I'm no Scrooge--(even if I wear Grinch socks) but admit it, there are things that make people crazy about the holidays no mater what you celebrate. So here's my list:
1) The "Christmas is so commercial!" whine. Let me clue you in on something: we live in a commercial world. People, and companies, will make a buck off anything or anyone they can. We buy bumper stickers that say "9/11- Never Forget." Does that make it any less profound and touching because someone sold it to you? I don't buy glow-in-the-dark Madonnas from St. Patrick's cathedral in NYC or send money to TV preachers who beg because I think it's tacky, tasteless, and self-serving--but I don't let it ruin the meaning of the religion behind it. Christmas is only commercial if YOU let it be.
2) Naked houses. Driving down streets at night, homes are a-glow with twinkling lights. Visit those same homes during the day and you'll be lucky if there's a wreath on the door. Let's consider daytime visual interest people; I need some greenery, ribbons and festive decorations.
3) Fruitcake. Hate it, won't eat it, don't bring it.
4) Stupid lawn blow-ups. I mean really, you plop this polyester bag on the lawn, plug it in, and a fan inflates it. It's a lazy way to decorate and during the day when the power's off, it looks like a mess. And Santa in an RV? Crass.
5) The Mall. Me, a woman, hate the mall?? It's overcrowded, stifling hot, overpriced, and filled with people at their greediest and nastiest (and don't even get me started on the parking wars).
6) Bad Christmas songs. Madonna singing Santa Baby (a song about selfish greed using sex) seems to be specifically made for the material girl, but that doesn't mean it's a song for the holidays. Sure, I joke around with the hubby and kids about wanting a deed to a platinum mine but it's more to make fun of the song. And treasured songs of old do not translate well into rap, heavy metal or disco, no matter who the artist is. At least once during the year, absorb some classical or traditional music so your soul doesn't starve for something cultural.
7) Christmas Decorations Before Halloween. Can I enjoy the two holidays between labor Day and Christmas? I love Halloween and Thanksgiving. Don't rush me.
8) Offensive Movies That Scare Children Who See Them. Movies like that one about a serial killer dressed as Santa; I think it was Silent Night, Deadly Night. Some people are really sick; to make such a revolting movie, your mother must be so disappointed.
9) Cheapskates. People will think nothing of dropping bucks on ridiculous junk like fake nails, jeans with more holes than fabric or antler hats for the dog (call the ASPCA), yet they walk by the Salvation Army kettle without putting at least some change in it. What if people passed you by when you were hungry, homeless, lost all your clothes in a fire or flood, or needed some emergency assistance?
10) Thieves. They're bad enough during the year but to target people through charitable scams is so low a snake would slap you. I think Dante needs to update his Inferno to include a circle in Hell for scum, because those people qualify.
11) Not Saying Merry Christmas When It's Obvious I Believe In It. Hint: I'm buying something Christmasy, like a personalized ornament, or a Jerry Garcia Christmas tie, or I have Christmas wrapping paper in my bag. See a theme here? I CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. Don't say "Happy Holidays." Need another hint? I'm wearing a (God forbid!) Christmas sweater, a nativity pin or jingle bell earrings. Don't make me pull out the musical Christmas pen.
12) People Who Whine 'I Can't Wait Till The Holidays Are Over.' Well obviously you're stressed about getting everything on the list done. If you're hosting Christmas dinner for the always-fighting in-laws, then stop hosting. Why continue to do something year after year that makes you miserable? Make changes! Unless of course you're like those people who have dental work done without novocaine (because you need to maintain absolute control). Then don't complain if it hurts! If you want to let your holiday be ruined, it's your choice. I just don't understand why anyone would. Don't burst my holiday happy bubble with complaints.
So there you have it. I have a few others, like people who say the religious aspect is gone (ahem, when was the last time you attended church? Donated time to a cause?). And stop bitching because for one day the movie theater or your favorite restaurant are closed and you're bored. Read a book. Sleep late. Have a party. Volunteer at a soup kitchen so Christians can celebrate.
And the list goes on, but you get the idea. Let's all try to have peace within, and amongst, ourselves--at least for one day.
Happy New Year!