I was rooting around my Facebook page the other night, and somewhere between absentmindedly stalking some of the "friends" I hadn't seen in awhile and realizing how wildly out of date my listed interests are, I re-discovered my Notes.
Some are kind of stupid, a few are clever enough for me to question whether I actually wrote them, but the ones that amused me most were the short-lived series of "Things That Piss Me Off ...," in which I rage on topics ranging from jerk drivers to creeps at the gym. (This, actually, should be revisited.)
Anyway, since my tweets (@Eenergee, by the way - gratuitous plug) have become increasingly jaded re: the holidays, I figured I should get it all out of my system in one singular Scrooge-fest, rather than bah-humbugging up the works in small, persistent doses for the rest of the year.
This might still happen. But, here's my best attempt at clearing the air:
1. The constant "Happy Holidays"/"Merry Christmas"/"Season's Greetings"/etc. fiasco - Look, hippies, I know you want everyone to be happy and included. And traditionalists, I totally get your freedom of expression. But this is all too much. I realize even belaboring the point is adding to the ordeal, but speaking as someone who got snarked at more than once during my time cash jockeying in retail for a variety of the phrases mentioned, it really doesn't matter what you wish someone. As long as you're not parting ways with a festive "Satan be with you," no one should care this much.
I think of every one of these as an earnest attempt to give a nice, December-related goodbye. Personally, I wish people happy holidays, as in "Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah of your choosing," plus New Year's (for the plural). Please, people. Calm down before you hurt yourselves.
2. Obviously celebrating a specific holiday but still calling your celebration a "holiday" one - This is an exception to my first point. The only time I get peeved when people use the generic "Happy Holidays" is when they are very clearly hosting a Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or whatever event. If your party has a freakin' Santa and Christmas tree, it's a Christmas party. Same with using the phrase "holiday tree." That's like saying "holiday menorah." You look silly.
3. The jewelry store/car ad influx - Who actually gives this extravagant crap as gifts, and will they meet me at the courthouse to sign a marriage certificate? But seriously, I get that these companies want to get in on the consumerist joy that is November/December as much as the next store. I just don't understand what good it's doing them. They might get a few more sales, especially for some of the cheaper jewelry (and I use that phrase loosely), but who's actually sitting at home wracking their brain to come up with something to get Aunt Mildred, when suddenly the lightbulb goes off: "I know! a $20,000 car!"
4. Holiday consumerism in general - This might be a poor person's argument (in fact, I know it is, because I'm making it), but one well-thought-out gift is better than 10 shiny things that are nice, but impersonal. And if you're buying someone a gift at all, shouldn't it be because you like them? Don't come at me with the "family obligation" argument, either. If you don't like aforementioned Aunt Mildred, I guarantee you she already knows it. No quantity of shiny things, nice-smelling stuff or new Lexuses (Lexii?) will convince her otherwise.
5. Real trees - I come from a home that always went artificial, and I've heard plenty of times it's "not the same." When I ask why, exactly, I always get the point that a real tree looks nicer and smells Christmassy.
First, I can barely tell the difference between the visual of a decked-out real tree and my parents', which has spent years lying dormant in a box between displays. Unless you're nose-to-proverbial-nose with the thing, you can't tell me you can tell the difference unless you're comparing with one of the pink aluminum novel-trees.
Second, real trees have the potential to look ghastly if you don't take care of them. Sorry, decorations that come with upkeep don't fly with me. If I wanted to water and maintain my decorative space-fillers I'd buy a damn Chia Pet. And as long as your tree didn't go up pre-Thanksgiving, like a crazy person, you don't even have to dust the thing. And when you're done, back in the box it goes. No muss, no fuss, no finding errant pine needles at Easter.
Third, the pine tree smell. It's awful. And if you really need it, buy a candle. So much cheaper.
6. That Paul McCartney Christmas song - Yes, this is petty. There are a lot of godawful Christmas songs. But it never fails that "Sim-ply, haaaaving, a wonderful Christmas time," gets stuck in my head every year, whether I actually hear it or not. It's it my head right now and I haven't even heard the thing once this season. It's the carnivorous earwig of the Christmas music world.
7. Lines, crowds and people in general - When I'm shopping for other people, I plan like nobody's business. I research, I check store floor plans and I know exactly what I need to get and where to find it. I'm a one-woman targeted assault on my Christmas shopping list, and this is why other people shopping in my personal space stop being people and start being infuriating obstacles in my holiday warzone.
