First World Problems: Christmas

Thank God Christmas is over, amiright?! Sayonara, worst holiday ever!

I was persuaded to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation for the first time this year. The build-up for it was pretty intense; I was told it would be the exception to ALL of the Xmas movies I despise – that it was hilarious and would fill me with yuletide joy. Then again, I was told this by people who don’t know my true hatred of Christmas, and they had never witnessed one of my sentimental breakdowns before. I’m sure, by the end of the film, they thought watching it with my irrational ass was the biggest mistake they had made all year because I bawled through the whole thing. From the holiday stress, to the missing (and eventually – as predicted – non-existent) bonus cheque, to the mooching relatives, to the parents who told their kids Santa doesn’t exist because they couldn’t afford presents, to the dead cat, to the grandma with dementia, to the child who was sad about living in a van, to the fire, to the squirrel that destroyed their house — I could go on with depressing examples from this movie all day — I don’t know how ANYONE thinks this movie is a knee slapper. It pretty much flat out made me want to kill myself. All Griswald wanted was a good Christmas, and to do right by his family, and he got shafted at every turn. It was horrible.

So… I’ll never watch THAT again.

Other things on my “not going to do next Christmas” list include not setting foot in a store (I did really well and finished my Xmas shopping early this year, but I think I can improve even more next year by making 99% of my holiday purchases online), and not pretending I’m going to do anything fancy like the book advent calendar I was yammering on about last year. My 2015 Christmas theme will be “keep it (even more) simple.” I did pretty well sticking to my 2014 Christmas Plan – I think I can stick to this one, especially considering it requires me to do basically nothing.

EXCEPT! Except I do have one plan that requires a bit of work for next year, and it is this: I am going to take every toy out of the box, put batteries into it, and wrap it in a cloth sack weeks in advance of putting it under the tree. There is nothing more frustrating than wading through wrapping paper Christmas morning and tearing through a million layers of cardboard, zip ties, twist ties, strings, elastics and whateverthehellelse toy manufacturers use to glue their frigging merchandise to its original packaging, particularly when you’re half asleep and your kids are whining that their toys didn’t come with batteries. Plus, my neighbourhood has a one garbage can per week limit and a funky recycling schedule around the holidays (and this year, Xmas and New Years happened to fall on collection days). There is no way I will be rid of all of my Christmas refuse until well into February if we don’t make a trip to the dump. So eff that. I’m going to get that garbage out early next year, stock up on all necessary batteries, and do my best to eliminate any and all garbage between December 25th and January 1st. It will suck, but it will be worth it, unlike Christmas itself, which just kind of sucks until it’s over and we can ring in the New Year.

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