Ahhh, Christmas. It really is a wonderful concept – peace on earth, goodwill to men – but sadly ruined in the execution. Spreading joy to the world is all fine and dandy, but it is the season when traffic is at its most horrendous, shoppers are at their rudest, and you feign all these cheers and wishes to people you’d rather push off a cliff. I am a Grinch this year.
Mrs. McCluskey, who lives across from me, puts up her bright red and green lights with this massive peek-a-booing Santa on her front lawn while I still have giant spiders and skeletons hanging from my balcony. It’s not that I have procrastinated putting down my Halloween decor. The woman is way too eager to start her Yuletide season! It’s a bizarre sight to witness when you drive down my street.
I look at Mrs. McCluskey’s decked out house as a warning of what’s to come. Christmas, I find, has become a holiday of obligation. It is run by guilt and duty. Expectations are high, tempers run hot, and budgets get thin. You have to give to people and children you have not been in contact with for years just because eons ago you were baselessly anointed godmother to their offspring.
And while everyone insists it’s the thought that counts, the sad fact is nobody wants to receive another bloody re-gifted box of chocolates from the drug store.
It has become ridiculous, really, this business of gift giving. Last year, a family member gave us back a $150 coat we gave her for Christmas. She asked for us to write her a cheque instead for the exact amount to purchase a $350 coat that she would rather have. I do not care how close her blood ties are to my own family. That’s just fucking rude.
See? My issues are not groundless.
I do not discount those with the truest of intentions, though. They are usually the ones who give handwritten cards with personalized wishes, or small inexpensive gifts that make you feel like you were a great friend the whole year. (Not to be pompous, but I am the best when it comes to friendship, and I demand no gifts from anybody.)
So, if you will excuse me, I need to put up my fake tree and hang my fake garlands all over my porch and front door while I simulate cheer and joy for the sake of my 2 children. They just started to count down the days until they receive their gifts from the biggest hoax this season has to offer (however benevolent it may be) that is Santa Claus.
Ho ho friggin’ ho.