Frank Costanza (of Seinfeld fame) was onto something with his celebration of Festivus.
I may be the only Christian who hates this time of year. Besides the endless commercialism outside the church, inside the church are endless debates over whether Jesus was actually born on December 25, or if He was born during September during the Feast of Sukkot.
Constantine’s holiday calendar notwithstanding, does it really matter?
This Jolly Season is kicked off with Black Friday. I’ll say no more about that.
Here’s my personal plan to perform Feats of Strength, and win:
A. Shopping: How to buy gifts for 10 people who don’t need anything, within a budget.
- First, I find a space in the mall parking lot without getting any new dents on my car, and without anyone giving me the finger.
- I remember to bring in the sales flyers, coupons and discount cards before leaving my car.
- I have a dollar bill handy for the Salvation Army Bell Ringer, who is barricading the entrance to the store. I say hello, and make them look me in the eye before I deposit my dollar into the kettle. Thankfully, there are no “questions three” to answer, and I make it through this hurdle unscathed.
- I walk slowly and patiently behind the meandering elderly folk as they walk in circles through the aisles. I smile at them; they are my future.
- Upon hearing screaming children, I quickly calculate a new path to where my intended purchase is located. Screaming children come with a timer, but it won’t be within my lifetime.
- I smile and nod while the cashier explains that I should use the store credit card instead of purchases as I will “save money.” There’s no time for me to give a lesson on how interest on credit card works. Besides, there are ten people in line behind me, giving me the death stare. I need to walk out of here alive.
- I find my car in the parking lot, place purchases in the trunk, back up the car, and get out of Dodge before the two cars waiting for my spot collide.
- Go home and wrap gifts. Oh, I forgot to mention step Zero. Stock up on Scotch tape in November.
B. Cooking. Ok, I cheat. Here’s my secrets:
- Slice and Dice cookies. If I absolutely must bake, it’s Pillsbury to the rescue. During my years as a single mom, my son assisted me as we took the roll of cookie dough, sliced it with a knife, and placed it on well-greased cookie sheets. This was “making cookies.” My son has grown up into a well-adjusted adult; there was no harm done here.
- For fancier parties, buy the wrapped pile of cookies from the Italian Bakery. I’m Irish and possess little to no kitchen skills. But walk into a party with this beauty, and no one will fault you that they are not homemade.
- Deviled Eggs. Everyone loves them, they’re easy to make and they travel well. My secret is to add mustard to the mayonnaise and yolk. That’s my recipe. And since they are “appetizers” people will eat them when they are starving. And everything tastes better when you are hungry.
- Ziti. It’s cheap, it’s easy and even I can make it. It feeds an army and fills them up. I invest in the large size Parmesan cheese so they can sprinkle (or dump) generously.
C. Cleaning the House.
- There’s a reason large Tupperware buckets exist. I throw every non-essential item in there and slide it under the bed/into the attic/into the trunk of my car.
- Run the vacuum. It’s no fun if they find Bailey’s dog hair in the cookies.
- Spray with room deodorizer. For a couple of bucks the house can smell like pine, apples or vanilla and no one has to know I haven’t mopped the floor in two weeks. (Please don’t tell.)
Moving on to the Airing of Grievances (A of G)
Some of us are brave/stupid/crazy enough to air our grievances at the family dinner table on Christmas Day, directly to the offending party. That makes for some great drama that would make Jerry Springer jealous. Please make sure first that your insurance premiums are paid up and that the video camera is running.
I use a different A of G system.
- Pay a counselor/social worker/psychiatrist. They are bound my law to keep your secrets, and can only hand over the notes by a court order, usually after you’ve been arrested. Which, in most cases, would exonerate you.
- Vent to co-workers. These folks are usually in a different social strata than your family, and the chances of them meeting in real life are minuscule. Sure, they’ll make fun of me behind my back, but isn’t that safer than pissing off crazy Uncle Jim face-to-face?
