Wednesday, December 7, 2011

5 Things to Hate About The Holidays

This is NOT my favorite time of year.

There, I said it. I'm a big ole Grinch when it comes to the holidays. It's not that I have a heart 3 sizes too small (or maybe I do).

I actually LIKE the concepts of the holiday season -- families getting together, gift giving, celebrating the old and new. However, what actually HAPPENS during the holiday season, I don't much like.

BIG DIFFERENCE between concept and reality. At least my perception of it. So here then are
5 Things I Hate About the Holidays:

  1. The weather -- I realize this doesn't apply to everyone, but in my little corner of NorCal the weather during December and January is generally miserable. It's cold, rainy and dreary. Okay, not cold enough that there's six feet of snow on the ground, or even much frost. But the temperature at 2 PM is usually only five or 6 degrees higher than it is at 2 AM. And if it isn't raining, it's foggy. We can go for over a week with the sun never really peeking through the clouds or fog bank. UGH!
  2. Crowds and Traffic -- Because really, those two are the same, too many people and too many people in their cars. No matter where you go: grocery store, gas station, the mall (shudder) you fight a crowd and wait in long lines. Plus, nobody compensates for that bad weather I just mentioned. Cars go barreling down wet or fog enshrouded roads like it was a perfect sunny day. Every time I drive somewhere, I narrowly escape being involved in an accident. Every night, I get to hear on the news about the people who weren't as lucky.
  3. The music --I like the wonderful old holiday tunes as much as the next person. But by the 19th time I've heard a song, most of it's charm has worn off. This year, I first heard Christmas carols on Halloween, so this started happening... Oh along about Nov. 2nd! And why is it that every year, they seem to single out a new ditty to totally destroy any possible enjoyment by playing it incessantly? One year it was Feliz Navidad. The next it was that horrid joke song (that I didn't find the least bit funy) Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. A year or two ago, one of my favorites Carol of the Bells was played to the point that I was ripping out my hair within the first few notes! ENOUGH ALREADY!
  4. Spending too much money AND time on gifts -- Everywhere I look, I'm being urged to BUY BUY BUY! Life just won't be the same if I don't buy all the latest and greatest toys, clothes, electronic gadgets. My dearly beloved is suppose to buy me a bunch of diamond jewelry (which I wouldn't wear even if he did) and I'm suppose to buy him a CAR! Um, no. I fell into the buying trap once. It was the first year I was a single mom and I felt so guilty that I ran out and bought everyone I knew lots of gifts. Of course, I had no money, so I charged them, and was still paying for them six months later! Never again. Plus, almost everyone I know (myself included!) already has everything they need and want. I really am a firm believer in "it's the thought that counts." I'd much rather have a tin of homemade cookies than any other gift.
  5. Forced Holiday Cheer -- People who would not normally spit on me if my hair was on fire (and it's mutual) feel obliged to wish me "happy holidays." And I'm expected to do the same. Granted, this was a lot worse when I worked in an office, but the expectations have not changed. Everyone is suppose to be in happy and love their fellow man (women, children, small furry animals) and not let all the stress of the holiday season show. Sorry, but that is SOOO NOT HAPPENING! Reality is that stress is worse this time of year, probably due in no small part to reasons #1, 2, 3 and 4. Sorry, but I have no intention of "faking it" with my holiday greetings. So if I do say, "Happy Holidays!" to you, rest assured that I really and truly mean it. And if I don't, just chalk it up to the fact that I'm a Grinch and have at least 5 good reasons for hating the holiday.
So please tell me I'm not the only ole Grinch here! Is there something that really bugs you about the holiday? Dare I hope you even HATE something about the holidays?

Please share a rant with Aunty!


Rosemary Gunn said...

This year I'm actually feeling an odd sort of calm regarding the holidays. (Not sure when, but this will probably kick me in the head at some point.) I have definitely felt a Grinchiness in the past though and understand exactly what you're talking about. With that being said, I wish you a very happy holiday season!

Jennifer Tanner said...

I love the traditions of the holiday. Decorating the house, baking and doing the big dinner.

I don't like the commercialization of the holidays. Come and enjoy the door buster savings and the possibility of getting trampled by people who care more about getting a discounted Xbox than helping someone who's been shoved to the floor.

I don't like that some stores have their employees working til midnight on Christmas Eve. That drives me nuts. Everyone should be entitled to enjoy their holiday and on the flip much crap does one need and is it worth going into debt for?

Anna said...

I LOVE the holiday season--that said, I think the spirit of goodwill has pretty much been sucked out of the month of December. So I understand your "Grinch-ness" .

