It may not seem obvious, but if you really think about it, the holiday season is a lot like getting your period. There’s guaranteed bloating. Headaches. Mood swings. Let us not forget that red theme.
Getting your period on Christmas? A little bit like blowing your brains out and then having to clean up the mess yourself.
Face it, Christmas is for children. By children, I mean anyone young enough to believe that a fat, hairy stranger invading a house in the middle of the night and everything working out fine is actually a possibility. For the rest of us, it’s a tangle of massive proportions, disguised as a good time, cloaked in booze.
By “good time”, I mean agony. By “booze”, I mean “and plenty of it.”
At the risk of disappointing my kind, I hate malls. Therefore, I don’t like to shop. Even worse than being in a mall, is standing in a long line in a mall, sweating because I forgot to leave my coat in the car and being unable to take it off because my arms are filled with stuff nobody really needs, that I am about to spend the next six months paying off.
To be honest, I don’t do very much shopping. I buy for a handful of adults, and I actually put a little thought into what would make them happy before heading out to shop. If I do find myself without a plan, I find a non-mall specialty shop and wander around until something jumps off a shelf and yells, “That’s perfect for (insert name here)!” I buy it and I don’t think twice about whether it’s perfect. I always go with my gut when it comes to gift decisions.
One thing I try never to do is go to a mall without knowing the precise GPS coordinates of the item(s) needed. I’m in, and I’m out. People crossing in front of me abruptly, stopping to read their “lists” in the middle of a walking aisle is not one of my favorite things. In my mind, minimizing the risk of me biting my own tongue in half is what Christmas is all about.
Every Christmas, I also try not to throw-up when talking to grown-ups (and I use the term loosely) who insist that they still “believe” in Santa. These people love to say, “You gotta believe!” as they explain the ridiculous lengths they go to in order to keep their kids, well into their teens, believing in Santa. These are the same people who tell co-workers “Today is my birthday!” when they’re 46.
The day my nine-year old son looked me in the eye and asked me that all-important question was the happiest day of my life.
“Mom, are you Santa?”
“Well, yes, son; I am Santa and I have worked my ASS off for the last nine years trying to make you believe I’m not. I’m also the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy and frankly, I am exhausted.”
I mean, whom are we kidding? A jolly man with a bundle of presents flying through the sky with eight tiny reindeer, giving out presents to good children? Totally implausible. Everyone knows there are no good kids (except for mine, of course…).
I haven’t even mentioned family gatherings. I’m not going to start now.
My dog loves Christmas. At this years’ Special Dinner, something just for the six of us, we had grilled t-bones. The kids all had steaks that hung over the sides of their plates, and a steak knife. For every bite that reached their mouths, a hunk of beef careened onto the floor as they taught themselves the finer points of sawing their dinner into bite-sized chunks. Forget Pavlov’s dinner bell. When my dog sees steak knives come out of the drawer, he begins salivating. The same dog also ate an entire plate of homemade cookies given to me by someone who actually knows how to bake, and six pieces of fudge. He couldn’t eat the white chocolate covered pretzel sticks that some nice person without taste buds bestowed upon us; he had to scarf the cookies. If only there had been a little more fudge on that plate…
Gifts. This season, I only received things I really wanted, which means there are a lot of good listeners out there. I got a book I really wanted, wine, gourmet foodstuffs, gift certificates to restaurants I love, a candle, a blender, a bracelet and many lovely gifts from my children.
What else does a girl need? Quite a bit, actually, in the form of the various things I’ve bought for myself: a back support pillow on clearance, a short, hot, black pencil skirt on clearance, a wireless printer on clearance…is there a theme developing? Yes! I spend almost as much time purchasing things for myself each December as I do for others, all because I’m prowling the retail jungles more this month than all the other months of the year combined. It’s a simple matter of percentages, I explained to my husband, knowing he’d understand the numbers game. The more you go to the mall, the more chance there is of finding a screaming deal that technically, would be irresponsible to pass up. The more you spend, the more you save…everybody knows that!
Not to worry, I did pass on some things: people hawking stuff at the kiosks that dot the center of the mall. Valet parking outside Nordstrom. Nordstrom. The food court. Sobriety.
Christmas 2010: That’s a wrap! (Pun intended.)