If you ask me, the holiday season starts with the arrival of fall. I pull out the pumpkin decorations, but out some Mums and buy a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. The Holiday Season has begun. While I look forward to it, I dread it just the same. When I was a kid I don’t remember the holidays sucking this much. As with most things, the experiences of childhood lose their luster as you age. Since I love lists, here is my list of why I have a Love/Hate relationship with the Holiday Season.
I love a good Pumpkin Spiced Latte as much as the next person but when McDonald’s offers one, I draw the line. Seriously, coffee in general gives me the trots. I’m willing to spend $5 for a cup of coffee from Starbucks and get the trots because at least it tasted good going in but McDonald’s. Seriously?? I’ll pass. Then about two months in, I get tired of walking in everyone’s houses smelling some mixture of pumpkin and fruit. One smelled so bad, I swear it was Pumpkin vomit. The smell that comes after having one too many Pumpkin Spiced Martinis. Don’t ever make the mistake of putting a Pumpkin Spice candle in your bathroom, it doesn’t mask a thing, it just adds another level of flavor to the stench.
I love Fall festivals, Christmas festivals and light shows as much as the next person. The kids like to pick apples in the fall and get a tree at Christmas. What I don’t like? Driving for 30 minutes to get to an outdoor light show, wait in line for another hour to just get into the damn thing and then have all the kids be knocked out by the time you actually can drive through to see the damn lights. Best 40 bucks I ever wasted. The Hubby and I enjoyed the lights but we did it for the kids and they never saw a one. As you would expect they all woke up as soon as we drove out the exit and had to turn around to see the Have a Wonderful Holiday sign.
I have to do a lot of shopping in a very small amount of time. First, we have two birthdays. The girls both celebrate their birthday one right before Halloween and the other one, the week before Thanksgiving. So not only do I have to plan two birthdays in advance, because good luck finding anything that isn’t Holiday related around that time, but I have to plan Halloween and Thanksgiving. So needless to say, from October to March we’re broke because after Christmas it’s the Hubby’s birthday, V-Day and our Anniversary. BLAH! What were we thinking? Shopping for five kids for Christmas is bad enough but I found a solution, Amazon. Thank the Lord in Heaven for Amazon. Thank HIM for creating the man who created Amazon. Thank HIM for all the people that work at Amazon. I get all my shopping done, shipped to me and gift wrapped on Cyber Monday. Woo Friggin’ Hoo. (Amazon didn’t pay for that shout out, I just love Amazon)
I LOVE Christmas music. I’m the person who sings it all year long. I even listen to a specific radio station during the Holidays because they play Christmas music from Thanksgiving until the day after Christmas. Now, I will admit and I will never live this down, I even get tired of it. I used to have an inside joke with a friend that the Holiday Season didn’t officially start until we heard this horrible Christmas song playing somewhere.
To this day, we still call each other when we hear it playing and wish each other a Happy Holiday.
I enjoy decorating. I’m almost obsessive about it. I have to be the first to put out my decorations in the neighborhood or I’m not happy. Then as other people decorate my house becomes like Rose Red and just grows and grows to Griswold proportions. As old age has set in, my desire to decorate has decreased starting with Halloween. I went from suspending very large and lighted spiders from the roof of my house to just throwing some $1 cling ons on the front windows and saying, “there Ya go, Happy Halloween”. It’s not that I’m lazy. I still go all out for Christmas. I’m just too busy to care. The kids only really care about their costumes and candy, so why expend the energy, save it for Christmas.
I refuse to type the “W” word. It is the bane of my existence. I can’t wrap worth a damn, That’s why Amazon does it for me. Our first Christmas together, the Hubby and I made some drinks, sat down and started wrapping the gifts together. We were all excited about this day in advance of it. Sitting down in front of the tree, making Margaritas and wrapping gifts. In theory, wonderful! In execution, not so much. Imagine if you will, a slightly intoxicated person trying to wrap a present especially a person who can’t wrap worth a damn sober. The presents I wrapped looked like a hot mess. His were still all nice and pretty. Three quarters of the way through we got tired of wrapping and just said screw it and started using bags. It was still a nice memory, but I would never recommend it. Plus when everything is unwrapped, your house looks like this:
Don’t get me wrong, spending time with family is what the Holidays are all about. You never know when it’s going to be someone’s last. The Holiday’s give you the perfect excuse to just stop by and visit. I had a wild hair last year and decided to take the whole family up to Philly for Christmas. We had a good time but it was a lot of packing and a lot of planning. While I was happy to see everyone and spend that time with them, I kind of just wanted to be at home sitting around my tree watching A Christmas Story for the 1000thtime. Now, I’ve learned that one of the good things about having so many kids is that I can say no and use them as an excuse. It’s legit and no one ever questions it. At least until the kids are older and don’t require blankeys, sippy cups and a case of diapers to go somewhere, the relatives can come to me and I promise to make it up, when they are older.
I am always grateful, tremendously grateful that so many people love my kids and are very giving. My friends and family are very generous and we ALWAYS appreciate it. When it comes to toys, LAWD when it comes to toys, I feel like I need to have a Christmas registry. Last year, I had numerous relatives call me and say, “what are the boys into?” I would say, “they like Pirates.” Which was true enough, at the time the loved Jake and the Never Land Pirates. Christmas morning we had enough Pirate ships to put the Spanish Armada to shame. Normally, I would have returned them and used the gift card to get them something else later. This time I decided to keep them, thinking they could do a reenactment of the Anglo-Spanish War or play East India Company versus the Pirates. This year, I’m going to make a list instead of telling everyone the same thing.
I’m a foodie, I guess. I enjoy eating and trying new things, the kids not so much, the Hubby not so much. So when I cook up a great meal, I’m pretty much doing it for my own enjoyment. Every year, I take a great deal of time not only planning what I will make but how to get everything on the cheap. The reason for this is because I also have two birthdays and Christmas to budget for, for 7 people. So while doing what us mom’s do, keeping in mind what everyone hates to eat and what they like plus what I would like to try out, I plan Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners. I usually wind up disappointed by the end of the night. Nothing turns out right or no one was amazed. There were no oohhs or ahhhs. By the time the meal actually gets on the table, I’m not even hungry anymore because I’m too tired to eat.