I don’t like Christmas. It’s exhausting. It’s expensive. It makes everyone think they should sing Christmas carols (even though it would really be more prudent for some people to not sing. At all. Ever. For the sake of the rest of us.) It makes people fat. It falls in the most disgusting season of the year. And, oh yeah, it makes me feel like an idiot.
There it’s out there. Break out the Scrooge comments. Call me the Grinch. It’s not like I haven’t heard it all before. For being such supposedly joyful and compassionate people, Christmas-lovers get surprisingly testy when you tell them you’re not all in for the Yuletide time.
These allegedly merry folk are throwing accusations at the wrong gal anyway. It’s not like I’m running around smashing up gingerbread houses and punching mall Santas. I’m being perfectly nice, thank you very much.
In fact, if you didn’t know me you’d probably, mistakenly think I was all for the Happy Holidays hoopla. You’d likely think this because I come off as very enthusiastic about everything. Pretty much all the time. (This is probably because my voice is very high and perky, which makes me sound much like a small child who has ingested A LOT of sugar). But don’t be fooled. My perky voice is just a front. I’m not really buying into your Kris Kringle club unless you’re dolling out Christmas cookies. I’m totally game for Christmas cookies.
It didn’t always use to be like this. As a kid I was all for the holidays. This was likely because I made a Christmas list some time in November and then come Christmas morning I got darn near everything on it, plus I got good food, I didn’t have to go to school, I got to hang out with my family and oh yeah, did I mention the presents. They were pretty freaking sweet.
But I’m a grownup now (or so they won’t stop telling me) and for some ridiculous reason that has not yet been explained to me to my satisfaction, the sweet holiday set up I had as a kid is now apparently a no-go. Now that I’m too old to sit on Santa’s lap without me looking kind of nuts and him looking like some sort of sicko, I’m apparently in charge of my own Christmas.
If I want in on some cookie action, I best break out the baking gear myself. If I want a beautifully decorated home full of Christmas cheer and twinkly lights, I had better untangle the jumbled mass of wires masquerading as my old Christmas lights. And, if I don’t want to be a selfish jerkface, I’ve got to buy people presents.
Presents for the people I know are going to buy me presents, presents for the people who might buy me presents and presents for the people who really shouldn’t be buying me presents but for some inexplicable reason they do and I don’t want to endure that awkward moment when I have nothing to give them in return kind of presents.
That’s a lot of presents. Now it’s not like I don’t want to buy these people presents because I’m taking some moral stand against the commercialized, stress-inducing disaster Christmas has become. (Which it has, but that’s not the point). And it’s not like I don’t want to buy these presents based on some ingrained sense of fiscal responsibility which is at odds with spending this much money. (I am a cheapskate, but that’s not the point). Nope, it’s neither of those things.
I just, straight-up suck at buying presents. I’m terrible at it. Some people have this seemingly innate ability to get just the right gift for everyone on their list. I’m talking just the right gift. The kind of gift that elicits responses like “Oh my goodness, how did you know?” or “This is exactly what I wanted!” I know these mystical gifts are possible because I say these things all the time and really mean them when I open my Christmas presents from my family. Lucky for me, my family is full of these insightful, generous souls with a true talent for gift giving. Unlucky for me, I’m not one of these people. I can’t possibly compete.
So this year, I’m taking a different approach to Christmas — one where I’m hopefully not severely depressed by my lackluster Christmas shopping skills by the time December 25 rolls around. Incidentally, heads up everyone on my to-buy-for Christmas list, it’s gift cards all around this and you’re going to pretend to like them darn it.
And seriously, on a slightly unrelated note, can we all just agree to lay off the carols? We get it. It’s not even December yet but seriously, enough already. Go eat a cookie.