Guest Post: 7 Reasons The Holiday Season Sucks
If you’re feeling really festive, we mean really festive, then today’s guest post from Louise Tillotson probably isn’t the kind of thing you wanted to read over your lunch break. On the other hand, though, if you bat for Team Scrooge this is the kind of thing you’ll want to read and share and read and share and read and share… (repeat to fade).
I like Christmas as much as the next person. Provided that person is, in fact, Scrooge. Bah humbug and all that…
But honestly, I do enjoy the festive period to an extent. The act of going out in the cold, wrapped up warmly, spending my hard-earned savings on things I don’t have to find space for in my already cluttered home is, to me, one of the joys of Christmas.
When you’re a grown-up, Christmas does kind of lose its appeal. But when you have kids of your own and see it through their eyes, it seems magical all over again.
Sadly, what those little eyes don’t see are the niggly little annoyances that now seem to ruin the season just that little bit more each year. I’m talking about…
1. Christmas Cards. Every year we send flimsy bits of cardboard with awful pictures on them to people we never see or speak to throughout the year. And every year we get flimsy bits of cardboard with awful pictures on them given to us which we then have to display in our homes in case the giver happens to drop by. Which is unlikely seeing as we haven’t seen or spoken to them all year…
2. The Weather. Do a Google image search for ‘Christmas’ and you immediately get thousands of pictures containing snow-covered cottages, trees festooned with lights, and jolly-looking snowmen made out of the purest white snow. Now look out of your window. See the grey slush laying forlornly in the gutter, the crumpled lump of grey and yellow matter with a single carrot poking out at an odd angle, the few dimly lit bulbs hanging on for dear life to a wilting bush…Doesn’t the sight just fill your heart with winter joy? No, I didn’t think so.
3. Strange Bearded Men. I am of course referring to Santa Claus, Father Christmas or whatever you call him in your family. There’s just something vaguely creepy about taking your beloved little one to sit on the knee of a strange man and confide in him all their secret wishes for the season. Or more realistically; start to cry hysterically, scream for mummy and wet themselves.
4. Cold Food. Maybe it was just the way my mother cooked it, but I always think of Christmas dinner as being a lot of cold stuff covered with thick gravy. There’s obviously an art to getting four types of vegetable, three types of potato, turkey and stuffing to the same hot temperature at the same time…and my mother never mastered it. Our turkey dinners always consisted of freezing cold meat, red hot gravy and tepid everything else. Which probably wouldn’t be so bad but the turkey is always far too large and you end up having it with every meal for a week afterwards.
5. Mandatory Alcohol. And when I say alcohol I don’t mean the tasty stuff that you’d choose to drink if you were at the pub. I’m talking about stuff like Babycham, the “wine” parents buy when they want to get their offspring amusingly drunk; and Advocaat, which looks like runny custard and smells like it’s been drunk already. And woe betide you if you don’t want to drink – you’ll have a glass of this cheap plonk out of a box and damn well enjoy it!
6. Decorations. I don’t mind what people have inside their homes, as I don’t have to look at it. I’m talking about the stuff people decorate the outside of their homes with. As far as I can tell, there are two rules every outside decorator thinks they must obey: the lights must be the brightest you can find, and if they don’t flash and/or cause a hazardous distraction to drivers, you’ve not used enough. For preference, you should also create your own Nativity/Farm/North Pole with brightly lit animal structures too, for that added tackiness.
7. Presents. Last but not least, we come to the gifts. Your granny is probably delegated to trot out the old adage “giving is better than receiving” but honestly, I think it’s true. Only by not receiving gifts can we avoid having to pretend to love the hideous pair of socks a lazy uncle has bought you, or the bath salts which you just know will make you smell like the inside of a pensioner’s handbag. There’s only so long you can wear a fake smile and feign delightedness so as not to offend your well-meaning but utterly clueless relatives.