val's note  12.31.11 

christmas nap
                                       'TIS  THE  SEASON  FOR  A  NAP










 val eyes closed half face


I hate the holidays.  

There, I said it.  I've been thinking it for years. But nice grownups don't admit it - they just put one foot in front of the other and walk the walk.  Shopping, cards, decorating, parties, relatives, travel ...  predictably turn into crowded stores with wicked witches manning the register, frightful family photo shoots that no teenager signed up for, the one bad light that messes up the whole string, overeating ad nauseum amounts of cream cheese and sugar that you wouldn't eat in a year,  dredging up the energy to take a shower and get ready for the holiday open house when all you want to do is rent a movie and lay on the couch, sisters not speaking to brothers, and that claustrophobic flight delay once you're out on the tarmac without even a bottle of water...  and when you live where I live, the snow blizzard that slows your errands down to 1/30th of your normal speed.  


Go ahead, call me Scrooge.  

But now look me in the eye and say you love the holidays. Yep, thought so.  


Here's why I decided to come clean.  Because others are starting to tell the truth.  I was in a store last week and overheard the clerk say to a customer, "hello, may I help you?"  and the customer replied, "no, I'm so beyond help at this point.."  My mind did a fist pump YES! - another like me.  My sister Becky has been saying firmly (and outloud) for years, "I hate May and I hate Xmas - it's too much work for the mothers." Another fist pump. My favorite XM radio DJ Mike Marrone (The Loft) admitted flat out on the air the other day when chatting with Vin Scelsa, "I hate December" - Wahoo, another.  In the grocery stores at holiday time all you see are men. They've been sent by the woman for a forgotten item. They're lost with a list, confused, usually have the toddlers in tow (I'm sure the woman kicked them all out for some peace and quiet..) You know they're thinking "why can't we just have hot dogs?"  Kathie Lee on the TODAY Show's 4th hour suggested, "Why can't we just have two Thanksgivings, where we gather, love, share, give thanks, the basics - without all the hype?"  My sentiments exactly...  All I want is to hang in the family room with my boys - who always make me laugh. They are hilarious - like an SNL skit. But usually I'm in the kitchen listening to them from afar. My mother did the same. ugh.


Let me be perfectly clear:  it's the holiday hype that I hate. Not the holiday itself.


And yes, women are worse than guys when it comes to hype standards. We do this to ourselves.  Most men reading this are scratching their heads, "but the holidays are great, you eat great food, lots of it, watch football, run an errand when told, build a fire in the fireplace, nap whenever, rough house with the kids, drink beer, and take out the garbage. How hard is that?  I know because I live in a house of testosterone. Four sons and a husband. They don't know that I stood in a 14-person line at Fed Ex and when I got to the front they tell me they've just changed their box rules and they only take brown now. Mine are in colored product boxes.  They don't know that I just missed the Amazon deadline "delivered by Xmas Day" by one day. They don't know how dinner magically appeared, or why the cookie tin is full, or that their girlfriend's family got our Xmas card. They don't know that the only item they wanted this Xmas is on backorder. They don't know that my feet are crippled from last night's party heels and I have a killer sinus headache.  When they see me with that scary "I might murder someone right now" face, they try and calm me with "mom, none of this matters - we don't need ornaments on the tree, we don't need any presents, we don't need food and milk...." 


Holiday Hype:  takes an already insanely busy life and jams in another full time job.  


You still only have 24 hours a day.  There just isn't room for more.  Yea, you claim you're going to boycott it this year. No more cards. Easy dinners. RSVP no to parties. You pick the doable and let go of the fluff... But there's a catch.  That feeling.  Not guilt, but that this-doesn't-feel-right feeling.  What IS that?! Why does it rear its ugly head?!  I think only women feel it. Plain and simple, it just feels bad when the fluff is missing.  Like carry-out for Thanksgiving, or a present wrapped in a plastic bag, or staying home from a neighborhood gathering around the block.  The "hype way" feels better.  So unless all women band together and boycott en masse, or the government issues a ban on holiday hype, I think we're stuck. 


Misery loves company. So I'd really like to thank the ones who verbalized their holiday frustration within my ear shot this week. We're part of the same club. I'd also like to thank the two greeting cards hanging on my fridge. They're my holiday mantras. One is a beautifully coiffed 50's woman with red lipstick, laying on a fancy pillow, eyes closed ~ Caption:"All I Want For Christmas Is a Nap."  The second is a crazy looking woman ~ Caption:"I'm So Busy I Don't Even Have Time to Bitch About How Busy I Am."  


Join our club if you'd like.  All you have to do is Believe ...





Val Haller


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