That’s right, I said it. We’re all thinking it in the back of our minds so why not say it?
Thanksgiving was pretty much swallowed whole by Christmas. Even before we carved that turkey I got 687 emails about great deals on gifts for Cyber Monday and Black Friday. Not one of them was enough of a deal to make me sell a kidney or get my ass out of bed at 3am. $40 off on an iPad and I might have sold something but those don’t go on sale. And, I’m not going to get one anyway, even though it is all I really want in the whole wide world, though a Dyson or even a Kindle would make me happy too. No, if I want one of those I am going to have to buy it myself and that isn’t going to happen because I just finished paying off last Christmas.
Of course it isn’t about the gifts that I am not going to get. Christmas is about good will toward men and forgiveness and the birth of some baby, it’s not about the commercialism at all. I just wish someone would tell that to the stores, the media and my kids.
It’s only December 1st and for the last month two of my favorite radio stations have been playing non-stop Christmas music, I like myself a little Jingle Bells, but not before Thanksgiving. Even Billy Idol’s Jingle Bell Rock can be fun once in a while but no one, and I mean no one, needs to hear *NSYNC’s version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Give me some Bing Crosby, and even pair him up with David Bowie but please stop playing Celine Dion and that dreadful Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer. That one will stick in your head until the 4th of July.
It starts with Thanksgiving, you have all those leftovers. Pie, turkey, and mashed potatoes and then before you know it you are snarfing down Hershey’s Kisses like there is no tomorrow. You can’t stop with just one. As much as I would love to spend the entire holiday season in a state of drunkenness, just to make it more bearable, I can’t. I have kids, I sometimes have to drive them places and show up for school functions. Since I can’t drink my way through the holidays I eat instead. I eat things I wouldn’t normally eat any other time of the year. In fact I eat things I don’t even like that much but because it is the holiday and there is a tradition involved. I eat herring. I don’t even like herring but I eat it. I eat those little Russian Tea Cakes because it’s Christmas time. I’ve even been known to eat marzipan, just to see if I might like it now that I am an adult. I don’t, it still sucks. It used to be that the holiday eating season lasted from Thanksgiving to New Years but now it starts at Halloween and lasts through Valentine’s Day. That leaves us with only eight months to lose it all before it starts again. Which pretty much rules out any travel to warm places.
I don’t travel during the holidays. Hell, I don’t travel anywhere these days but if I were to go on some luxury holiday I’d have to get felt up at the airport first. As much as I am looking for some adult company I don’t really care for it by strangers, especially when they are getting paid and I am not. I’m really sick of all the news reports showing the lines at the airport, the stories of people who have been snowed in and are sleeping at the airport. You know what? I don’t care. They are going somewhere which means they are getting away from where ever they are at the moment. I don’t get away and if I did I’d probably have to bring my kids with me. Those people, the ones stuck in the airport with little kids, I do feel sorry for but the rest of the people can suck it. Its winter, it snows, airports have delays, get over it and suck it up. If you don’t want to sleep at the airport then take your holiday vacation in the summer.
What is about the holiday season that makes some people think you must reestablish cut ties? There is a reason we don’t get together the rest of the year, why spoil it by hanging out on Christmas or Christmas Eve? That’s right, we’re related. Thankfully I don’t have any in laws anymore and I don’t have to go to their house and force down over cooked roast beef, drink really cheap wine and then sing songs around the fake fireplace. I don’t have to act happy and excited when I open the third set of bath salts, squelching the impulse to tell them I don’t take baths, I’m a shower kind of girl. There is currently a commercial on TV for a book from the rehab center Passages. I can’t remember the title but the copy says something like “Buy my book and you can be sober for the holidays”. Why would anyone want to be sober for the holidays? If I have to spend time with my relatives you can bet I am going to have my buzz on.
The Ads on TV
The ads on TV probably cause more depression than all the other things about Christmas combined. Who gets a car for Christmas? Someone must be getting a car because they wouldn’t have these commercials suggesting such a thing if it didn’t work. I want to meet these people who get cars for Christmas and then I want them to set me up with their brother.
What about jewelry? The only jewelry I ever got for Christmas, besides the monogrammed stick pin my brother gave me when I was 10, was a bracelet from my first husband. The only reason I got that was because his original gift was an iron and that just didn’t fly. I’m not counting my macaroni bracelet and necklace sets because Jared doesn’t sell those. Next to the Mercedes for Christmas those have to be the most ridiculous Christmas ads ever. If I ever got a gift from Jared, and someone actually said “He went to Jared!” I think I throw it at him. Or the people who said “He went to Jared!” not sure who would be more annoying.
Why don’t we see ads for gifts for men? Aside from the Santa on the electric shaver I can’t think of any ads for men’s clothing or even power tools. Of course that might be because I am too busy throwing things at the TV during the car and Jared commercials that I just don’t notice them.
Gifts for the kids
Now that my son is older he is easy to buy for, he knows what he wants and he has a pretty good idea of the budget I am working with. The 7 year old daughter not so much. She has no concept of what these things cost and she isn’t the least interested in learning. She just wants it all. Granted, the items on her wish list are less expensive individually but she expects Santa to bring presents still and she doesn’t understand that the elves have gone on strike because Santa can’t afford the union dues anymore. Santa is bringing things like socks and underwear this year, crappy gifts that are practical and kill two birds with one stone. I feel bad because when I was a kid I did get the Barbie Townhouse and I would love to get her one except I would have to put it together, I would have to fix it when it broke and I would have to pay for it by taking out a second mortgage on my house.
I haven’t even thought about decorating yet. That’s not really true, last weekend I almost gathered the kids and dragged them to the tree farm but that was a passing thought and eventually it went away. It went away because I realized I would then have to drag out all the lights, ornaments and other Christmas decorations just so I could bitch for three hours while I put it all together. I have a hard time enjoying the lights and smell of the tree when I know I am just going to have to take it all down in a few weeks.
It seems to me the holiday depression is kicking in a little early this year. Usually I make it through at least one viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life before the blues kick me. I’m not ready to slit my wrists and I’m not going to skip Christmas but knowing I’m not getting that iPad, Dyson or Kindle makes slogging through the holiday season just a little harder each year. Thankfully, I have Kalua.