Saturday, December 01, 2007

Bah, Humbug

'Tis the season, again. Already. And, I don't mind telling you that I really, really, really don't like it. It's the same, or worse, every year. People run around frantically, buying, buying, buying and getting stressed out because nothing ever seems to be enough. This present is kind of cheesy, you decide, so you go out in search of something to make up for it. When you buy that person another present, suddenly, there are several more to buy because heaven forbid one of the kids should get more presents than the others.

Maybe you like to brag, as I used to, that you finished all your shopping and wrapped everything before Thanksgiving. But, then what happens? You have a whole month or more to think about what you bought, and become dissatisfied with some of it. So, a few days before Christmas, or worse, on Christmas Eve, you hit the mall searching for just one more present for everybody.

In the meantime, you've decorated your home or spent even more money hiring someone to decorate it for you. By the time you or your decorator are through, the house is lit up like Las Vegas, and every bit as garish. Even so, somehow, it doesn't seem to be enough.

And, on to the feast. Somehow, you have to find time to bake pies and cookies. You know what everyone likes, so you make all their favorites. Somehow, some ingredient is always forgotten, so it's back to the grocery store, battling the hordes of people who are also looking for something forgotten.

Christmas Eve, at last, and you sink into your chair, satisfied that you have done everything humanly possible to make sure that everyone has a great time. Something nags at you. What have you forgotten? Maybe it's not very important, you hope. You get ready for bed, anticipating all those visions of sugarplums. You toss and turn for a while, too exhausted to sleep, and before you know it, it's Christmas morning and you roll out of bed, put on the coffee, and start cooking breakfast, and get the turkey/ham/roast beast ready for the oven.

By noon, the carefully decorated house resembles an explosion in a Christmas wrapping paper factory. Most of the presents sit opened under the tree, and everyone is sitting around looking shell-shocked. At this point, the orgy of excess and greed is over. After the Christmas feast, it's nap time - but not for you. You begin to gather up all the wrapping paper and stuff the dirty dishes into the dishwasher. Finally, you stagger to your chair for that long winter's nap that you didn't get last night.

Your New Year's Resolution: We'll pare back next year. No more wretched excess. Simplify, simplify, simplify. So, cheers and Happy New Year!

And, next Christmas will be even better.


grannymar said...

Why do we do it?

Jay said...

You seem a little cranky today. LOL ;-)

Karen said...

I agree that the holiday are commercialized and bring a huge amount of stress, but I still love them. LOL

Nancy said...


How right you are.

My son came Sunday and strung my "Fairy Icicle lights" around the windows of the enclosed porch.
AFTER he was finished he turned them on and only half worked. SO,
we ran to CVS and bought 3 boxes of new lights and put them up. Then we went to the basement and brought the small artificial tree up. When I got the box with the decorations in it I noticed a note to myself stapled to the front of the box.
It said " BUY NEW FAIRY LIGHTS IN 2007."
Why didn't I read that first???????

Kell said...

Of all the bah humbugers, that's the bah humbugiest. I think someone needs a little egg nogg (with a splash of Kahlua in it).

Betty said...

grannymar: It's a conditioned reflex. As soon as the Salvation Army bells start ringing, we start getting ansious.

Jay: Well, you know. 'Tis the season to be cranky. Falalalala-lalalala.

karen: I'm going to like them a lot more this year, as soon as I've finished my shopping, and decorating, and cooking, and......

nancy: I have lights around my windows, but the tree isn't up, yet.

kell: "Hum-buggiest???" I'd love some egg nog with Kahlua, thankew very much."

Sister--Three said...

Wow, this is how it really is in most families. I give each kid a little money and the same to their spouses. gifts go to the little grandgirls and that is it. NO DECORATIONS.
Oh, dear, I am a Christmas
poot...but I am not sucked in by all of it.

Betty said...

sister-three: I think it's just Christmas burn-out. After so many years, you just want to simplify.

liebowitz said...

When Christmas is over I'm totally ready to get things cleaned up and put away. Stripped back and dusted. But I can't get away from the holiday excess. Ever.

katy said...

for the past 3 years we have eaten out on christmas day, heaven, this year i am cooking but only for us 2 but easy enough! mmm hope so. i wrok in a grocery store so get so fed up at seeing the christmas goodies that i hardly buy any! oh must have chocolates though!

no nickname for me said...

I am not crazy about the holiday season! Neither am I crazy about shopping and I have the feeling the holiday season is starting earlier and earlier every year!

Claude from Blogging in Paris

Betty said...

Liebowitz: When Christmas is finally over, the decorations begin to feel oppressive to me, so I'm happy to take them down, too.

katy: Chocolate is good, anytime!

claude: I'm sure it started earlier this year.

Annie said...

Hi Betty,

On the other hand . . . those folks who have no one and nothing.

It does seem Christmas should be more about balance, less about the excess of too much or too little.

MarmiteToasty said...

Do you know, of late I aint gone down the craziness route, and as of yet, I aint even bought or made a single crimbo pressie LOL..... theres plenty of time, right?


patsy said...

i do not do the gift thing. you spend more than you have to buy something no one wants!

Betty said...

annie: I think you're right.

marmitetoasty: There's lots of time. We shouldn't need more than a week's preparation, should we?

patsy: You can say that again.