Christmas 2014 – It’s finally over!

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I can’t be the only one who is glad Christmas is over, right? I mean, statistically that’s impossible, isn’t it? Somewhere, someone who isn’t homeless and hasn’t just lost their job or suffered some other terrible loss has to be a little glad it’s over, right?

Yesterday was Christmas Day and I was thinking a lot about why I was glad the holiday season was over. See, I don’t really count New Year’s Eve as a holiday because I come from a long tradition of people who never did anything on New Year’s Eve and I married a man who came from the same tradition, so it’s just really a turn of the calendar for us.

Anyway, back to my Christmas story- so to speak. I never start out dreading it. Just the opposite really. Thanksgiving rolls around and I start seeing Christmas decorations and planning parties and looking forward to hanging lights outside. But by the middle of December, I’m ready to just be done with it.

It just gets to be too much! After spending hours trying to really dissect these feelings I think that’s it in a nutshell–it just gets to be too much.

Too much- decorating- I’m really a minimalist by nature. I love open windows, open floor plans, open space. And during Christmas all of that goes away. Every thing I see is blinking, shining, glowing, red or green, covered in fake snow or glitter. Stop!!! It’s making me seasick.

Too much – eating- Christmas cookies, Christmas cake, Christmas candy, eating out, pot luck…the list goes on and on. No one who knows me will ever believe that I don’t love to eat…I do! But it almost seems like at Christmas you are forced to eat more. You are supposed to indulge at Christmas – I get that and I also am so grateful most of us have those opportunities, but have you ever noticed how you get offered food during Christmas? It’s almost challenging…”I made my double rich fudge for you for Christmas or I whipped up 3 pounds of heavy as lead 6 cheese dip–eat it! It’s Christmas!”

Too much – tradition- Every family has their own traditions on Christmas, so far be it from me to be critical, but it’s my post—so brace yourself. I get tired of hearing how people suffer(and suffer they do) for these time honored traditions. Some of my favorites are, “It’s a tradition in my family to….cook a huge meal, spending hours in the kitchen for everyone to eat in all of 15 minutes and then we spend the rest of the day cleaning it up. It’s a tradition in my family to …wait for hours for Cousin Jim or Uncle Bob to arrive and then pontificate about whatever for all hours about subjects no one is interested in. It’s a tradition in my family to…open one gift of Christmas Eve or always give Aunt Lulu a magazine subscription or freeze our tails off at the Christmas parade when no one wants to go anyway.” Give it a rest! How about go out to eat, tell Uncle Bob to pipe down, let them pick out 3 presents to open, give Aunt Lulu a massage gift card and skip the parade! Yes, I hear you…it’s tradition!

Too much – church- I hope I don’t cause too much controversy with this one. Disclaimer – I love my church, both of my children serve there and we tithe and attend almost every weekend. Some of my good friends are clergy and I have no problem with them reading this post. Here is the thing, it’s just too much for me sometimes. Christmas programs, Christmas bell concerts, Christmas Youth Group ornament making, Christmas Eve Children’s service, Midnight Mass, Christmas morning sunrise service…that’s a lot of church. For me the Christmas Eve services are the worst! Everyone is dressed to the nines, including myself, which can make for a lot of being uncomfortable and it seems kind of silly in a way–are we trying to impress God? But remember, it’s tradition. Then we are all packed in like nicely dressed sardines with people we have never seen before and will never see again. “Excuse me, would you mind if we saved this pew and the next one? We have another 9 members of our family coming late and they plan on crawling all over you after the service starts because they just can’t seem to get here on time. Oh, and the kids only go to church on Christmas and Easter, so they are going to talk and whine the whole time. Could you just jam yourself in the corner there? Thank you! Merry Christmas!”

Too much – giving- here we go! It’s too much stuff, people! We don’t have the same lifestyles as we had even 30 years ago when you only got stuff at Christmas or on your birthday. We buy stuff all year long. We don’t even have to leave our homes to buy stuff. We point and click and then seconds later we hear a whirring sound and an unmanned drone leaves the stuff on our doorstep. But at Christmas we show up at those stores like foaming, rabid dogs. And the companies know it! “This is the most popular doll, video game or pair of shoes in American today…how about we only make half the amount then they can get up early, hunt them down like wild game and jack up the price? Great idea! Added bonus..lots of people will get stressed out over a doll, video game or shoes and some will even cry! Merry Christmas!” Am I saying no presents? Of course not, but enough already! No one needs that much stuff. Would they love you less if you got them only two things instead of twenty?

Too much – FACEBOOK! STOP! Stop posting Holiday Greetings and asking me to like it! I like it! I like it! I must have liked 900 so far this week alone. Stop posting before and after pictures of your house after you opened the presents. “See before it was all pretty with the pretty presents and bows…now look! Everyone is asleep all over the floors and sofas and it looks like a pack of wolves tore up my house. Merry Christmas!” Am I supposed to be impressed that you bought stuff or wrapped it then unwrapped it and you will have to clean it up? Do you think I am sitting here envious or pining? “Awww, I wish my life was a meaningless as theirs. Look, they’re all lying around in torn paper. Man, they are so cool.” I would like to note that I did a quick survey of Facebook and several of my friends have not posted anything like this. Thank God for you!!!

Ahhh, I feel better. I needed to Grinch out a little and thank you for indulging me.

I am grateful to have made it one more year on this funny little blue spinning marble. I’m grateful you did too.

Raise a glass to yourself.

“God, bless us, everyone.” C. Dickens

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