The Holidays are upon us. Which means it’s time for endless good cheer, open minds, generous hearts and the spirit of…oh, who am I kidding?
The Holidays are when the cynical New Yorker in me grumbles about the hoards of tourists, when the Jew in me feels distinctly left out, and when the only spirit I feel at the end of the day is the 80 proof one keeping me sane through the onslaught.
What’s my problem with the Holiday Season? Herewith, the top five.
1. The Music: Let the endless loop of mediocre-at-best Holiday music begin. Do I really need to hear Alvin and the Chipmunks 432 times between now and December 26th? Does anyone want to hear Adam Sandler sing that one, overplayed Hannukah song again? No, and no.
2. The Tourists – Now I know that NY welcomes tourists. Especially in the wake of Sandy, and the toll it took on businesses in the city – left without power for days and days – we need them. But I don’t have to like them.
Here’s a tip for NYC Tourists during the holidays: Move it! People have trains to catch, massive consumerism to enact. You, slow walking, five abreast tourists, are in the way!
3, The Parties – What do I have against parties? Nothing. It’s just that every magazine, every talk show, every posing as a news show but really it’s a variety show talks about how to get through all those Holiday parties and still keep your figure. Number 1. who says I want to keep this figure? And 2. What holiday parties? I do not get invited to a slew of holiday parties. I often do not get invited to any.
Nobody I know is making egg nogg and stringing popcorn while Neil (not a Christian) Diamond sings Christmas carols in the background, guests share sentimental moments, interspersed with jolly, innocuous repartee, and a dog sits uncomplainingly in a reindeer costume that any normal dog would hate.
No one I know is even having bitter, cynical, meta-holiday parties, where – eve though it’s being held during the holiday season – everyone talks about how they hate holiday parties, gets sloppy drunk, and ends up either sappily reminiscing about holidays past, and drunkenly embarrassing themselves by attempting to sing The Chipmunk Christmas song.
Or if they are…they don’t invite me.
4. The Catalogs – These are endless. And no number of online “I don’t want to get any more catalogs” services seems to help. This year, for the first time, I got a catalog of gifts for the Menopausal Woman. I kid you not. Happy Holidays to me!
5. The Guilt (and the Gilt, but that’s another peeve) Why do I feel guilt during the holidays? Because…
- I’m supposed to be generous of spirit and feeling the love, and well, you’ve read this. I don’t fit the bill.
- I sometimes give swag as gifts. (Not to you, though. Never to you!)
- I’m never as generous with my giving as I think I should be. Yes, it’s true, despite my bah-humbugness, I do give to more than my usual monthly list of left organizations (Planned Parenthood, People for the American Way, NPR, Environmental Action, Human Rights Campaign, etc etc) But every time you turn around there’s someone else – some other organization — lefty or not – that needs something. And it’s always while I’m shopping. Guilt.
All that being said — Thanksgiving is tomorrow – and I do kind of like seeing everybody, watching the kids play with their cousins. But why do the Holidays have to be clumped together? There’s only so much warmth and togetherness I can take!