This isn’t a surprise, right? If you’re a loyal reader of O+U, I’m guessing you figured Christmas wasn’t my holiday. You probably already thought, “That Erika has got to be the Scrooge of the group.” You’d be right. I will say that I do enjoy it more now that I have children. Only a smidge more, but that smidge makes me more human. So here’s what I really hate about the holiday. I’m sure some of you do these things and that’s totally fine with me. I won’t hold it against you. I’ve been surrounded by Holiday Fanatics from they day I was yanked out of my mother. My mother breathes so much Christmas Cheer that I think her body refused to pass it along. Every year, while wearing one of her fifty Christmas sweaters, she berates me “HOW can you hate Christmas?!” Easy. Here it is: the things that irritate me about Christmas. And so I don’t sound completely bitchy or Scroogey, I’ll put some Holiday Cheer in each category.
I hate how every single year, people bitch about it being commercial It’s like all of a sudden, Corporations used their fangs to suck all the tradition out of the holiday. The first Christmas I really remember was almost thirty years ago. And it seemed pretty commercial then too. People bitch about decorations prior to Halloween. People bitch about spending too much. People talk about how Christmas is filling landfills. We get it! At Christmas people spend a ton of money. 90% of it is probably not necessary. I hate when people refuse to buy gift cards because they’re so impersonal. You know what’s impersonal? A fuzzy Elmo-style sweater for a woman in her mid-thirties. Stop bitching, folks. It is what it is. Don’t celebrate that way. Take back your gifts if you want. Get off your holly decorated soap box and celebrate exactly the way you’d like. Pros: I love a good gift. I don’t need a thousand. Even at 36, it’s fun to rip open packages. I love an excellent gift certificate. Nothing says, “I love you” more than “Here. Get what you really need!”
Christmas music. Oh fucking christmas music… One or two songs, I’m good. Makes me feel like a kid. But listening to an entire station of Christmas music makes me want to punch a baby in the face. Hey Singers, let me save you some time… Don’t aim to write a new classic Christmas song. That sleigh has flown. Just because you say, “snow” and slaps a few bells in the chorus, won’t make it worth your time in the studio. I can almost guarantee that I won’t be listening to Justin Beiber’s “auto-tuned” Christmas song when the Old-Folks’ Home is decorating my tree. When I drool, it will be to Elvis. If you’re going to play Christmas music, stick to the classics and keep it to a minimum. Please. Or keep your babies away from me. Pros: If you play these, I’ll sip my drink and dance around your tree!
White Christmas: The Drifters
Blue Christmas: Elvis
12 Pains of Christmas: Bob Rivers
Mele Kalikimaka: Bing Crosby
I hate the Elf on the Shelf crap. I’m sorry. I know this just stung a few of you. Yes, there are some really creative people out there rocking the Elf thing. But part of me thinks it’s way more fun and work for the parents to create these little scenes. And that’s why I can’t do it. I just can’t. Because by day Five, I’d be fresh out of ideas. And then it’d get inappropriate. Day six would find him pinned down by a slew of green army men. And on day seven, my little Elf would be face down with a bottle of Jack while a Ke$ha-looking Barbie is draped over his lap. That’s not kid appropriate and that’s how we’d want to roll with the Elf on the Shelf. So why stifle our creativity? Pros: I got nothing…
Hallmark Christmas movies are awful. Can we all agree? Every year, some D-list actress plays the role of a recently dumped woman. She can’t deal with the fact that she’s single during the holidays. Her spunky BFF, who’s probably married and has three kids, tells her to buck up. Our sad lady, goes to the store in her pj’s and zit cream for the last-minute wrapping paper and runs smack into a man named Chris. Chris is buying gifts for the entire orphanage down the street. Only in Hallmark movies there’s orphanages on every corner. He sees how sad our heroine is and convince her to be his Mrs. Claus just for one night. You know the rest. Pros: Here are the only Christmas movies that should be aired.
Charlie Brown’s Chrismas
And yes, Love Actually (I’m a sucker for this one)
Holiday decorations belong on the tree not your car. Or your head. Or your clothing. Those car reindeer antlers make me want to side-swipe your car while I’m doing 70 mph. If you’re wearing a Santa hat or headband antlers, you’d better be taking pictures for the mall Santa. Or work in a pediatrician’s office/daycare/school. That beautiful Christmas sweater shouldn’t make noise or flash. It’s not right, people. Once my Mom got us Christmas socks. She thought it was so cool that they also played music. I forgot. Lovely when you cross your legs during the Biology test and the whole class is listening to Jingle Bells. And she wonders why I’m not in love with Christmas. Pros: I do love when a person ironically wears a gaudy Christmas sweater. Their confidence rocks the holiday.
Eggnog. Come on people… It’s gross. Don’t make me say this. Please. Fine. I will. In my head, eggnog reminds me of Man-goo. There. I said it. I don’t care how much alcohol you mix in, I can’t drink it. It’s thick, creamy and has a weird smell. Last year, I made an entire batch by hand because everything is better when it’s homemade. Guess what? Not eggnog. It reminded of a very very special man-goo load. Pros: The more other people drink, the more fun they are.
You love Christmas? Fly your holiday flag! Play Mariah’s Christmas song and dance around your non-commercial Holiday tree! Let your Elf on the Shelf surprise your babies every single day. Photograph it and I’ll follow along. Make some popcorn and watch Holly fall in love with Chris and his 12 adopted kids. Pour some eggnog and slurp it right in my face. I might gag all over you or giggle like a teenager. I won’t reindeer poo-poo on your holiday cheer, but don’t expect my levels to be just as high. I’m a subtle holiday celebrator.