It’s that time of year again.

The time of year that everyone is supposed to be holly-jolly. The time of year where you prepare to spend more money than you have on loved ones. The time where you slap a fake smile on your face, take a deep breath, and brace yourself to deal with obnoxious relatives (we all have at least one). If you ask me, I think it is more trouble than it is worth.

There are a few things I like about the holidays. I enjoy giving gifts, especially when I find that perfect one and I get to watch my loved one’s face light up the moment they open it. There may even be tears of happiness. This is my favorite part. That feeling that I get when I have made someone happy with a token of love and appreciation. I put a lot of thought in the gifts I give, hoping to spread a little joy into their lives. The other thing I love is my mom’s cooking; she makes a mean turkey.

That’s about it.

So why do the holidays suck?

I know, not everyone thinks that the holidays suck. However, I would be in a state of absolute shock if someone came up to me and told me that every Thanksgiving and Christmas they’ve had, every single one, was Martha-fucking-Stewart perfection. I would call that person a liar right to their face.

I think the first problem is: we put way too much hype behind the holidays. We are bombarded with images on the television of happy families frolicking in the snow, sharing the perfectly cooked turkey, and opening extravagant gifts. We hear Christmas carols early in November, we are blinded by Christmas lights, and told that Santa Clause is watching us so we had better be “good.” All that build up and anxiously waiting is an automatic set-up for disappointment. It’s like when Star Wars Episode 1 came out, and the commercials looked so good and Liam Neeson was there and double ended light sabers and pod racers and a robot army YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!! Then Jar Jar Binks shows up and ruins the whole damn movie. WHAT. THE. FUCK.

Now lets talk relatives.

It took me a long time to finally figure out that just because you are related, doesn’t mean you have to love (or even like) your relatives. Even more so for your in-laws. Did I mention I have a nightmare of a mother-in-law? I know it is a stereotype; but fuck, I can’t do anything right according to my mother in law. I tried to form a good relationship with her for five years and finally she did something that caused a big blow out. This year my husband and I are eating Thanksgiving dinner at separate houses. It sucks. I will miss him. I hate it, but I won’t be that person who keeps him away from his family, nor will I let her walk all over me ever again. Next year, who knows? I don’t want to think about it. So yeah, that picture of the perfect family eating all together at the dinner table where the only argument is who gets the last crescent roll is a load of crap. We argue about a lot more than that, thank you very much. Good thing the good Lord invented alcohol. Pass the spiked cider please.

Christmas is even worse. You’re not only forced to be in the same room as your relatives, but you also have to buy these crazy people gifts. I mentioned earlier that I enjoy buying gifts, but only for certain people. I have relatives who have been insulted upon opening gifts that were the “wrong color” of cookware, and been asked “Why did you buy me this?” with a disgusted look on their faces, even though it was exactly what they asked for. I kid you not. They act like I gave them the gift wrong on purpose or something, like I have a Christmas vendetta and decided to take it out on them. Seriously??? Chill out and stop being so greedy for fuck’s sake. Talk about First World problems.

Other things that have happened to me on Christmas: My Grandma passed away, I lost my job (Merry fucking Christmas), we were evicted when I was only 11, there have been blow out fights and hurt feelings and tantrums, and oh the tears, tears, tears.

I seriously think, besides the obvious factors that were/are unavoidable, that the people you surround yourself with make or break Christmas. Everyone should just do their own thing on Christmas and not feel obligated to spend it with the people that make them miserable. But then again, you can’t do that without hurting someone’s feelings. You just can’t win. So what do you do? You bite your lip, pour yourself another drink and pray to jolly old St. Nick that you make it through another year unscathed.

Also, don’t be a black Friday asshole.

Happy Holidays.

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