I was at Costco earlier today. Now I am drinking.
They have Christmas trees festooned with sparkly lights, reams of wrapping paper and boxes of dingle balls for sale in their stores.
It is August.
Clearly their marketing department is a den of evil geniuses. Their plot is brilliant if you think about it. Now, months ahead of time, we are thinking about Christmas purchases before we even close the pool. I am already panicking about Christmas because of all the pressure and work and thankless tasks involved in putting on a family “holiday.”
Why is it my job to make Christmas happy for everybody else? Screw that… I have a new plan… an evil plan… to make the holidays great for me.
Here’s a handy list of things you can do to elevate your Evil Genius status to Master Level:
1. Start leaving hints for gifts in your husband’s underwear drawer. Make sure the notes are written in crayon using small words so there is no question about what should be under the tree for you. Print “Dolce and Gabbana” carefully so you don’t end up with a Dusty Cabanna instead.
2. Make sure the kids start getting the message that there is in fact no Santa, and that Mommy has no cash. Lowering their expectations makes for a nice peaceful Christmas morning, as long as the children weep quietly. This allows you to buy more chocolate and wine for yourself.
3. When the kids are outside playing with friends in the early fall, start your car and make a big show of running over the elf on the shelf in the driveway. Once they have seen you roll over that mischievous little fuck ten times, they will know how misbehaving little turds are dealt with at your house.
4. Photoshop some counterfeit airline tickets with the names of you, your spouse and the kids on them. Make sure the tickets clearly show a departure date of December 23rd to some faraway destination. Email copies to your in-laws and let them know how sad you are that they can’t come spend their usual three weeks at your house for their Christmas visit. Tell them they can however send their gifts ahead of time and maybe you will make a ham for Easter.
5. Stockpile the treats you like to keep for yourself during the holidays, then wrap them in boxes with gift tags made out to you. Write with your opposite hand so you can convincingly credit them as gifts from co-workers, or the mailman or whatever. Just for you… no sharesies.
6. Put out notes to your girlfriends, neighbours and school mom PTA over-achievers to tell them you have already got four dozen carefully crafted home-baked artisan cookies in the freezer before September 1st. Do it in a breezy tone to show just how much of an effortless rock star you are. They will feel inferior to your domestic perfection and start baking their asses off. Then, on December 1st throw a “cookie exchange” party. Buy a dozen cookies from Safeway and spread them out over the trading plates. Voila… 17 cookie varieties made by people trying to be better than you.
7. Call way ahead to a local caterer and order a complete turkey dinner with all the fixings to be delivered at a specific date and time. Send your family out to do something fun, and take the delivery through the back door. Load it all into cookware, spray your hair and face with coconut water or some shit and look exhausted. Then, when they have all gorged themselves, make like a full-on guilt terrorist and they will fall over themselves to do the dishes. You: put up your feet and eat one of your treat stashes.
8. And finally, take all the lame-ass gifts you got all year and pop them in jaunty bags with sparkly ribbon, then Google “sincere wishes that make people feel good” and copy them out onto handmade cards. And by handmade, I mean the ones they sell at the craft store that look home-made. Oh, and try not to do this drunk so you can make sure the messages are Christmas appropriate and not condolences for dead relatives. Then, over the holidays, bring the little bags out as hostess gifts to people who invite you over to feed your family. Make sure you track who gave you that 14th set of wine charms so you aren’t “regiftigating” it back to the same person who gave it to you. (Regiftigating is like regurgitating, but more tasteless).
It won’t take much of your time to put this plan into action. If you get it right, you can look forward to putting up your feet and enjoying the adulation of your spouse and children. (Just don’t answer the phone because your in-laws think you are in Bora Bora, remember?)
Happy Costco to you!