Christmastime is here. Bah humbug.
Nothing against baby Jesus, but this time of year makes me extra Scrooge-y. Sleigh bells are replaced by honking horns, Santa’s elves are put out of business by pushy salespeople and then there’s the 5,000-mile guilt trip you embark on to buy Christmas presents. It’s too much pressure.
Beyond the crowded malls, traffic congestion, yucky fruitcakes and manic last-minute shoppers, there are few other things that I don’t like about the holiday season.
Here are a few of my least favorite things.
I Detest School Plays
If you have a child or children in your life, chances are you’ve been invited to attend one of their Christmas plays. They’re awful. I told my niece that Auntie Ro will not be attending her play this year. I have been for the past six years and they never get better. They’re filled with kids who look like they’re reciting Christmas songs under duress. Except there’s no duress. They’re always telling you to ‘sit back and relax’ and they’re always loud. Even with a microphone.
My sister and I always end up arguing because she wants me to root for my niece, but I told her, if her child doesn’t perform well I’m not clapping for her, family or not.
Weeks before the play, my niece practices like one of the dancers at Prince Akeem’s wedding in Coming to America. She does flips, head tosses, cartwheels, everything. And she has no problem telling me who can’t dance in her class and who doesn’t know the words to the song.
But, the minute she gets on stage on opening night, she freezes. It’s embarrassing. My family starts clapping to try to encourage her. “You can do it, baby. Come on, baby.” Meantime, I’m throwing up my hands at the teacher like, “where’s the hook? Pull her ass off that stage!” Then, I pretend that another little girl who is giving a great performance is really my niece.
Silly Holiday Greetings Annoy Me
Compliments Of The Season. If you see me in the street this holiday season please resist the urge to give this tired, worn out greeting. I saw you in the bank in November. You looked me right in my face and didn’t speak to me. Now, you wanna be air kissing and giving me compliments. Stop it. A simple ‘hey, girl’ will suffice. And don’t wrap Happy New Year into your compliments. One holiday at a time. You don’t see me out in these streets saying Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Easter! You see how ridiculous that sounds? One holiday at a time.
The Snow Attire. Seventy-degree weather does not warrant fur boots and puffer jackets. I repeat, 70-degree weather does not warrant fur boots and puffer jackets.
The Santa Clause – Secret Santa Sucks
Early in my career I took part in my very first work Secret Santa. You know the ones. Everyone in the office agrees on a budget – a minimum you spend then you pick a name from a bag and go on your way searching for a gift. The minimum was $50. I picked one of my male coworker’s name. All year he kept hinting that he wanted a watch and he was consistent. So, when I picked his name, I knew exactly what to get, even though it cost more than the budget.
Meantime, I had hoped that two people in particular had gotten my name because I’d heard they were famous for buying good gifts. When the day came for the Secret Santas to reveal themselves, I gave my coworker his gift. He was over the moon. As everyone started ripping through their gifts I noticed that the two people I was hoping had picked my name had turned out to be Secret Santas for other people. When everyone was done, I stood there empty-handed.
Hey, Where’s My Gift?
My boss at the time took one look at me and immediately asked who had my name. That’s when she (name withheld) stepped forward. She handed me my gift with the biggest grin on her face. Now, all eyes were on me. Everyone wanted to see what I got. The present was heavy and in the seconds I took to tear through the gift I started envisioning what it could be. I opened the gift and slowly pulled out two ugly blue Santa Claus mugs. Cost of said mugs? $1. How do I know? I spotted them in a store known as Price Busters a week earlier while shopping for toothpaste. I laughed at those mugs not knowing that I would soon be the recipient of them.
I asked her if this was a joke. It wasn’t. People started laughing. I turned to this young woman and said, “you got these from Price Busters. Two for $1.” This was in the days before VAT, so this chick straight saved $49. She admitted she did, but said she thought they were good gifts because I drank a lot of coffee. In my mind, I killed her and buried her in a shallow grave in South Beach with a Santa mug in each hand. In reality, I put the mugs back in the box and handed them to her. Long story short, my boss pulled her into a quick meeting and made her get me a gift card. These days, I write a list of things I want before entering into a non-binding Secret Santa clause.
I’m Officially The Grinch
I Is Give. The first time I heard bells ringing in Harbour Bay, I thought Santa was on his way. Turns out, those were volunteers working with the red kettles. I give consistently through the year, so I don’t feel I should have to just because it’s Christmas. But, those volunteers are ruthless. When I come out of stores they scan my hand for money and if I pass them without donating the bells ring a little differently. I then find myself volunteering lies and telling them I just donated to their coworker down the street. Why am I lying? This isn’t very Christmas-y.
Anyway, I want to take this time to wish all of my wonderful readers a Merry Christmas. You all have given me the greatest gift this year. It always warms my heart to open my email and read your comments or share a quick joke. I feel like I know each and every one of you personally. You mean so much to me. I mean that.
Compliments to the season and Happy New Year. (I said y’all can’t say it to me. Lol)