Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Short List Of Things That Induce Humbuggery And Their Antidotes

It's officially the Christmas season? Did you notice? Way back in October? It feels more and more like the Christmas season is a marathon rather than a sprint. I try really hard to enjoy the season and not to give in to negative feelings about worldliness and commercialism, but sometimes, even with my Pollyanna alter-ego screaming "HAPPY THOUGHTS!" in my head, I still fall into a Scrooge-like frame of mind that makes me want to say 'Bah! Humbug!'.

In no particular order, a short list of things that make me humbuggy:

Hearing Christmas carols before Thanksgiving. I like my holidays like I like my boobs. Firmly separated--the uniboob isn't a good look for anybody.  And running holidays together is like having a uniboob on the calendar. Or something like that. Whatever. You know what I mean. One holiday at a time, please! Humbug!

And while I'm speaking of Christmas carols, once we are past Thanksgiving and the stamp of approval has been given for the aural free-for-all of carols heard everywhere around the clock, nothing will cause me an irrational flash of holiday rage like hearing my least favorite carol in the history of ever: The Little Drummer Boy. There's so much about this "carol" that I dislike that I can't even list everything. Humbug!

Something else that makes me want to crawl in a hole and wait for January: The Elf on a Shelf. Now, I understand how this little guy makes some people happy. In fact, when we first received him, I thought "how fun!" But that was before I was subjected to my subconscious awakening me in the middle of the night with a mental forehead slap because I forgot to move that damn elf. Then I would have to drag my bleary-eyed self downstairs before the younger children to make sure that the elf had "traveled" during the night. This was bad enough. But through the magic of the interwebs, I caught wind of some overachieving parents whose elves allegedly cause mischief in the night. I was seeing elves making "snow angels" in flour on the countertops, elves using a hanger as a zipline from the Christmas tree, an elf and a Barbie sipping syrup straight out of the bottle through straws like they were on some demented date, elves replacing the stockings hung by the chimney with care with dirty socks or underwear. Folks, I'm pretty sure that I have enough messes on my countertops because I am apparently the only one who knows how to wipe them down. So I'm supposed to fling four on my counter so that the elf can roll around in it? Nope. Nope. Nope-itty-nope-nope. And I've mentioned here before my childrens' fondness for taking their dirty socks off and leaving them where they fall. Who needs an elf for that?! I can't be certain, but I think the Elf on the Shelf makes the Baby Jesus cry. Humbug!

And finally, on this very ranty list: I hate having to do the majority of holiday preparation by myself. I do most of the shopping, all of the wrapping, organize the putting up and taking down of holiday decorations, and I bake and cook enough food to feed several families. Granted, my beloved works hard and travels a lot, making it hard for him to pitch in. Also, he wraps gifts like a drunken three-fingered gnome, (and that's being generous to him and disparaging to drunken three-fingered gnomes.) so other than whatever he buys for me, he is granted dispensation from wrapping duties. Okay, maybe "hate" is too strong a word, but it's only December 3rd and I'm already dreaming of drinking adult beverages all by myself on a tropical island somewhere.

I promise I'm more fun to be around than I just made myself sound. Mostly. And part of the reason is because whenever I start to get humbuggy, I have a short list of antidotes to Humbuggery that works wonders . Humbugginess? Humbugishness? Whatever. Here you go:

* I turn up some of my favorite music and dance. And I don't mean that I shuffle my feet anemically and snap my fingers. I dance. Now, understand that I'm no great dancer. I'm more Elaine Benes than Martha Graham, but what I lack in style and form, I make up for in enthusiasm. Let's just say that if the neighbors are watching, I'm confirming everything they ever thought about me. But it doesn't matter. When I'm dancing, there is no room for the humbug. Jitterbugging? Yes. Humbugging? Absolutely not.

* I turn up some of my favorite music and sing. I've been told that I have a nice singing voice. I used to sing solos in church. I'm not talking about that kind of singing. I'm talking about window-rattling. I sing loud enough to make dogs howl. And I sing badly. On purpose. For some reason, it releases something in me that makes me feel better. I'm pretty sure that if scientists somewhere studied it, they would say that all the feel good juices in your body pour into your brain and marinate it causing feel goodyness all over your body. Why no, I never taught science. Why do you ask? Anyway. Loud, bad singing. I highly recommend it.

* I head over to the Little Drummer Boy Challenge and read about others who hate the song as much as I do. I read the hilarious stories of how they were knocked out of the game and I feel a connection. I read about the avoidance tactics people employ to avoid hearing the song to stay in longer and I root for them. Even though I was knocked out of the game early on (like last week) from the unholy pairing of Little Drummer Boy and Bob Seger, (certain proof of Satan's existence) I pop over now and then to visit the Wall of the Fallen and see how people were slain by the boy with the drum. Misery loves company. Especially if it's hilarious company.

* Sometimes, I find a quiet spot where I can't be bothered--yes, I hide--and I close my eyes and just breathe in and out for five minutes. You wouldn't believe how often this occurs in the van in the garage. For some reason, no one thinks to look there for me. (Please don't tell. I'm begging you. They've hunted me down everywhere else.) But just five minutes of quiet, focused breathing sets me to rights again.

* And finally, every time I kvetch and complain about the many holiday tasks ahead of me, I stop and mentally shake myself. And then I make myself list three ways in which I am blessed. Believe me, it's hard to maintain any sense of humbugishness when you are listing blessings.

So now y'all, it's your turn. What makes you say "Bah Humbug!" and what do you do to keep yourself from becoming your family's version of Scrooge? Do share. We can help each other out. After all, it is the season of giving.

Also, I need you all sane and healthy so you'll keep coming back here. Apparently it's also the season for self-absorbed bloggers to pander for comments. Ahem.

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