Friday, December 4, 2015

10 Things About The Holidays That Make Me Grinchy

     Normally I love the holiday season, but the older I get, the more difficult the preparation becomes. I don't have the patience it takes to endure the crowds, the parties, the hours decorating, cooking and standing in long lines at the mall. If elves existed, I'd hire them in a nanosecond to take care of everything so that all I had to do was wake up on Christmas morning and enjoy my day. Oh wait---that already happened when I was young. The elves were my parents. And now it's my turn to play elf.

     I'll admit that menopause has made me more irritable than usual, but there are certain things about this time of year that really bring out my grinchy side:

   

   The Weather 
   
     I feel for my northern friends during the winter months. I have no clue what it's like to shovel my way out of the house each morning just to go to the Starbucks, or to search for a car buried under pounds of the white stuff.
 

    We have a different problem here in south Florida. Our winter lasts five days if we're lucky, and the only changing of the leaves occurs when the occasional palm frond turns brown and drops to the ground. I'd like a little bit of a change in the weather during the holiday season----temperatures in the sixties for a few months would be nice. It's hard to feel Christmasy when it's 80 degrees and I'm sweating through my tank top.

     I also envy the people up north who can make snow angels on their front lawns. The closet thing I have to that is thrashing around on the beach to make a sand angel. Even worse----while my northern friends are coating their pale skin with spray-on tans, I'll be coating my ridiculously green Christmas tree with spray-on snow.

I Get Fat

   The 12 days of Christmas should be called the 12 days of gorging. Why? Because the eating begins on Thanksgiving and doesn't stop until January 2nd. It's five weeks of no holds barred binging, and everything I eat contains butter. Before the Thanksgiving turkey gets cold, I have to move all my outfits that have zippers or buttons and replace them with clothing made of stretchy fabric or elastic. Whoever said the Pajama Jeans can't be worn to dinner at a nice restaurant was wrong.

Shopping

     First off, let me just say that you will NEVER catch me shopping on Black Friday. I don't want to end up in an internet video with all the other crazies elbowing their way through the electronics department. Long lines, greedy customers and rude sales people have nothing to do with the spirit of Christmas.

     I usually wait a week or two until the frenzy dies down before I hit the local mall. But it never fails that the day I decide to shop, I run into everyone from my high school graduation class. And of course this only occurs when I've left the house without a stitch of makeup on and hair that looks like a hiding place for a family of stowaway mice.

     The other thing that makes me stabby is the supposed "sale" prices that stores offer. Give me a break, Mrs. Department Store Manager---that memory foam pillow was always $50. You just wrote $100 on the tag, then slashed through it with a marker and called it a bargain at 50% off. No thanks. I'll just grab this $5 canister of tri-colored popcorn from aisle six and call my shopping day a success.

Secret Santa 

     Who the hell came up with the dumb idea of drawing names from a hat to buy cheap gifts for complete strangers at work? Nothing says "I-don't-know-you-and-I-don't-care" more than a plunger made in China from the dollar store. And what happens if you're paired up with the one co-worker you really do despise? Do you give them an enema kit?

     When in doubt about what to buy for a total stranger, grab a bar of chocolate, even if it's an off-brand and a bit stale. That's gotta be better than receiving a can of Silly String or a gift certificate to the adult video warehouse from Gerald in Accounting.

Decorations


     I don't mind decorating for Christmas, but my husband hates it. Every December this causes more strain on our marriage than our finances, our children, or the in-laws. It doesn't help that I'm a holiday hoarder, and my husband is easily overwhelmed when he sees twenty-three boxes of decorations that need to be opened. While I do all the indoor decorating, my guy is in charge of the outdoor part. The swearing begins the minute he opens the first box and sees the snarled mess of lights inside that will take at least an hour to de-tangle. This is followed by more boxes of legless deer, flattened sleighs, and a wobbly Santa that looks like he's been nipping at spiked eggnog. Putting together these holiday figurines for our front yard display is worse than trying to piece together furniture from Ikea.

     Every year my husband swears that this is the time he's putting up our holiday display and threatens to donate all twenty-three boxes of decorations to the Salvation Army. Little does he know that I plan to hit the after-Christmas sales at the store. I hear they'll be selling their Santa stock for 50% off.  