Yeah, it's busy and crowded, and that's the nature of shopping in December. That's why I do most of my shopping online and in clothes not fit for public visual consumption. But, when I'm forced into clothes that aren't high school jeans and oversized t-shirts and driven to the store (or God forbid, the mall), please stop being in my way. Stop walking slow and stop g*ddamn stopping in the middle of the walkway in front of me. I will steal your cart and/or small, crying child, regardless of whether or not I need either, and I will donate them to the Salvation Army.
I'm going to stop here, partly because I think I covered everything (I'm sure I didn't) and partly because you're all probably sufficiently offended or already constructing scathing talkbacks.
I really do love Christmas - really. That's not me equivocating in the slightest. I'm just not so much for the things I have to endure to get there.
And if it makes you feel better, I would never actually steal a small child. They're usually sticky.
Agreed on it all except about the trees. I have a fake tree only cause I don't have the space for a full sized real one. But having a real deal Christmas tree makes a difference. The smell is noticeable and it's nice having a real living (albeit dying) sign of Christmas in your house.
I've always wondered about the car thing too. A car isn't exactly something that you just go out and buy, it's something you have to research and fight with those bastards called sales people.
Instead of buying jewelry for your life partner (I don't want to offend anyone...) just get them drunk. It's a lot cheaper.
Christmas songs would be a lot better if bands like Six Feet Under, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse did their take on the classics.
Oh, no. I had forgotten about that stupid Paul McCartney song and now it's stuck in my head-- AAAAHHH!
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, anyway. :)
Love this !! Thanks for the read.
This is exacatly how I feel. You are so right on with this one.
I cringe with the "plactic people" and their "Lee press on" smiles and plastic accolaids. And by February, theise are the people that want to give you a hug, just so they can get the knife in a little deeper !.
Have a Groovey Holiday Season, and Merry Christmas ;)
4 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Renee Lorenz
Published Jan. 11, 2013
Classic gangsters loved a good embarrassment of riches. And for a movie like "Gangster Squad," showing off is fine. But, when the swanky style of the era meets the stylized swank of the movie's own excesses, things get out of hand.
Published Jan. 3, 2013
It feels like not a week goes by without someone posting something about how Facebook's invading everyone's privacy, spying on your browser history, etc., ad nauseum. (These posts are usually made on Facebook, by the way.) I understand the generic concern over the Orwellian slippery slope, but it doesn't take me too long to re-assess and arrive back at my old conclusion: Who cares?
Published Dec. 31, 2012
Although outsiders may not see Milwaukee as a hotbed for the performing arts, locals know there's plenty of talent to go around. And, there are numerous venues across the city that proudly show off area actors, dancers and musicians. But, despite the wide array of opportunities available, Katie Rhyme and Karen Zakrzewski still felt something important was missing.
Published Dec. 25, 2012
Merry Christmas, "Les Miz" lovers - I'm about to hate all over your musical.
Published Dec. 25, 2012
Well, it took director Quentin Tarantino 20 years, but he finally got his Western ... kinda. Although it's fair to say he's been preparing his entire career with his raucously bloody shoot-'em-ups, Tarantino's time warming up has been well spent if "Django Unchained" is the final result
Published Dec. 21, 2012
Unlike most middle-aged men, Judd Apatow can afford a whole garage of Camaros and Mustangs. So, it makes sense that his mid-life crisis would manifest not with a youthful car buy, but by splurging on the production of a new movie.
Published Dec. 19, 2012
They say time flies when you're having fun. I don't know who "they" are (probably those terrifyingly upbeat "glass half full" people), but they nailed it. My 2012 is a blur of exciting times and memorable moments, most of which my lawyers have advised me not to discuss in detail. There's still plenty to talk about, though, and I've shared the highlights below.
Published Dec. 18, 2012
Well, another year of movies is (almost) in the books. Full of many memorable ups and seared-in-my-brain-forever downs, here's my take on the best (and worst) of 2012.
Published Dec. 14, 2012
Eleven years after "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" introduced audiences to the majesty of director Peter Jackson's Middle-earth, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" makes a triumphant return to the mythical land with a new trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit."
Published Dec. 12, 2012
After being tasked with putting together an actual wish list, I'm legitimately afraid of the death glare I'll get if I hand over my ultra-practical, completely un-whimsical list of stuff I want. So, I'm posting it here.