Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's officially the Christmas season. With all the music, lights, decorations, candy canes, fruitcake, eggnog, crowded stores and bell ringers. I can't stand any of it. I'd prefer to skip the entire season. Which of course isn't possible now that it starts before Halloween and doesn't end until President's Day, when your last, lazy neighbor finally takes down his annoying blinking lights that shine directly into your house. Although sometimes that's Groundhog Day, Easter or Flag Day, depending on your neighborhood and whether you have an HOA or not.
I used to conceal my aversion to this holiday when my kids were little. And I confess, it was kinda fun then. Lying and bribing them to be good for a total stranger who'd break into our house in the middle of the night to leave them presents. Plus, it got my kids to go to bed early at least one night out of the year and my husband and I could eat cookies on the couch, leaving crumbs everywhere, completely guilt free. It was our job, actually.
But, now that my kids are older and their dreams are dashed because reindeer can't really fly and they realize they'll never get that horse or motorcycle on their Christmas list, I'm done pretending. I'm done pretending Connie Francis doesn't sound like she's on Valium singing Baby's First Christmas. Seriously, no one with an infant sounds that serene. Not to start a rumor, but she had to be on drugs, there's no other explanation. Pretending that fruitcake isn't vile. I mean, it's all sweaty. As a general rule, food should not be sweaty. And who came up with drinking eggs? Eggnog is just disgusting. Even more disgusting if there's no actual rum in it.
I could go on about how much I hate Christmas, but I think you get the point. And I do have another point to make. I skip as much of Christmas as possible by taking my family on vacation and getting the hell out of the country each December. The timing is really because all my kids have off school for almost 3 weeks, but it also conveniently helps me avoid some of this dreaded holiday season. Mostly, decorating my house. I don't put up a tree that would require the dog sitter to water it and clean up the fallen pine needles. So I can pass it off as a selfless act of kindness. But, the truth is, I don't want to put up decorations only to come home from a long trip and have to take them down.
Which is why I was shocked when two of my kids pulled out the Christmas decorations and started putting them up over Thanksgiving break. "WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING?" Ok, maybe that was a bit harsh for the petty crime of decorating for Christmas, but still, what were they thinking? And my tirade didn't stop there. "Who's gonna put all of this away when we get home? Me, that's who!" After they called me Scrooge, they explained how they'd take care of everything. I've heard all this bullshit before. Replace Christmas decorations with taking care of the dogs, for example. Or really doing anything else in our house that doesn't get done without my constant nagging, which would be nothing.
I woke the next morning to find the Christmas lights were left on all night. Of course they were. "Why didn't you turn off the Christmas lights last night?" Oh, because they thought I was going to do that. Me, the one who thinks it's impractical to go to the trouble to put up lights for a holiday we're not going to be home for. I don't think so! I also don't think anyone is going to remember the solemn vow that they made to pack Christmas away neatly in its boxes the way they found them when we get back from our trip. In fact, I know they won't, because I'm psychic like that. You know what makes Christmas feel so magical? It's all the behind the scenes tirades that make the holiday actually happen.