Wrapping The Gifts 

     I advise people to tackle this holiday nightmare by wrapping just a few packages at a time. Otherwise, you'll be overwhelmed after the first hour and your thumbs will be stuck together from pulling out yards of tape from the dispenser. Believe me, I've done Christmas Eve wrapping marathons before, and by 3:00 a.m., my packages looked like they'd been wrapped by rabid squirrels.

Holiday Parties   

     Every year I get invited to an "ugly sweater" party. This would be fine if it was 40 degrees outside instead of the usual 80 degrees here in December. There's nothing fun about sitting around in a hot,  hideous sweater that causes perspiration to pool under the breasts. South Floridians need to switch up this event by hosting an ugly thong party instead.

     Another thing that sucks about holiday gatherings are pot luck parties. It never fails that the one  neighbor down the street who's proud of being crafty with her budget shows up with an odd concoction made from leftover turkey gizzards, green beans and mayonnaise. Hey neighbor, if your dog won't eat it, what makes you think I will? And don't even get me started on fruit cakes. I'm convinced that there's only a handful of these nasty things in existence, and it's the same ones that just keep circling the globe, year after year. I'm pretty sure there are enough preservatives in these cakes to last a millennium.

     The other type of party that's known to scar people for life is the annual office holiday party, especially if alcohol is involved. All it takes is for some fool to sneak a little Fireball Whiskey into the punch bowl and pretty soon shit gets real. Sure enough, two hours into this fiasco, the young intern from cubicle B is yaking up cocktail wieners at her desk while the nerdy guy from the fourth floor tries to impress his female co-workers by doing The Worm. Even more nauseating is the company boss disguised as Santa, trying to coax employees to sit on his lap and whisper what they want for Christmas. You know what I want for Christmas, Santa? A fat raise and a Netflix marathon followed by eight uninterrupted hours of sleep.

Out Of Town Guests  


     I understand the concept of gathering the family together during Christmas to create the perfect Norman Rockwell moment, but if you're the person who has surrendered your home to relatives you haven't seen since you were in diapers, you're just asking for trouble. Within days you'll know every intimate detail about their bathroom habits and just how far they'll go to avoid washing the dishes after dinner. It doesn't matter if you give them a dilapidated sofa bed to sleep on or just a leaky air mattress---once they've settled in your home, they'll be harder to get rid of than a swarm of termites.

 Hip Christmas Carols  

     Call me old fashioned but I love the classics. Give me music from Handel's Messiah sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir or even a little Bing Crosby, and I'm happy. But once I hear "Silent Night" transformed into a rap song, I'm ready to stick a fork in my eye. The same goes for department store muzak. How can I pick out the right size jingle bell jock strap for my husband if all I can hear blaring from the sound system is Christmas music sung by the Kardashians?

Travel

     I feel awful for the poor souls snowed in at airports during the holidays. I can't imagine what that must be like. I don't fly anymore, but I remember the frenzy of racing through the terminals after a delayed flight to make the next connection, losing my luggage, and being sandwiched in-between two men the size of sumo wrestlers on the plane. There is nothing worse than crawling over a complete stranger's lap to get to the bathroom before your bowels burst.

     Long road trips aren't much better. Icy roads, traffic jams, impatient drivers and five hour trips that turn into twenty-four hour trips....this is the reason antianxiety pills were invented.


     Hopefully my grinchy little heart will grow three sizes larger before Christmas and I'll be humming to the rap version of Silent Night while shopping for gifts. But if someone sends me a fruit cake, all bets are off.



***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? Last week I was featured on Purple Clover with a new version of my couples' colonoscopy story. Check out my story, "Two Royal Pains In The Ass" here: http://www.purpleclover.com/health/5622-two-royal-pains-ass/





 

61 comments:

  1. This cracked my up Marcia. I don't think you need much convincing but just in case I refer you to one of my early blog posts about why people like you should winter in Maine: http://www.shallowreflections.com/6-humungous-reasons-to-winter-in-maine/
    Also, one of my favorite gifts to give for the work gift exchange is a chocolate voodoo doll. I have one confession though. I really like fruitcake.

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  2. I feel you about the shopping. I took the day off today to get it done and this is what I'm doing instead! I don't want to go out there! I'm putting up my decorations today too so very much looking forward to the end of this day already!

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    1. I'm exhausted just thinking about it all.

