Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Drag

I have this love/hate relationship with the holidays.

I used to work in retail, so I have always blamed my BAH Humbug attitude on that, as if working retail has ruined Christmas forever.

I just hate the forced merriment. The we-have-to-get-together-and-like-it attitude. If I’m not going to go out of my way to see you during the year, then why the heck would I do it at the holidays?

The first Christmas that DH and I were married, I forced him to take me home to Vancouver for Christmas. We had a rare twelve inches of snow and we were driving a Honda CRX. Prior to moving to Utah, I had a grand total of four White Christmases (two of them were spent in Michigan). For anyone who doesn’t already know, the Pacific Northwest is not equipped for snow. First of all, there is a lot of humidity. That means ice. The snow doesn’t stick around for long because of the temperature and the rain. That means slush and flooding and more ice. Since snow is such a rarity, we only have the one plow. Also - hills. Right before we got to the border, we spun around on the highway a couple of times when we hit a particularly bad patch of ice. When we finally got to my neighbourhood (my street is a hill, by the way) we ended up plowing the road with our car. Our arrival was a surprise, so when I walked in the house screeching and moaning about the weather, I was in the living room before anyone realized it was me and not my sister making all that racket. That was the best part of the holiday. The trip home was even worse. We were stopped in Snoqualmie pass while they blasted for avalanches. Ice formed on the inside of the windows. The highway further south was closed down due to high winds, so we ended up in a Motel 6 on the border of Washington and Oregon and I had to miss an extra day of work. Utah and Idaho had no snow whatsoever. I have never been so happy to see dry roads in my life. “Never again!” saith DH. I couldn’t have agreed more.

I’m all for not travelling on the holidays, but for me that means no family. I guess that gets me out of the forced merriment, but I like my family a little bit and I haven’t seen them in four years and that bums me out.

I also hate the stress. Having children has made it worse, because you have to make it great and memorable for them. Hearing all the I-want-this and I-need-that scrooges me right the heck out. Christmas is supposed to be about the birth of Christ, not presents. I feel like a bad mother for not teaching them better. When I get stressed, I tend to bury my head in the sand and put things off which stresses me out more to the point that I’m doing my Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve. When I was single, I just made that my holiday tradition. It was fun then, but having that Christmas list going on repeat in the back of my head all season makes for a very grumpy rantgirl.

I always find that once I am done with Christmas shopping, I magically get the Christmas Spirit, which is why I always try to get it done before Thanksgiving. I always fail, but I’m done dragging myself down for not getting everything done. I haven’t even started yet, but at least I’ve written my list and checked it twice, so I will be done soon.

Until then, BAH HUMBUG!!

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