Jan 2014
Josie Bungert

Call me a Grinch, but I don’t like Christmas

As January (the worst month of the year) finally is on its way to coming to a close, I figured it was time for me to vent a little about the holiday a lot of us just experienced. It seems to me that Christmas, no matter if you are religious or not, is everyone’s “favorite time of year.” People adore the snowfall under twinkling lights, hot cocoa, ice skating – everything that the holiday season brings forth. As much as I do like a good cup of white hot chocolate (if you haven’t tried it do so immediately before they take it off the shelves), I have a hard time liking Christmas.

My dislike of Christmas is one I am not proud of, and every year I try to get past it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the holiday. I love my family and spending time with them, and love the big dinner.

What gets me is everything that comes with Christmas. First, winter. There is nothing I dislike more than having to be completely bundled up, only to get to my destination and be expected to look nice. The idea of bundling up at all sends me into a grumbling frenzy, but that grumbling is amplified when I get to whatever holiday function I am attending and have to take off my coat, scarf, hat, gloves, and boots before I can look like a normal human being. Also, having to bring extra shoes all around is just no fun for anyone. It is all of this that sometimes makes me long to live in LA for Christmas. Also, you know those commercials that show people in peacoats and really cute Christmas skirts shopping their way down classy avenues while a light dusting of snow falls onto their patterned fleece caps? That cannot happen in most places in the Midwest. It is not magical. Being outside in the winter is MISERABLE.

If I have to bundle up this much, you can also guess the travelling also stinks. Being from Minnesota, it’s pretty much guaranteed that there is at least a foot of snow on the ground by Dec. 24th. And if it’s on the ground, it’s on the cars on the driveway. Not to mention, underneath a fresh layer of snow, there is usually a great surprise waiting underneath: a layer of ice! I thoroughly hate having to start the car 30-45 minutes early and wipe and scrape crap off of it before I can leave the house. Again, automatically in a bad mood.

Take these two situations, throw in 40 family members all making, baking, and bringing food, scrambling for presents and you’ve got yourself a stressful situation. I can think of nothing worse than shopping for the holidays in the store. Thank goodness for online shopping. Because of it, I was able to avoid the mall almost completely this year. The mall is full of angry, stressed out people, who, in the midst of pouring their heart and soul into buying for their loved ones seem to have forgotten that this time of year is supposed to be magical. If I had braved the mall more than once this past holiday season, no doubt I would be considered one of these people. Getting people gifts for Christmas seems to be fun and exhilarating only when you give the gift to them. If you’re like me, you are also thinking quietly in your head while you grit your smiling teeth “I hope to God they like it or I will have to return it and go through this madness again”. I will emphasize again here: if you want to enjoy shopping for loved ones, grab your white chocolate cocoa (did I already mention you should try it? If not, go do it. Now), a blanket, a great movie and your laptop and curl up on the couch. WAY more enjoyable than any mall or department store.

Above, I briefly mentioned the food. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are made much less magical when you and your family are scrambling to make three batches of cheesy potatoes, eight different types of cookies, a batch of soup, and are responsible for buying various types of accessories to the meal to bring to the family feast. Sure, Christmas music is playing and people are casually hanging out in the family room, but stress seems to be at the forefront of the day’s activities. I wake up on Christmas morning and even though my family does take a couple hours right away to relax and spend time together, we all know what’s coming: the Christmas scramble, right before we head to my aunt’s house.

So maybe your family isn’t as stressed out around the holidays as mine, and maybe you love snow and the holiday season, but, as hard as I try, it’s just not for me. Sure, I try to keep a chipper attitude, and most of the time am even happy during the holidays, but these small feelings of happiness and joy are constantly crowded over by stress and grumpiness. Call me a Scrooge all you want; I know I kind of am.

And what IS my favorite holiday you may ask? It’s one that has hardly any risk of any of the above situations: Thanksgiving.