I'll be sure to remember that hint about cookies, tho. Means I can mark a gift off my list for NEXT year. So...dare I say, happy holidays, Aunt Cindy!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Rosemary,
I haven't gone into my full-blown Grinch mode yet (Yes, I'm afraid I do get worse!), mainly because we've had beautiful weather for the past week. I'm also ardently AVOIDING the stores and TV.

So as of today, 2 1/2 weeks BEFORE Christmas, I can wholeheartedly wish you and yours a VERY HAPPY HOLIDAY season. ;-)


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Here Here, Jen!

That's why the DH and I prefer to travel rather than buy gifts.

I've never liked to decorate. Just don't have a knack for it. ANd I'll happily consume any big meal or baked item you'd like to pass my way! :-)


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Anna!

I did like that cute lil light-up snowman you gave me. Never seen one like it! THANX! But cookies... YUM! And I'd definitely welcome some of your rocky road fudge too. Just sayin'... ;-)

And as I said to Rosemary, I'm only in semi-Grinch mode so far so please DO say it: HAPPY HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and yours!


Tory M said...

I'm pretty anti-holiday too, though with kids it's hard to be, esp. now that the boy's five and a half. I just hate the constant "I want, I want, I want" I hear.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Tory!
I know it's a real challenge to make the holidays meaningful with little ones. Like Jen said, the commercialization is really awful.

I remember driving all over town one holiday when my son was around 5 1/2 looking for Transformers! SHEESH! Those things have been around a loong time. ;-)

Hope you and your family have a GREAT Holiday (and you know I mean it)!


Patricia said...

Hello Grinch! I don't like the crowds and general feeling of caustrophobia whenever I'm in a store of any kind and waiting in long lines to buy one can of chopped green chilis, but . . . I do love most everything else.

What I don't like about the entire month of December is all the anticipation, decorating, baking, wrapping, unwrapping, cleaning up, and it seems like it's all over the blink of an eye. What takes forever to build, takes only a few minutes to tear down.

I wish we could prolong the enjoyment as much as we prolong the anticipate of the big day.

So that's my grinch moment! Not much I know, but for the first 20 years of my life I didn't celebrate - anything - so I celebrate everything now in a big way. Earth Day - I celebrate. Arbor day - I celebrate. Yom Kipur - I celebrate. I'm making up for lost time!

Come on now, Aunty Cindy - let's see that holiday smile!

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schmidt

Kristina Mathews said...

I am right there with you. I especially hate the endless supply of office parties where everyone brings a gift suitable for anyone. So there is absolutely no thought or personalization involved. White elephant gifts are fine if you know everyone well enough that you can be sure everyone would absolutely love a snuggy or bottle of booze, but the worst are when it's a work thing and you're the new employee.

And the commercials where they bastardize the lyrics. Don't even get me started.

Kathleen O said...

You are feeling like a lot of people Aunty Cindy, and I am one of them.. I am truly trying to get into the spirit this year, but Christmas is changing for us this year, as it has in the last few years. I am trying to go with the flow, but I really would like to just be left alone. But I know my family will not have a good time, if they know I am at home alone... See we lost our mother this year, our dad almost 6 yrs now and then my sister in law lost her mother the week before our mother passed. So Christmas for a lot of us is changing. My youngest brother is the only one who has young children and my oldest brother's wife is not used to any kids at Christmas as she and her siblings never had any, but for us there has always been kids at Christmas.

We will see what happens.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I AM smiling, Patricia.

I know, I know it looks like a grimace (coz I just watched that commercial with the wife getting her hubby a car -- GRRR!), but it is really a smile. Trust me! ;-)

You didn't celebrate ANYTHING for 20 years?!?! No wonder you wanna make up for lost time (not to mention 20 years worth of presents). GO FOR IT!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Oh Kristi,
I know EXACTLY what you mean about those office parties and gift exchanges. UGH! ALWAYS hated those. Plus, as a state employee, we were not allowed to give liquor of any kind. BUMMER!I was always wracking my brain for what to give and never got anything useful or that I really liked. :-P SO GLAD I don't have to do that any more.

And I'm happy someone else is SICK of commercials that change lyrics to fit their products. There oughta be a law...


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

OH Kathleen,
So sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. We lost a couple of very near and dear people this year too, and that makes the holidays just a little more difficult. :-(

Good for you on trying to "go with the flow." I think I'll try the same thing. I hope the kiddies bring you a few smiles at Christmas.


Suzanne Lilly said...

I used to love Black Friday until people started dying in stampedes for $2 toasters and such. Now I prefer to stay home and enjoy family and food. I also have a confession...I love Christmas music! I could listen to it all year round!