I’m not really a bad person but December always manages to lead me to question whether or not I possess any goodness or grace. My lack of “Christmas Spirit” when others around me are happily humming Have a Holly Jolly Christmas is somewhat worrisome to me. Have I always been so cynical about the Holidays? No, I was not always this way. Am I the Grinch in reverse, loving every hustle and bustle until now, when I’m old enough to realize what bills and debt feel like? When I have seen enough of the grit and grime of the world, when I’ve seen those who profess goodness and light to show just how dark their hearts truly are, have I allowed life to destroy my Joy and shrink my heart and make me hate those Whos down in Whoville? Or do I only think that I’m Grinchy because every year I have to fight the urge to tie antlers to my dog’s head and rename her Max? Evidence of my Grinchification:
I refuse to shop Black Friday. I find it disgusting. But I didn’t always. I had my fair share of 4 a.m. wake ups on Black Friday. When the small one was very small and our town had a Disney Store, I would be in line at 5 a.m. to get next year’s Christmas clothes and decorations for half price. But watching people push, shove, fight and argue with each other not to mention how shoppers treat the staff in the stores, I’m totally over it. I don’t need any more crap no matter how good a deal it is.
I will not participate in the annual cookie swap at work. In fact, I’m torn between being disappointed and relieved that we no longer have any sort of holiday celebration at all in my little work circus. Too many different faiths, not enough women? I mean for a while we blamed it on that time we had to call an ambulance for the person who went in to anaphalactic shock during a potluck due to an unknown ingredient, but she doesn’t even work here any more. God love her, she was fine just so you know. But we never had potluck again.
I hate the bell ringing at the grocery store. I don’t begrudge the Salvation Army. They do incredible work and as a community, we are lucky there are organizations willing to work for those less fortunate. What I hate is that I’m disorganized and go to the grocery store a lot. And I feel guilty for passing up the bell ringer. I hate the bell ringer because he makes me feel guilty for having more than I need and not sharing it more often. I feel the intense need to empty my pockets and then berate myself all the way home if I had cash on me and didn’t put it in the bucket. I hate math and I have to do math to figure out how to spread the giving out over 16-18 trips not counting if I encounter a ringer somewhere other than the grocery store. So it pisses me off when he’s there the day after Thanksgiving. How screwed up is that?
I hate Christmas music. Let me qualify that, I hate pop Christmas music. I like a good old classic hymn, like the songs I grew up singing in church. I have the CD collection that might get played on the 24th and 25th to prove I don’t really hate all Christmas music. I just wish I didn’t have to listen to it for 2 MONTHS! 12 Days of Christmas people, that’s all I’m asking, limit the christmas music to 12 days. Maybe even the month of December is understandable. But please for the love of sweet baby Jesus in the manger, do not start the 24 hour a day 7 days a week Holiday Jams at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. I’m begging.
I like lights. No really, some years our house looks like something out of Christmas Vacation.
Is your house on fire, Clark? No Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.
I was gifted with one of those cool contraptions that you can plug multiple strands of lights or yard ornamentation into and it will make them dance to the music. Really. But I don’t feel like putting it out every year. This year the sum total of Christmas in our yard so far is a pair of shephard’s hook flower pot stakes covered in greenery, lights and ribbon. And I only put those up because people keep tripping on the first step of our sidewalk and it gets dark early these days. I don’t need the UPS man breaking a hip on my lawn.
Why am I worried about the UPS man? Because I do enjoy buying presents. And because I hate shopping in stores this time of year, Amazon becomes my good friend. Hence the UPS man cometh. But every year I say I’m not going give as many gifts because I’m not good at it. Do you have one of those friends or family members who always seems to get you just the right thing, even if you didn’t know it’s what you wanted? I’m not that friend. My gifts are probably often returned or regifted. I know for a fact that some gifts I’ve given my husband have become “lost” in his office. Or repuporsed to the exclamation “It isn’t that I didn’t like what you got me, it just works better for such n such or so n so.” Really. I have a feeling that this is part of the downward spiral and before long I will be giving out restaurant gift cards and checks. If they’re lucky. It could be those handwritten coupons for “hugs” if they aren’t so lucky.
I do not like Christmas movies. When I was little I couldn’t wait for the claymation/ stop motion animation season to begin! I loved them all. I had a crush on Burl Ives. Not the real one, the snowman one. I loved Abominable. I truthfully hoped that Hermey would one day achieve his dream of becoming a Dent-tist and that Clarice would someday figure out what a good reinhusband Rudolph would make. Now, I avoid them. My favorite Christmas movie is now The Lion in Winter. How do you not love a family so dysfunctional that upon entering the Christmas Court the Father yells
What should we hang first, the holly or each other? ~Henry II as played by the magnificent Peter O’Toole
Or this classic show of marital bliss
Do you know what I’d like for Christmas? I’d like to see you suffer.
Ah, Christmas. It brings out the best in everyone. And this is why December makes me a bad person. Happy Christmas, ya’ll!