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  3. Maybe we should all boycott the holidays, because it sounds like we all feel the same way? Who's idea was it anyway? Lol. I have one to add: no weddings allowed during the holidays. If you decide to be so selfish as to plan your wedding during the most expensive, busiest travel time of the year(not to mention unpredictable weather in the Northeast) you better elope! That is an open letter to my brother. End rant.

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    1. I would DIE if I had to go to a wedding during December. That is NUTS. Way too stressful to do that. Yeah, they need to elope.

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  4. So many truths here - too many to count in fact! I am totally with you on hating Secret Santa and work Christmas parties. My new workplace doesn't do them and when I found that out I was doing the little secret happy dance in the corner!

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  5. Yes yes YES!!! Seriously spot on. Christmas can be so obnoxious!! Lol

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    1. Christmas should only be on leap years...

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  6. Love the list! Maybe you could cut the sleeves out of your ugly sweater and turn it into an ugly sweater vest??? Could be a little cooler...
    Thanks for this.

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  7. Sometimes I think the only time I'm not grinchy is during the holidays :-)
    It really is a blessing for me to be Jewish and just feel absolutely no pressure during this time of year

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    1. You're lucky! My friend is a Jehovah's Witness and she doesn't have to do ANY holidays.

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  8. I absolutely hear you. I would have added the Elf on the Shelf, but this year we don´t have to do it anymore. I live in Florida too, but I dig the weather. :'D

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    1. I don't know how all these young moms keep up with the Elf On The Shelf craze....

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  9. Oh my, so I submitted a comment but I think it disappeared. I would add the Elf on the Shelf, except this year we don´t have to deal with it. Yay! I also live in Florida, but I dig the weather. :-D

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    1. Do you like the summer months? Too hot for me. I hate this 80 degrees stuff in December.

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  10. I think the holidays (the major ones where people gather anyway) should happen in the nice warm months of the summer! Winter holiday travel is tricky and can be such a stressor.

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    1. I'm lucky that all my family lives nearby now, so I no longer have to take those long road trips.

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  11. Ha ha! I actually like gift exchanges, when I CHOOSE to participate in them. I am participating in 5. I hate holiday parties too, and travelling and guests, I just want to stay home in my pj's and eat chocolate with my kids and watch movies without anyone judging lol! Started the present wrapping last night, sooo daunting!


    You should link this up at our linky party:

    http://www.raisingfairiesandknights.com/bloggersspotlight-1/

    TWO parties in one! One for blog posts and another for Pinterest Pins, all posts shared to our group Pinterest board.

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    1. Thanks for the invite! You already started your wrapping? YOU ARE MY HERO.

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  12. ahh wrapping presents is the worse!!!

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  13. A to the MEN Marcia! As I was reading your list, I kept nodding along and of course giggling too! I'm a classics girl and just don't like to gift wrap or get fat either. LOL I'm done with my shopping because I can't STAND to do it in December because I hate the crowds. Putting up decor is work and I hate it, but I do love when it's done and we can enjoy our festive home. I keep our decorations on limited supply so as not to have TOO much work on our hands in the putting up and taking down. :) I'm thrilled to find out that spouses are not invited to the three different work parties Derek has to go to. WOOT!

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    1. Ha-ha you lucked out on that one. I do like the way the decorations look once they're up---I'm just too lazy to do them :)

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  14. Being from Minnesota, I've had my share of shoveling snow. Occasionally, we'll have a brown Christmas here, but I admit it's much lovelier when it's a white Christmas. Wrapping gifts is my drudgery of the season. I usually pass that task to the hubby...he's actually better at it than me. Ho, Ho, Ho!

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    1. I can't imagine what the snow there must be look---so cold!! Hey, ask you Hubs if he can come wrap mine next!

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  15. Marcia, I am with you... especially those few fruit cakes going around and around... lol... stop...

    I have had wrapping marathons and pretty soon the last few gifts were barely wrapped... who needs that... hahaha


    I am totally skipping the ugly thong party, that is just too much for me to even think about... lmao..

    You are so on point with these, I am still trying to enjoy the holiday season this year xox <3

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    1. I'm just not feeling it this year, but I'm trying.....

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  16. All this and then the UNdecorating!

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  17. I once watched a program that reported fruit cakes, if buried in the ground, will last five thousand years. Why would anyone eat such a thing?

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    1. Gah!! That's awful. I know a few people who like them but geez they're disgusting!

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  18. Oh so funny and so true. Thanks for making me laugh.

