bah humbug

It’s that time of year again. The season of angst.

All year ’round I pick up my groceries after ordering them online. Thanks to the multitude of buttons that need to be pressed and my hurry, I failed to complete my shop on Monday of Thanksgiving week, so I had to actually enter the store. Panic set in. The parking lot was atrocious. Lines of traffic to get into the parking lot, and lines to escape. And if there’s one thing I don’t trust, it’s enraged people with vehicles and bad manners.

I got my groceries without incident. Pfew. I checked out using self scan, which is the only way I could have gotten out of there without waiting in line. Why is the store so crowded you ask? Because everyone has to create the same meal as everyone else around them, and the store is closed the day of the big eat. The market is a place I prefer to avoid on any given day, but this time of year in particular, I begin counting down the days until simple tasks return to normal with safe traffic flows.

Running any errand becomes a chore of epic proportions during “the holidays.” It is not a good time to run out of eyeliner or underwear. People are feisty as they desperately try to secure the latest trending gifts for their loved ones. There are more people crammed into the same sized spaces as a Tuesday in June. Shelves in the baking aisle grow another level or two, making the trek feel cavernous and claustrophobic as suddenly everyone is complelled to bake goods to pass along. And not everyone is a good baker.

Why do the holidays lead to eating copious amounts of food? These days pumpkin comes from a can, so really, you can whip up those delights any time of year. Enjoy you some pumpkin pie in February.

The conditioning we have undergone by those who profit from us during the holidays is frightening. I wish to break the mold. We buy chocolates and roses in February. We buy red white and blue anything in July. Come October we need candy and to decorate, to quickly turn over the decorations to red and green, skipping Thanksgiving altogether.

Awful Christmas songs have been playing since October in some stores, making me enraged with a particular kind of ire. I’m certain my blood pressure spikes. Particularly when one horrible Mariah Carey song plays incessantly. I can’t possibly be the only one that can’t stand that tune. All I want for Xmas is for that song to never be played again.

Perhaps I would enjoy the holidays more if my family of origin lived nearby and I could easily return to my bed after each night of festivities. But they live just far enough away to be inconvenient. So, making plans means considering the pets and their needs and if we take them with us, packing for them, in addition to our own toiletries, clothing, gifts, dishes to pass, etc. If we don’t bring the pets, we have to watch the clock and limit our visit.

None of this is fun for me. I wish that it was. Am I grateful when I’ve spent quality time with my relatives? Yes. Does that override the dread? No.

So yea, tell me again how holly-jolly I should feel. It’s difficult to remain grateful or peaceful when the hustle and bustle of the season places demands on my life that I don’t particularly enjoy and have been dictated to me by corporations and “tradition.” And as if the afore mentioned terrors aren’t enough, now we must debate if it’s “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” and can we use the “Xmas” abbreviation, or does that take Christ out of the equation?

Good gravy. It’s all made up anyway. The winter holiday that we now know as Christmas was originally celebrated by non-Christians. So, the argument is moot. And considering there is more than one holiday happening in the month of December, why wouldn’t you want to be kind to your neighbor in this season of peace, and wish them a happy holiday, even if you don’t know exactly which one they celebrate? And what about those who do not celebrate a December holiday? Shame on you for forcing your religion upon everyone around you.

Also, as if I haven’t yet unleashed enough fury, who decided that flu season was the right time to cram in a bunch of arbitrary holidays? I want to talk to that bozo for not really having any foresight.

There is precious little in the blanket scheme of things in November or December that bring me joy. My favorite holiday has always been New Year’s Eve. Then, it’s finally over. We all start with a fresh slate. We all vow to lose weight, be better, do better, because for the last month and a half, a lot of people have been quite cranky trying to fit it all in and running into crowds everywhere they’ve gone and eaten far too many poorly crafted treats to cope with the stress of it all.

I love words. Words swirl and dance around in my head. I have many deep thoughts. Some thoughts plague me. In order to release them, I have to assign the words. Once the words are strung together, I feel free again.

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