I Tried to Like the Holidays…

22 Dec

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I don’t like the holidays. I haven’t for pretty much my entire adult life. I have the same complaints as others who don’t like season–it’s too much: too much pressure, build up, forced frivolity, needless spending and the Christmas letter. Is there anything worse than the fakery of the Christmas letter?  My husband Cliff, who is Mr. Upbeat, even gets down during this time of year. I told him this year that I had decided to adopt a happy attitude about the holidays. Instead of being judgmental of people who put up decorations on Dec. 7th (umm, my new neighbors) I decided not to judge them and assume that they have no inner-life. I’ve reminded myself that some people actually like Christmas and want to put up all those lights and lawn reindeer, right after Thanksgiving. I was going to be upbeat, send cards with nice family photos and not complain about being overwhelmed by all the Christmassy stuff that retailers put up after Halloween. I would hum the incessant Christmas songs on the radio. I would actually say, Merry Christmas to acquaintances and mean it.

But then…I ordered the cards on Dec. 12 which is early for me. The company said five days (the fine print said 5-10). After I ordered I realized I didn’t have our names printed on them. I contacted the company to catch that mistake, but it was too late. I agonized over it for a half day and let it go. Still holding on to my new attitude. Four days later, I got an email saying that my order had been shipped. Perfect and now I can recapture the one thing that I  used to  enjoy about the holidays–sending cards. Well, I waited and waited and after a week, I contacted UPS. The delivery date was end of day on December 23. I lost my Christmas spirit. After hunting them down like a rabid dog, I finally got them to refund my money–they’re still sending the cards.

When I was single, I never put up a tree, but I sent cards. I didn’t do anything elaborate–no photo–I think it’s weird to send a solo picture of oneself. I don’t think I have an opinion about  sending selfies. I like getting the picture cards, particularly those of the entire family. My single BFs told me a long time ago, after the two years when I sent pictures of just the kids, that they hated those and wanted to see the whole family, not just mine, from every one.

The other day, Cliff called me from work and put his partner on the speaker phone. Mike ranted about a former colleague who had sent a Christmas card picture of his family. “There he is in a suit and tie, his wife has on a cocktail dress and there are the kids pressed against them.”  Mike wants to see  just the kids. He’s very high strung and we love him. I guess it’s been so  long since he got a card from us that he’d forgotten we do what that colleague had done. Cliff and I  laughingly pointed it out to him.

So now, I’m about to take my dog for a walk. I’m going to sing a little, It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas –even though it’s 68 degrees now and predicted to be 28 on Christmas–I’m not going to complain about Global Warming, The Tea Party or the racial and economic divide. I’m going to embrace a happy spirit and a positive attitude.

Happy Holidays

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