- Write a blog post. Maybe someone will read it and be able to relate, maybe they won’t. (You might even get Freshly Pressed.)
So there are my secrets for how I survive this time of year. May you all have Happy Holidaze!
And I heard Frank exclaim,
As he drove out of sight,
For the rest of us.”
21 thoughts on “I’m ready for my Feats of Strength”
Great post! Thanks.
thanks for stopping by, Ann! Happy Holidaze to you!
Very funny, yet practical at the same time.
thanks. I was trying to give everyone a chuckle!
SueAnn, I laughed out loud x 3. My wife is Irish, detests revealed eggs and will not eat mustard. She does share your distaste for the artificial trappings of the holidays, though. She is happy to share other customs, however, like the candle-lighting service at Christmas Eve service and the hanging of the stockings by the fireplace. Go Figure!
Daryl, I am glad I made you laugh!! I once went to a church where they did not call them “deviled” eggs but “sanctified” eggs, so Revealed eggs is not so far off!
“Deviled” eggs, not revealed eggs, whatever they are….darn spell-checker!
A friend once told me that she does no cleaning until after a party since the guests are going to mess things up anyway.
Good point, Middlemy. It does look like a tornado after the guests have left!
Love this post….and suffice it to say you are NOT the only Christian who hates this time of year. But mine starts with Thanksgiving. The amount of stress of “who’s house will host this year, who do we invite, who’s kids do we want and don’t want…blah, blah, blah!” Grrrr And I won’t even start on the gift giving..always an issue! For the last 4 years I have not so much as hung a wreath on my door. No tree, no lights, nothing….
But I do not have children at home or grand kids to explain any of this too and my husband doesn’t mind. I think Black Friday is a joke! I boycott it on principal AND because I don’t care if they were giving it away there is nothing I want bad enough to get out in that craziness…..people are nuts! And for what???
Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Deviled eggs are one of my favs and I am always expected to bring them to whatever family function we have. A very good friend of mine calls them “Angel” eggs. So when her boys went somewhere once and they were asked if they wanted a “deviled” egg…they had no idea what it was! LOL! Happy Holidays~ 😛
ps…I’m not a complete Scrooge. I am in the Christmas play at church and I love the REASON for season…just not all the other nonsense…..
I agree Courtney. It needs to be about Jesus, not all this craziness. It always feels like a tri-atholon just getting through the month of December!
I agree also. Guess there are more of us that dread this time of year than we first thought. It’s all about the gifts these days instead of enjoying being with family and friends.
Yes, 67, I thought it was just me who dreaded December!
Thanks for stopping by !
For many of the reasons and situations above, three years ago I decided to opt out of the whole Christmas deal. If there are friends or family around, who are alone, I fix dinner on the day. The rest…pffft! And believe me, I now have forgotten all the stress and craziness that starts in early November and goes on ad infinitum till everyone crashes on the couch exhausted and feeling ill by the 27th!
I’m trying really hard this year to keep it about friends, family and the Love of God. The budget is tight this year, so the gifts will be from the heart, not so much from the pocketbook. 😉 Thanks for your comments!!
Dear People How about instead of wondering when Jesus was born and talk about all you hate about the December festivities make this year the year you follow the TRUTH OF THE WORD OF GOD and learn when our Saviour The Lord Jesus Christ was really born! Yes it is in scripture and as God said I will be found of you if you search for me with your whole heart! (Jeremiah 29:13)…(Isaiah 55:6-9). God Bless the hearts and minds set on his way,for he will never leave you or forsake you. To those who have decided to not celebrate this year the following article will bring tears to your eyes for finally learning the truth you have searched for so long to know!
Thank you Julia for the link!!
We are ALL born into the worlds system and quickly learn of it’s ways, But when God calls us and we see the difference of his ways verses man’s we understand then why we Love God and hate so called celebrations of man.Sadly though some will learn the truth and still refuse to follow it.God Bless You.