It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like…Wai​t, It’s Not Christmas Yet

It’s all too much.

Just too damn much.

We all need to calm the F down. (And before you freak out, that “F” was for frankincense, you potty mouth.) Because obviously since it’s November 25th, we should only be talking about Christmas.

Christmas. Christmas! CHRISTMAS! Everyone start freaking out about Christmas! If you haven’t started freaking out already, you’re way behind. You’ve basically already ruined the holidays. Pack it in buddy, you blew it. You suck.

But, don’t worry, I suck too. If I were to judge my holiday spirit based on all of the commercials airing now, I’d be forced to conclude that I’m the Grinch. I’m totally screwing up, Christmas-wise.

I haven’t purchased a single present, not a one.

Now, I’m not trying to hate on people simply because they have more yuletide gumption than I do. Kudos to you for your advance preparation. I’m usually all for anal-retentive planning and execution.

Case in point, I write my grocery list based on recipes I pull out for the month. Then, I go back and organize my grocery list so the items on the list are in the same order they appear in the store, like noodles are in Aisle One so they’re first on the list and so on and so on until I get to the frozen foods last because I’m not some bloody, grocery-shopping amateur.

So yeah, you get the idea. I’m like that. I get the obsessive-compulsive, organizational side of advance holiday shopping and, like the type-A weirdo I am, I sincerely admire it.

So I’m not faulting the early shoppers for efficiency. Yay efficiency!

I’m just kind of annoyed that we think the holiday season requires that type of military-like precision. Because at some point, with all the planning, preparation, purchasing and all the dang stuff, it starts to seem like we’re not so much enjoying the holiday season as we are managing it, like cranky, overwhelmed but under-motivated employees.

And well, that’s no fun at all.

I don’t think the holidays should leave us feeling stressed, depressed or, well, broke.

We don’t have to do all that. It doesn’t need to be like that.

But for that to happen, we all need to calm down. Seriously, everyone, take a collective, hypothetical chill pill.

Then, after you’ve done that, stay home. Or stay at your friend’s house or your grandma’s house. Spend as much time as possible with people you generally enjoy spending time with — for as long as they let you.

Don’t rush off early to buy things. Don’t cut your Thanksgiving short because you need to wake up early to get the best deals on Black Friday.

None of this is supposed to be about Black Friday. I hate Black Friday because, I’m sorry, it’s just gross. And, frankly, it doesn’t make much sense.

We spend the last Thursday of November expressing our gratitude for all of our blessings, then the next day we all collectively say “Hold up! Wait, nevermind, screw all of that nonsense I said yesterday, I need more stuff. Now! I couldn’t possibly go on without purchasing a shoddily-made Blu-Ray player for my lazy nephew who I honestly don’t really like that much.”

Your hypothetical lazy nephew who you honestly don’t like that much doesn’t need a shoddily-made Blu-Ray player and if he wants one that badly, he can go buy one for himself like a normal, functional adult person.

So, stop. Take a deep breath and give yourself a break. You don’t have to buy everyone a perfect present. You don’t have to have an expertly-decorated house; prompt, well-written Christmas letters; or scrumptious holiday cookies.

You don’t have to do any of that, unless of course you want to. Then I won’t stop you. I’ve never stopped anyone from making scrumptious holiday cookies if they feel so inclined. (Not even I am that big of a Grinch.)

It’s just, the second spreading holiday cheer starts making you feel decidedly more resentful than joyful, you should stop.

You’re allowed to say “no” to stuff. It’s good for you. I promise. Try it some time.

Because when it comes down to it, all you really need to do during the holiday season (or during any season, for that matter) is just be nice to people. That’s it, just try to be nice to people, and that’s a heck of a lot easier to do if you’re nice to you too.

So, with that in mind, save yourself some holiday cookies this year, just for you. But do that after and I’m serious here only after you stop and remember to celebrate Thanksgiving too.

We still celebrate Thanksgiving. I swear. It’s still in there somewhere. The poor thing is just buried under tacky, ill-timed, holiday commercials and tinsel.

And both of those things are gross.