From early October, when the stores start setting out their Christmas decorations, to the week after New Year’s Day, it’s everything Christmas. It drives me nuts. I hate Christmas. It stresses me out like no other holiday. When I see Christmas trees set up at a store, I have an overwhelming urge to knock them all down and watch them fall one by one like dominoes, the sound of ornaments smashing on the floor.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a total scrooge. It’s not that I don’t like to get people gifts. Christmas has become very commercial and I know I’m even guilty of spoiling my children on this holiday. Watching them, especially the younger ones who still believe in Santa, open their gifts on Christmas morning, brings joy to my heart. But in truth, that is about the only thing I remotely like about this season.
I despise the songs. Every time one comes on the radio, I immediately go to change the station. But of course, my kids put up such a fuss to leave it. So I sit in agony until it’s finally over. My husband loves to find the one station that plays them continuously just torment me.
Decorations. I hate them. My husband insists on the tree going up the day after Thanksgiving. By the time Christmas rolls around, I am so sick of it taking up space, trying to keep the kids and dog from the ornaments. The kids fighting over who gets to turn on which lighted decoration, who gets to plug in the tree. It makes me want to pull my hair out. I’m beyond ready to pack it away for another year.
When my husband says let’s drive around and look at Christmas lights it takes every fiber of my being not to yell no. Why would you want to leave our nice warm house, sit in a van with a bunch of kids and look at houses that their electric bill shot up 5 times for the month? (And of course he insists on listening to Christmas songs as we do this, so it’s a double whammy.)
And all the freaking movies. November 1st, that’s all everyone talks about. All the mushy love stories make me want to upchuck my Christmas cookies. The funny ones, I don’t mind watching once, but of course, the kids insist on watching them over and over and over. I have to pack them away with the rest of the Christmas crap or they’d watch them all year round. Almost 2 months is too long for me.
Then we have the stupid tradition of making cut out cookies. Everyone fights over who gets to crack the egg, add the sugar, who gets to sprinkle the flour on the table. Seriously, is there anything they won’t fight about? And never thought I was a control freak until I had a bunch of little hands cutting out different shapes haphazardly all over the flattened out dough instead of putting them close to each other so I wouldn’t have constantly roll it out. But I hold my cool, and we get them all cut out with the kids looking like ghosts and an inch of flour covering the floor. Then we have even more fun (insert eye roll here) with the decorating. Everyone wants certain shapes with a specific frosting color and they proceed to dump three-fourths of the container of sprinkles per cookie. As I try to keep up with frosting the cookies, monitor sprinkle usage, I try to remind myself of the song by Trace Adkins, You’re Going to Miss This. Though I can’t imagine missing my floor looking like a sprinkle factory.
After having to buy the many gifts, let’s not forget about having to wrap all of them. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if all the toys came in nice rectangular boxes. But nope, they are odd-shaped, open on two corners, making the damn thing nearly impossible to wrap all pretty like. Not that the kids care. It takes them 2.2 seconds to unwrap what took us hours upon hours and a bottle of wine to wrap.
But then, of course, everyone wants everything opened at once until it looks like Santa’s toy shop blew up in our living room. Finally, I sit back and drink my coffee before it gets cold–again. After every toy is played with for a whole two minutes each, we hear “I’m bored.” Seriously? There’s $300 worth of toys scattered about and you’re flipping bored?! You have to be freaking kidding me!
As we enter this holiday season, I will continue to hide my disdain and try to remember to take deep breaths. Buying a few extra bottles of wine might help too.
BA Eubank is a mother of five children and a psychotic dog. She has lost herself to the demands of family but is slowly finding her way back to reality and her love of writing. You may follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/writerpoetdreamer/