Sunday, December 17, 2017

Ho Ho Ho and a Bit of Humbug

Happy Holidays....I think.

Terry Shames here, writing about what I love about the holidays and what drives me crazy. Short answer: everything does both.

I heard an interesting factoid a few days ago. Before Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol, only the “lower classes” celebrated Christmas--with gifts and good cheer. The “upper classes” pretty much ignored it. I’d love to know more about that subject, but it seems to be the perfect metaphor for the oddities of the holidays. “Class” aside, some people go “all out,” others barely bother. Some people decorate and have parties, others go about their business.


That said, it’s the trappings of the holidays that I have a love-hate relationship with:

I love eggnog and fruitcake….except that I struggle with my weight, always have. So indulging either of these comes with a healthy dose of guilt.

I love the smell of Christmas trees….except that I’m allergic to them, so if I bring one inside it means weepy eyes and runny nose.

I love Christmas music…except when it starts November 1. By the time Christmas rolls around, I’m sick of most of it. Not the old carols. I don’t mind that. But how many times do you have to hear “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” before murderous thoughts arise?

I actually like giving presents to people…except that I’m always nervous that I chose something that isn’t good enough—not thoughtful enough, or unique or….whatever it is that would make it perfect. Neither my husband nor my son likes getting presents. It makes them nervous. Maybe because they don’t like giving them either. Go figure! From the time my son was old enough to talk, he hated surprises, and only began to enjoy gift occasions when I told him exactly what he was going to get and how the gifts would be wrapped. From then on he could deal with it.

There is one thing I truly dislike at this time of year--the phony “war on Christmas” hype. It is the essence of fake news—and the less said about that the better.

I love getting people’s holiday letters. Yes, I read them, look at the pictures, and am happy to know what they are up to. No, I’ve never written a holiday letter.

I love holiday parties—for about thirty minutes. Then I’m ready to go home. What I like most about them is getting dressed. I’m a writer. I usually wear funky clothes. So it’s fun to dress up. But when I stand up too long, my feet hurt. My most fun at a party is if I get into a conversation with someone I don’t usually see much of and we sit down and talk. But that’s rare. Usually people are standing around talking about God-knows-what, and I’m not good at small talk.

I don’t like sappy Christmas movies. Except for Love, Actually. That was pretty good, but I see no reason to watch it again.

And finally, I like New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. But not New Year’s Eve parties. I like staying at home, or maybe having friends over for dinner. I like to be home well before midnight.

What I most about the holidays is making New Year’s resolutions. I like to think about last year’s resolutions and contemplate new ones. It seems like a fresh start. So, in the spirit of fresh starts, Happy Holidays, everyone. Whatever you celebrate and however you celebrate—or if you celebrate—I hope it’s exactly what you want it to be.


EA said...

Hi Terry! I love the holidays too, but they go on a bit long. I'm really enjoying the decorations this year, more than ever before, for some reason. Perhaps it's because I appreciate how much work goes into them. Wishing you and your family a special one.

EA said...

I should have signed my name. Sorry about that.
Elaine Ash