By Cathy Thurber
The Twelve Pains of Christmas is one of my favorite Christmas songs. I know that it’s not a traditional song, but it’s just hilarious. It really points out the things that always seem to happen during the fastest 4 weeks of the year. Your in-laws come into town and stay with you (and they brought their yippy dog that likes to leave you “presents” on your new carpet). You check the light bulbs before you deck your halls and then, inevitably, they don’t work once they’re up. As the song says, “If one goes out, they all go out!” So, in the spirit of Christmas fun, here’s my own top ten “pains” list:
1. Christmas starts in October now. Hey, I always wanted to buy my tree when I pick up my Halloween candy. NOT.
2. Speaking of candy ….cheap foil-wrapped chocolate Santas are horrible! Are they made with sand?? What is that gritty texture in my chocolate? And the taste – it’s just not right.
3. That bad Christmas decoration you just can’t get rid of. You know the one. You keep it because your mother-in-law bought it for you and looks for it every year when she comes over. If it weren’t for that, you would have re-gifted it during a seasonal white elephant party. Nobody wants that plastic poinsettia wreath and candle.
4. Christmas cards. Who do you send them to? Are you going to hurt someone’s feelings if you don’t send one? Seriously, I think we send out 40-50 cards a year at Christmas. My hand is broken after writing all those addresses.
5. The awesome sweater your Aunt Mabel bought you. Please note the sarcasm. Never, I repeat – NEVER – wear a Christmas-themed sweater unless you are over the age of 70. Even that may be too early to get away with it. Ninety percent of them are hideous! Just don’t do it!!
6. Radio stations playing Christmas music prior to Thanksgiving. Now, I love Christmas music….I really do. I have it playing nearly all the time from Thanksgiving on – and I know this annoys many people. But, at least give me Thanksgiving before you start up with Frosty the Snowman. For that matter, I’ll just add on Radio stations playing only Christmas music for the entire month of December. I know many people can’t stand this – even though I’m ok with it.
7. Potato chip bag gifts. And by this, I mean the gift you buy that – when you open it – is filled with 80% of either Styrofoam peanuts or blocks. You think you’re getting (or giving) a decently filled basket of goodies and here it’s a minuscule bag of coffee and two biscuits to eat with it. Don’t tease us.
8. Rain. And more rain. Followed by – you guessed it – rain. While I don’t care for snow for more than a month out of the year, I do want snow during December when it’s cold enough to make you shiver. Not to mention, it’s just not Christmas if there’s not snow on the ground. At least that’s how it is in Cleveland. I don’t recall moving to Seattle.
9. Crowds – I hate them! I’m short, so it’s hard for me to see around people that are walking near me. Not to mention all the crying children (whose parents are completely ignoring them) and the slow walkers. I’m in a rush, people! I only have so much time to buy so many gifts!!
10. Commercials of families making cookies together, doing random things together, or basically looking like they are enjoying every single second of quality time possible. Please. Give me the real deal, where the Mom’s sitting in the bathroom with a glass of wine (or Baileys) because the kids started fighting while you were trying to create a Hallmark moment with them. This, of course, ended up with two kids sent to their rooms, and the dog eating the gingerbread house.