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  19. I used to scratch my head when my mom would say "It's too many things at once - can't we spread all these things out throughout the year?" Now I'm right there with her. By New Year's Day I'm exhausted! Thx for the giggle and letting me know I'm not alone! :)

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    1. Thanks! I need to sleep 24 hours straight by the time New Year's Day arrives, ha-ha!

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  20. I was just talking to PurDude about how much I hate those Secret Santa things. He was home for Thanksgiving and his frat all chose names. Someone chose a name for him and texted him his assignment.
    I do have to admit that a lot of the shopping/wrapping thing gets easier now that my kids and niece and nephew are older. All I have to do is write a check and I've given them what they want most.So no long lines for me. Well, except at the liquor store, of course.

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    1. Gift cards have been a Godsend for me. The liquor store----well, that's one place that's worth waiting in line for.

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  21. OMG, marcia---you had me laughing and nodding my head through this whole piece. I don't like it when the local radio station begins playing non stop christmas music in November...how many times can hear the same songs before Dec 25th?

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    1. Right?? I actually heard some right after Halloween and I was like, "WHAAAA????"

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  22. Oooo....I'll bet there are a lot of ugly thongs year round up there...

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  23. What IS it about running into our neighbors (and exes) at the mall with no makeup on? I mean, I wait to do the holiday shopping too but ALWAYS run into somebody! Also I used to LOVE wrapping but now? Not so much. Maybe I'm more grinch-like than I knew.

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  24. It's a tough time of year----a lot of pressure on the parents. I get through it with spiked eggnog, ha-ha!

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  25. We have spent many a holiday driving on icy roads, usually late at night because we couldn't leave until after work. My best solution for people who hate wrapping is "gift bags". A little tissue paper and you are done:)

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    1. Great idea----and the bags are cheap at the dollar store, too!

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  26. The boss dressing up like Santa would be a bit creepy. I'm glad I've missed that at every work party thus far in my life. ;)

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    1. I kinda think all Santas are creepy.....

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  27. Preach it! I hate gift wrapping, and have stuck my husband with that job. Most of my shopping is taken care of by one doing 1 gift: puppy chow in mason jars, etc. Yes, everyone gets the same thing, but it's much easier for me. "I Get Fat" oh yes! Apparently, people forget what real salads are during these 5 weeks.

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    1. I see very few green vegetables during the holidays and way too much butter and sugar.

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  28. Hi Marcia, glad I'm not the only one who gets Grinchy this time of year...but because I'm Jewish, I don't have to worry about a lot of the things you mentioned! Merry Christmas to you and your family! Lots of peace, health, and happiness!

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    1. I swear, every year when Christmas comes around, I wish I was a Jehovah's witness so I wouldn't have to put up with the holiday madness.

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  29. You have a way with words that has left me laughing out loud. I feel for you on some of these. I love a change in seasons too. As for out of town guests, I don't see that really happening for me. I'm too far. :D I hope the holiday season gets better.

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    1. Thanks----I hope things get a little cheerier around here, too. And I hope you have a happy holiday season, Denise! xo

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  30. Really good to be here again Mama. Missed you like cooked food too. As usual you know how to get a good laugh out of me.

    I would love to be in 80 degrees at Christmas in good old London, sitting there in a vest and shorts including several cold glasses of vino, sweating like a pig. So enjoy Mama.

    Thank God I no longer celebrate Christmas the traditional way anymore. Just reading your post reminds me of how it use to be, but no more. I shall be relaxing and preparing myself to hear all the festive mishap stories after the events AND with a healthy bank account in January.

    Hope to visit again soon, have a wonderful festive season, and I don't want to see you on the BBC news being taken away in a van! ha ha ha .

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    1. Oh it's so good to hear from you, RPD! I hope all is going well for you. I miss you and your blog! Thank you for taking the time to stop by. Don't be a stranger, okay? You always know where to find me---and you have my email. :)

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  31. Tremendously funny post.
    Your mention of Secret Santas reminded me of a very staid/old-fashioned female work colleague, years ago, who received a pair of skimpy panties that sang 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' when they reached a certain temperature!! Also, don't forget to give me a shout when you find an 'ugly thong' party!
    Enjoy the festive season. Best wishes from the UK.

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    1. I will definitely think of you if I get invited to any ugly thong parties, my friend! But just remember, the men have to wear them, too!! :)

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