Oh gawd. It's December.
I know, I know... you're well aware of that fact. After all, the date is right at the top of this post. Pretty hard to miss.
While I've always liked this month (happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me...), I dread the impending holidays just like scores of other Americans.
Buying. Spending. Gluttony.
It's so excessive and disgusting. All I want in my stocking is a gift consisting of two uninterrupted hours at the gym followed by time at my laptop and/or on the stage and I'll be a perky turkey. (This has yet to be given to me as a present, by the way. But I'll continue to ask for it year after year.)
So all my Grinchy pessimism got me a'thinkin' (which is always a recipe for trouble). Out of all the things related to the holiday season, what one aspect would I choose to keep? (And I only allowed myself to pick one, though I do enjoy a couple others, like certain holiday television classics.)
It took some deliberation.
Would I choose to keep the Christmas tree? Nah, I could easily screw the whole "bring a too-big balsam into the living room and let it shed its needles on the floor while I get scratches on my arms trying to give the poor dying thing water" experience.
How about gifts? Yeah, right. See my post from November 23rd and you'll know where I stand on the whole "buy this, buy that" expectation. Ho, ho, no.
Baking? While I do love my sweets (though I haven't eaten chocolate in almost 12 years, which might make for an interesting blog topic), I could do without having fourteen million gingerbread men going stale (or, worse yet, rotting) on the kitchen counter.
Holiday tunes? I don't think so. You try listening to Miss Piggy warbling out a Christmas chant or Britney Spears butchering a tune that's already been slaughtered by a dozen other "artists". (And don't get me started on Madonna's "Santa Baby". *puke*)
I could honestly live without experiencing anything I've mentioned above.
But what wouldn't I want to live without at this time of year?
As weird as it may sound, my answer would be the way December 25th feels when my immediate family members sit down for a leisurely, lovingly-prepared meal. Really, that's what it's all about for me (sitting at home with a frozen TV dinner just wouldn't be the same.) Of course, I'm not talking stuff-your-face-until-you-pray-for-death gorging, but the simple bliss that comes from knowing your only goal is to eat, chat and reminisce.
(I know, I know. Pass the pancakes. That's so syrupy it makes me gag. In fact, if you're diabetic, you may need an insulin shot after reading the preceding paragraph. My sincere apologies.)
So... what would you never give up about this spirited time of year? (Or, in other words, what aspect of the holiday season doesn't make you want to crawl into a hole until January 1st?)