There are some things I don't like about Christmas. I'll start with those, then I'll move on to the things I love about it.
- I hate the shopping hoopla that starts about the day after Labor Day. I can't stand going into stores that have displays of Christmas shit out that early.
- I don't like shopping much at all. It's too much pressure to spend a lot of money on something the person you are gifting may put right in the thrift store box.
- I hate Christmas cards that come with only a name. Seriously? Not even a hand-written phrase, like "Hope you aren't in jail again this year!"
- I hate those giant blow-up things people fill their yards with. They are terrifying at night and they look like a collapsed circus tent during the day. I wouldn't want to be around if one of those blew up.
- I hate that people ask (for weeks...and I must admit I am guilty of this myself), "Did you have a nice Christmas?" Is this like the question, "Is it cold enough for you?" Rhetorical?
- I do not love Mannheim Steamroller and big productions like that.
- I hate loud Christmas carols on the phone when they put you on hold. Give me a break. I think the clinic in Mankato is trying to drum up business for their audiologist.
- I can't abide country western (new) Christmas songs. Gawd, stick to back roads and girls that leave you at the tavern.
- Some Christmas letters. Things to not write about in a Christmas letter: hemorrhoid surgery, amputation, jail or prison, scholarships to Big Ten Universities, the A honor roll, a new Range Rover that cost more than my house, constipation problems...you get the picture.
- I know this will be an unpopular view but I think Christmas as a holiday, for most people, has been completely separated from what it meant originally. So, I think people with those religious views should keep them to their own homes and churches and let the rest of us go about without being subjected to all of that. This thought occurred to me when I was at the high school and I saw the diversity of kids in the hallways. What do think of this religious holiday completely over-taking a week of the school year?
Things I love about Christmas.
- I love the food. We have a few traditional things like mashed potatoes and Keith's warm fruit salad, but otherwise I feel free to be reckless with the menu. One year I made roasted root vegetables. They were not a big hit.
- There were three things I had to have this year: a box of chocolates, Chex mix, and Schmidt's summer sausage! Score on all three! Trifecta!
- I love Santa. I didn't see one to have my picture taken with him this year and I'm disappointed in that. Next year, I'll work harder.
- I love goofy holiday hats and have quite a collection of Santa hats, reindeer antlers, snowman hats, and even a Christmas skirt for Woodrow.
- I love some Christmas music like the old Perry Como and Dean Martin classics. And soft instrumentals. And blues Christmas songs even though some of them are so forlorn you could cry yourself to sleep.
- I love Christmas movies. I have (I think) every Scrooge movie ever made and like to watch them in order. I love the old Grinch and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
- I love funny Christmas letters. Linda and Allen Whitaker are the champs almost every year. Perfect pitch of funny and newsy and humble.
- I love lefse. For some reason, it seems reserved for Thanksgiving and Christmas which is a pity. A friend of mine in Norway tells me that they use lefse to wrap hot dogs instead of buns. That would make a hot dog only slightly more appealing to me.
- I love the family get-togethers. This year, we had lots of eat and drink, we went for a walk, the kids played with new toys, we took a group photo, and we didn't even make a very big mess. It was a hoot of a time.
- I love holiday smells: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger. I love molasses cookies which is why I don't make them. Even putting them in the freezer won't slow me down. There is nothing like a frozen molasses cookies with your coffee in the morning!
Alrighty...I was afraid I would end up with more on the cranky list than the happy list. Even up, I'd say. Hope yours was restful and rejuvenating.