Screw You, Christmas Spirit!

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I remember when the holidays were a time of great excitement and anticipation. Getting the Toys “R” Us catalog and frantically circling all of the things I wanted. Eating all of my vegetables because I knew Santa was watching. Watching. Always. Somewhere. Somehow.

Oh, and that feeling of sheer joy, waking up at the ungodly hour of 5:45 in the morning, sneaking over to the tree and holding my breath in quiet anticipation, then diving headlong into the riches that were about to be unearthed!

Ah, for the days of yesteryear, when I loved the month of December.


Today, I say, “screw you holidays! Screw you and the bulbous-nosed reindeer you rode in on!”

No, I don’t want to get up at 4:00 in the morning the day after Thanksgiving, risking literal dismemberment to get that extra 30% off. No, I don’t want to buy that totally lame snowman sweater for my husband, just to watch him grimace at my fashion sense. And, no, I don’t want to experience the letdown of yet another holiday season that fails to live up to my totally unattainable expectations.

But, wait. Maybe I just need some music to get me in the mood. So I turn the radio to the Coast (our local easy-listening station) and start easy-listening to the Christmas music.

Does it help? No. It’s the same damned four songs over and over again. No, I don’t want to hear the Southern California Kris Kringle Society’s latest rendition of Carol of the Bells. I don’t care how many handbells or tinkerbells or cowbell they use.

I turn off the radio. Guess the music was a bad idea.

So I seek out my Christmas Spirit elsewhere. I will find him yet, that conniving little…. Ahem. Hey, I realize that I still love the decorations. The crispness in the air. The Salvation Army Santas ringing their bells (those blasted bells).

And in the middle of my Christmas Bliss,  I remember I have to start thinking of the perfect gift. You know, the one that has both meaning and substance and costs less than $20?

I’m screwed.

That’s when I realize what my real problem is: I don’t want to do anything.

I don’t want to get the decorations out, because in a few weeks I will just have to put them all away again.

I don’t want to buy presents, because then I have to wrap them. Or at least stuff them in overpriced shopping bags painted in gaudy reds and greens with tinsel snowflakes.

I don’t want to buy cards, because then I have to write in them. And address them. And stamp them. And actually get them in the mail. (Can’t I just send a Christmas mass-text?)

I don’t want the responsibility of adulthood. Being an adult sucks.

Oh, to be a carefree child who doesn’t have to worry about giving. Just receiving. How I long for those days….

Suddenly, I flash back to being a kid, and I have a vision of my mom: there she sits on Christmas morning, completely frazzled, as I empty out my stocking and wonder aloud why there is nothing in hers. Nothing… in… hers….

Why didn’t I ever think to give Santa a hand by filling up her stocking?

Great. Now I feel guilty, too. Forget it! I am out. Christmas is canceled.

Maybe Scrooge was onto something. Screw the poor. Forget about giving. Bah humbug. Bah humbug, I say!!!

Sigh. Why do I feel so much apathy about the holidays? Is there a stop-motion Winter Warlock out there somewhere, freezing my heart into solid stone? Stupid creepy-looking stop-motion villains.

Whatever it is, I sit here, dreading the holidays.

But I persevere. I go to the mall to try and find some gifts. And while I am there visiting the ladies’ room, my phone commits hari cari in the toilet. Now I need to buy a new phone. There goes Christmas, shorting out before my eyes.

I find myself in a puddle in the bathroom (figuratively, you sicko. I’ve got issues, but not those kinds of issues). Crying, yelling, “Most wonderful time of the year, MY ASS!!”

Guess the mall was a bad idea, too.

I can’t do it. I can’t see myself getting through another holiday.

Yet my Bob Cratchit of a husband cheers me on. And he thinks the perfect solution is to drag me out on a beautiful Saturday to get a tree. Begrudgingly, I start to feel excited again… until our hunt turns into a weekend-long excursion, complete with a meltdown because we can’t find the right lights for the tree that took us two days to find.

Even my husband admits the tree was a bad idea.

Why am I even trying this year? Wake me up when it’s 2011.

Then it happens….

The lights are finally on the tree, and my three-year-old sees the twinkling white lights. She exclaims, “It’s a sparkly tree! Oh I love it!” And she starts putting ornaments on the tree. Sure, she puts five ornaments on the same branch, but she’s so pleased and proud of herself and having such a great time.

And it all floods back. That anticipation that something wonderful is about to happen.

My Grinchy heart grows three sizes that day (ouch!), all thanks to my very own Cindy Lou Who.

So, dammit, I am going to get swept up into the hype. I am going to live the holidays through my daughter’s eyes. I will bake, and make candy, and wrap like I have never wrapped before.

We are going to have the best Christmas ever!

But, just in case, I’d better fill up my own stocking.

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