Christmas is not my favorite time of year. Back when I was a kid and into my teens and early twenties it was. There are at least a dozen reasons why my attitude has changed to Bah Humbug. Here’s a sampling.
Crowded Stores. From Thanksgiving through the day or two after Christmas, going shopping is a nightmare. I’m a browser and used to enjoy spending a lot of time looking over a particular display for just the right item. Not any more. After getting bumped into half a dozen times and dealing with aisle rage, I’ve learned to keep moving.
Traffic. Just getting to shopping outlets is a pain in the ass. Anyplace I’ve ever lived, traffic backs up for miles around major shopping destinations. No wonder Santa uses a sleigh with flying reindeer.
Check-out lines. Like getting to the store and browsing weren’t hard enough during the holiday shopping season, paying for your selection(s) would try the patience of Mother Theresa. And heaven forbid one of your selections be missing a price tag. It’s like they really don’t want my money.
Absence of helpful sales people. Once upon a time, retail establishments had employees that walked the aisles looking for customers to help. If you didn’t need help, they’d keep walking. If you did, they’d stop and spend as much time as needed to help you make your selections. Sigh. Now Customer Service is a display at the Natural History Museum, right next to the dinosaur exhibit.
Barrage of holiday catalogs. Since Thanksgiving, I get at least one catalog in the mail every day. This year, I’ve saved them all for a future blog post. As of this moment, the stack contains 47 different catalogs–all chocked full of four-color photos of the goods they’re trying to sell me. Yawn.
Writing Christmas cards. Before I left Kentucky, Christmas cards to out-of-town friends and family always contained a chatty, individualized letter written expressly for the recipient. When I moved away, nearly every card I mailed included a customized chatty letter. This year, I wrote a terse note of no more than three paragraphs in maybe one out of ten cards and just signed the rest. At least I still send cards…
Buying gifts for anyone over the age of ten. Shopping for children is fun. There are a million options, most the toys are cheap, and the recipient appreciates and enjoys about anything they get. Once they reach about age ten, the toys get a lot more expensive and the recipients are much harder to please. After years of trying to buy gifts for adults who tend to just go out an buy whatever they want, I give up.
Office parties. Having spent about forty hours a week for most of the last fifteen years with them, the last people I want to celebrate with are my coworkers. Sure, I get along with them…mostly. But for some, getting along is more work than the job itself. I dream about retiring so I can finally tell one or two of them what I REALLY think.
Decorating. I like having a Christmas tree, but anything else is more trouble than it’s worth. Even a tree is too much trouble–my poor partner does all the work. This year, mostly because he begged me to, I did hang a few ornaments on the tree. Forget about outside lights.
An abundance of unhealthy food…everywhere. Shorter days make it harder to stay active which means gaining weight over the winter. Like that’s not bad enough, the two holidays most associated with over-eating (Christmas and Thanksgiving) fall within a month of each other. I’d have at least a fighting chance of maintaining my weight if they were a few months apart.
Artificial trees. I know it’s not very green of me but I really don’t like artificial trees. I miss the smell of a live tree and the absence of cheap tinsel (the kind you don’t want if you have cats or dogs). Of course, if we had a live tree I’d bitch about keeping it watered and needles falling everywhere.
Carolers. Like I really want to stand with the front door open when it’s freezing cold to listen to a bunch of wannabe warblers chirping out tired old Christmas carols. These visitors fall in the same category as solicitors and missionaries–unwanted. In fact, unless we’re expecting you, don’t come a knockin’ on the door here at…
My Glass House