I love Christmas. Not in the listening-to-Christmas-carols-constantly or decorating-every-inch-of-my-house-with-reindeer kind of way. In fact, my current Christmas decorations, besides the tree and its ornaments, consist solely of an owl with a scarf and a battery-operated Santa Claus with large glasses who dances to “Party Rock” (this was a gift from my father-in-law who, sadly and wonderfully, shares the same sense of humor as my husband).
Even though I love Christmas, this doesn’t exempt me from having strong opinions regarding the holiday. In fact, nothing exempts me from having strong opinions. I was a youngest child. I like hearing myself talk.
Thus, I have come up with the best and worst aspects of the Christmas holidays. Feel free to add or subtract from my list as you please. It is in no way an all-consuming list. Actually, it’s not even a list; just a mishmash of rants and ramblings. Here goes.
The WORST of Christmas:
My optimistic side felt that it would be best to end the post on a positive note. That, or my cynical side just couldn’t wait any longer to come out. One of those two.
I hate radio stations that play only Christmas music for the entire month of December. Don’t get me wrong, I like the occasional Christmas song, especially while I’m decorating the tree or wrapping presents. And I’ll be honest, the Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers Christmas CD is easily my favorite album of all time. But seriously, there are only like seven GOOD Christmas songs out there beyond Denny (see what I did there?). The rest are mostly crap. Anyone who even remotely understands music would tell you that. I don’t want to have to change my radio presets just because what used to be a good station decided to play 24 hours of mediocre music for 31 days straight.
I also hate Black Friday. It’s ridiculous, chaotic, and downright dangerous. There is even a website solely devoted to counting the injuries/deaths that occur on this horror of a day. If that website (and this one) are believed to be accurate, then more people died during Black Friday this year than from the Boston Marathon bombing. Why does this not upset more people? Seriously.
Snow before Christmas. Now being from the Midwest, I actually quite enjoy snow. It looks pretty, I can ski down it or build a snowman with it, and I love waking up on Christmas day to a beautiful white blanket of the stuff. Honestly, it doesn’t feel like Christmas to me without snow. But snow before Christmas sucks, especially when people, like me, have to travel in the days preceding the holiday. Similar to Black Friday, it’s downright dangerous (although at least in this case, I’m risking my life to be see my family, not so I can get a great deal on a Nokia Lumia 1020). Weather gods: please hold off until I am safely home; after that, snow all you want.
The BEST of Christmas:
It should be no surprise that my favorite part of Christmas is seeing family. If you’ve spent any time on this blog, you know how important family is to me. The thing I’m most looking forward to this year is seeing my niece do anything. Literally, everything she does is beautiful and hilarious and perfect. I’m counting down the days until I see that wonderful face.
A close second to family is PRESENTS. I love the gift-giving part of Christmas. Not because I’m a fan of consumerism (I’m really not) or because I need more STUFF in my apartment. No, I love the entire process involved in exchanging gifts. I love scouring the internet to find that perfect ornament for my sister. I love walking around Kohl’s for an hour and a half trying to find that perfect holiday decoration for my mother-in-law. I love wrapping presents (HATE gift bags). I love OPENING presents. I love seeing the excitement in kid’s eyes as they unwrap that new doll they’ve been wanting for months. I love it all.
Lastly, I love the message of Christmas. Not the consumerist message that is subtly pushed to the forefront more and more each year (and not so subtly brought up in nearly every paragraph of this post). No, I love the idea of using Christmas to help people. The Muppet Christmas Carol is my all-time favorite Christmas movie. There, I said it. The story is such a great look into what Christmas is all about: putting others first. It’s about looking beyond your current situation and seeing what you can do to help someone else.
“With an open smile and with open doors, I will bid you welcome, what is mine is yours. With a glass raised to toast your health. And a promise to share the wealth. I will sail a friendly course. File a friendly chart. On a sea of love and a thankful heart.” – Thankful Heart, from The Muppet Christmas Carol.
Seriously, is that not an awesome song? This soundtrack may actually rival the aforementioned Denny favorite…
What are your thoughts about Christmas? What are you most (and least) looking forward to this holiday season?