover the gift part? Well, let me revisit. There are only so many $5 gift cards we can give from Dunkin’ Donuts.
  5. Parties – No, I like parties. How’d that get on my list?
  6. Elf on a Shelf – I remember when this guy was a thing before it was a thing. I acquired him years ago and he lasted precisely one-half a season. Now I just get tortured by seeing pictures of His Creepiness posted on Facebook. Well, unless you do something completely inappropriate with him like posing him with Barbie in a compromising position or have him hanging out of a wine bottle looking completely schnokered. Also, I feel like he follows me with his eyes.
  7. Crowds Every-freaking-Where – You cannot go to the mall without spending half a day looking for a parking spot. Then when you finally find one in the next town over and walk two miles to get inside, you are pushed and shoved until are bruised and feel like you’ve fought in a battle. The body heat alone is enough to send a peri-menopausal woman into orbit. You wait in line for whatever it was you settled for because they ran out of what you really wanted three weeks ago and will not be reordering. Even the internet is crowded.
  8. Wrapping – We spend hours, and I mean HOURS wrapping that crap up. We make it as pretty as possible with tissue paper, wrapping, bows and tags. Our backs hurt from leaning over for hours. And then we run out of tape. Where was that eggnog?
  9. It’s over in 3.6 seconds – After a month of decorating, cooking, baking, shopping, wrapping, bruising and sweating, it’s over in a nanosecond. Those pretty, perfect packages ripped to shreds by greedy, anxious children (and some adults I know).
  10. The gift that keeps on giving – That credit card bill that comes in the mail a month later after all the festivities have died and the decorations have been boxed up and put away with the moth balls. You sit there with your mouth hanging to the floor and swear next year will be different but you just kid yourself…you know it won’t be because let’s face it, we love Christmas.

So, Merry Christmas everyone. Here’s to working lights and extension cords galore. Go pour yourself some eggnog and take a deep breath. It will all be over soon.

Stop the Holiday Insanity Ride, I Wanna Get Off

I know I've used this in a past post, but it just perfectly describes how insane I feel right about now.

I know I’ve used this in a past post, but it just says it all.  It’s a re-gift.  This photo.  In honor of The Holidays.  Because if I re-gifted more often, perhaps I wouldn’t feel so nuts.

I decided that I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas.  I mean, I don’t want to sound like a Scrooge but come on.  The pressure to do all the crap that needs to get done in a short period of time is friggin’ ridiculous.  Unfortunately, I am not a Type A personality like my mother.  She had her gifts bought and wrapped by August.  I kid you not.  But the thought of having my shit together so early kind of scares me.  I wouldn’t even know who I was.  Besides, with the condition of my memory lately, I probably would forget where I put half of it come December.

I started my day in a state of total disbelief and panic.  “Holy Freaking Shit,” I said to myself.  “How the hell am I going to get it all done?”  Piss poor planning does not necessarily blah blah blah.  I don’t want to hear it.  I know most of you feel the same way.  Be honest.  If you don’t, then you are June Freaking Cleaver and deserve a medal.

Just so you know, I had a full-out temper tantrum this morning.  That included tears, foot stomping and hair pulling (yes, I pulled my own hair.  Throwing dishes would have been a good option, but I happen to like my dishes so my follicles got abused instead).  It was just too much for me.  I melted down.  I’m not proud.

So here I am, writing this post when I should be putting stamps on my Christmas cards. Christmas cards that I don’t even like because the kid wanted a family picture this year.   My neck looks like a side of beef, my boobs are a little floppy and I’m doing that stupid hand on hip pose that I hate but completely understand why it’s done because not all 46 year old women can get away with sleeveless dresses so it’s a great trick at alleviating arm fat (that thought deserved a run-on sentence…sorry grammar freaks, including me).  I could have orchestrated a new photo shoot.  But that requires time.  And I felt like doing that like I feel like cleaning dog crap off the bottom of my shoes.  So a picture that was taken in May was the winner based on the fact that we are smiling AND all eyes are open.  That right there is a miracle…and a keeper.

christmas card photo

My eyes ARE open even though they look like slits.  I thank Mother Freaking Nature for that.

I think I need Holiday Hell Counseling.  Seriously.  I don’t care what, but we need to start a chapter somewhere.  But, until we can get HH Anonymous going, this is my therapy.  Thanks for listening.  Bah Humbug.  I mean, Merry Christmas!