Scandalous Holiday Season Confessions
You know it’s the holiday season when a certain local radio station—the call letters rhyme with NOSI—busts out sleighbell-laden songs. ‘Tis the season to deck the rooftops with partridges. I love Thanksgiving, Christmas, and any holiday that falls during this time of year. If Administrative Assistants Day fell during November and December, I’d totally get an Administrative Assistants Coffee Mug Tree and string it with paper clips. I’d sing carols like, “Carol of the Tasteful Ringtones.” I guess I’m in a partying mood at the end of each year.
However, there are certain norms and rules regarding this time of year. Sometimes, I fear I’m doing the holidays wrong. Or, I get irritated by some of the traditions and only begrudgingly celebrate. Here are my holiday confessions:
1. I love getting adorable family photo greeting cards, but what do I do with them? It’s no longer the default to receive those newsy letters, especially if you are already keeping in touch via social media. Consequently, most of the holiday cards we receive are family photos surrounded by clip art graphics and cute fonts. I love these creations. What should I do with them? Our refrigerator is where advertising magnets live. There are also numerous crinkled and stained recipes, a few souvenir magnets, and beaded chocolate syrup trails. If I put your holiday photo on our refrigerator, your tween son will have a gravy beard by Valentine’s Day. I don’t have a cool way to display photo cards, so they end up propped on knick-knacks. You smile at me from my computer desk. Then you disappear and I find you in June, dusty. You smile with your carefully-chosen sweater on. I feel guilty.
2. Eggnog is disgusting. It’s like drinking melted ice cream plus phlegm. Whenever I say this, eggnog lovers violently retort I do not know what GOOD eggnog is like. The good stuff. Wink wink wink. If I have to put bourbon or whiskey or Johnson and Johnson’s rubbing alcohol in a drink to make it tolerable, it’s not for me. One of my children called it “egg donk” once, so that’s what I call it, too. I purchase it for my family. I’ve even smiled while my husband made homemade egg donk. I will not partake. More for you!
3. That song from “The Sound of Music” has nothing to do with Christmas. Stop foisting it on us, NOSI. I suspect the only reason one hears “My Favorite Things” repeatedly this time of year is because of the line regarding snowflakes on noses and eyelashes. Just because a song mentions snow it’s now a Christmas song? Or maybe it’s the line about brown paper packages tied up with string? There’s nothing especially festive about wrapping stuff in King Soopers bags. I do that to my kids’ math books. I don’t sing about them.
4. Certain flavors are overused. I’m looking at you, gingerbread, pumpkin, and peppermint. I adore each of these flavors and admit I’ve joined the red cup club already this year. However, I’m beginning to suspect certain bakers and food innovators believe if you add gingerbread, pumpkin, or peppermint to any given food, it’s Holidayfied and I’ll want to eat or bake it. I could start a food blog that adapts tried and true recipes for random foods. Let’s say fried chicken. All I’d have to do is add a teaspoon of peppermint extract to the egg wash and women would be pinning it like a prom at a Carnation corsage nursery.
5. I secretly feel deeply sorry for the entire southern hemisphere. I can’t imagine a holiday spent without snow, cold, frost, sleigh bells, Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Part of what makes it all so very merry is being hunkered around fires in sweaters with mugs of peppermint cocoa and egg donk. Do southern hemisphere people sing about sand between their toes? Does Santa drive a surf board? If there happen to be any southern hemisphere people reading this, please tell me how you celebrate. Maybe I’ll stop feeling a bit sad for you as you dodge the invigorating sensation of having your boogies freeze whilst caroling.
6. Real trees are better than fake. We had a fake tree for a few years. We were poor recent college grads with a young baby, so not only was our tree fake, it was second-hand. The previous owner was a heavy smoker. Our little apartment smelled like a casino. Finally, we had enough of wishing our tree away. We got a real tree and haven’t looked back. I grew up with real trees. I appreciate their imperfection. I adore the smell of pine, the bend of the bows, and even the allergic reaction rash I get when a needle scratches me just so. Charming! There is a hidden danger of the real tree, however. If it were ever used as a squirrel pit stop, you will be sad and you will tear down your tree on December 26th with a glare and an eye on clearance fake trees at big box stores. Don’t do it. Real is real.
7. The handsome rumble of a UPS truck makes me dizzy. Some women go on and on and on about the drivers of UPS trucks. Not me. I’m more interested in the trucks. This time of year, I can hear when the UPS truck turns onto my street. I sprint to the front window like a dog anticipating his owner’s return. I watch. Will it stop in front of my house? If it does, my day is made. If it stops next door, I secretly worry the driver is delivering something meant for my house to my neighbor by mistake. I have to suppress the urge to go outside and smile expectantly, hinting with my eyes to double check. But nothing is worse than expecting a package and seeing the UPS truck fly by your house like it’s trying to take off into the wild blue yonder like an F-16. STOP, I shriek. I imagine chasing it down and running it off the road in a friendly but authoritative manner, flashing some sort of badge, and searching the boxes until I find my order of replacement wooden railroad track.