Oh, Lord. I missed a week.
I'm comforting myself with the knowledge that it was Thanksgiving week and I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. And you didn't really need me to post a "things I'm thankful for" blog, did you? I'm pretty sure most of my blogs already spill over with that a bit too much sometimes. So let's go for the opposite: things I hate about Christmas!
I have a long-standing history of being a bit of a Scrooge. Possibly slightly Grinchy. I mean, I've never set out to actually ruin Christmas, but I have been known to say "Bah, humbug!" and grumble about putting up a Christmas tree.
It's not Christmas itself. I don't mind Christmas, especially when it's actually the week of Christmas. It's the ever-expanding season of Christmas. It's the fact that Christmas decorations are on sale before Halloween. It's the fact that syrupy-sweet, overly vibratto-ed, drippingly sentimental Christmas music blasts inescapably from every store, restaurant, and radio station from the beginning of November on.
And it's the fact that I'm an introvert (this is getting to be a common theme, isn't it?). Which combines poorly with the fact that everyone wants to get together all the time (mainly my parents). And it's also the fact that we have over 40 Fish Eye Fun events in December.
Don't get me wrong: that's AMAZING and is absolutely not the problem. I'm so beyond excited that we're busy and popular and even forced to turn away business because we're booked up solid for at least four days this month!
The problem is that some people (take a guess) don't seem to get that I'm busy and socially a bit overwhelmed, and that I probably don't want to come over every week from now until Christmas. I may or may not have had a meltdown before Thanksgiving over all the social obligations that were suddenly presented to me, and may or may not have decided on my plan for surviving the holidays. I call it "Drinking Through December." What could possibly go wrong? (I've also decided that I get a gold star for every day in December that I don't stress cry.)
To be fair, this is the first year I can use the "I'm really busy" excuse as part of why I'm a Scrooge. Before this year, Christmas was much easier in that aspect. It was the dead-season at my old job. I had at least a week and a half off of work most years. But, I still grew to dread it.
Unintentionally or not, I felt overwhelming pressure from my ex to "compete" at Christmas presents. If I didn't get his as many or as big or as expensive of presents as he got me, or if his Christmas stocking wasn't as full as mine was, I heard about it. There would be hints about how much what he got me cost. Or casual remarks asking if there would be more for him under the tree by Christmas.
Right now? My biggest problem is keeping my presents a secret from Mark until Christmas actually gets here. We both have a terrible habit of buying each other things and just giving them to each other all year long. So by the time the holidays/birthdays/etc roll around, we tend to realize that we've already given each other everything we thought the other person would like. Whoops.
If I'm being honest (and apparently that's what I do now), I have to admit that I might be getting a bit less Scrooge-y in the past two years. I still hate all the things I complained about above. And I'm still panicked about getting everything done in time. My ongoing mantra is that I'll have time in January (which is probably a lie, sure, but it's my current lifeline to sanity, so just let me have my delusions.)
But the intensity of my dislike seems to be abating with time (so long as it's actually the month of December). Mark and I were running errands this week at stores where, of course, Christmas music was playing, and I didn't grumble and bitch about it. I might even admit that I danced a little too it, but let's not get crazy. And I want to go to the Garden Glow (though I contend that the Garden Glow is more of a winter festival than specifically Christmas - again, give me my delusions).
Also? I have a confession: I kindof want to put up a tree and am a little disappointed that I really don't have space for one. But don't tell anyone that, ok?