Sunday, December 2, 2007

Give it up ~

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?)


Aine said...

No chocolate in 12 years?? And you call yourself female? :D

I love sugar-- all forms. So, I'm with you on the cozy feeling of sharing a meal and good conversation with the family.

We actually take the meal preparation to a new level. Jason and I host our family's meal. Years ago, when we were struggling grad students, we thought it would be fun to roast a suckling pig (apple in the mouth, the whole shebang...). So, we went to the Italian Market in south Philadelphia and carried home a 10 lb. suckling pig. It was frozen in an extended position and wrapped in a black garbage bag with it's feet sticking out. Amazing that no one stopped us-- ha! It barely fit in the oven in our apartment.

Now, we've progressed to a 50 pounder that gets roasted on a spit in the fireplace throughout the night on Christmas Eve. Jason sleeps on the sofa all night to tend it... gotta love the guy!

So, that's the tradition I couldn't give up.

SzélsőFa said...

Things I love about Christmas?
The waiting.
The fact that light starts growing up again.
The family gathering.
The festival foods.
The snow, if there is any.
The quietness.

Devon Ellington said...

I love my decorations and the process of decorating. Each and every ornament and decoration has its own story, so as we decorate each year, we keep telling the stories. It's almost an oral history.

Although I'm not in the mood today, I love the ritual of holiday cards. I love to write them; I love to receive them. I can't stand people who say they "don't have time" to write cards -- what they're saying is that the people on their list don't mean enough to them to make the time.

There are several people where the only time we keep in touch is at this time of year, and it brings warmth and joy every time.

I also love preparing the meals for both the Eve and the Day, and serving them to family and friends. I love St. Nicholas Day on the 5th and the family traditions we have with that. I love celebrating the Solstice.

I don't shop at malls and stay out of most of the chaos and gluttony. I choose to celebrate those around me, and not get swept up in the crap.

I can't stand Madonna's "Santa Baby", but I do like Earth Kitt's. ;)

Devon Ellington
Ink in My Coffee

Ello said...

There is something wrong with you for not eating chocolate!

I love Christmas. My favorite part of the holidays is everything except shopping. I despise shopping with a passion.

But the best part of this season is I can threaten the kids with Santa for everything. You better watch out... SAnta's watching!

Church Lady said...

Aine said what I was thinking! No chocolate in 12 years!? Hopefully you're having great sex to make up for it!

Christmas is my favorite season. I love all the craziness of it! The smells, the music, the colors and lights. Simply love it!!

I'd give up mailing Xmas cards though. ugh!

The Quoibler said...


I know -- no chocolate. But it's still not nearly as interesting as having a pig roast. WOW! And the pig's feet sticking out of the garbage bag? Now THAT'S funny!


All things that are relatively free. Isn't that interesting and quite telling?


You have shamed me into writing at least a few Christmas cards this year. You're so right about the old "I don't have time" excuse. I actually try to never use that line, because it really isn't appropos.

Ello and Church Lady:

I need some of your enthusiasm. Send it to Pennsylvania, okay? :)