The Holiday Spirit(s)

*Are you feeling the holiday spirt this year or are you looking forward to drowning your holiday in spirits?

*Are you spending all your free time searching for the perfect holiday background to display during your upcoming virtual happy hours?

*Are you counting down the minutes until you can unplug from the world and disappear until the new year?

2020 ‘tis the season to be jolly. Or Grumpy. Or Both. In our attempt to get into the holiday spirit, we have discovered that we are a little bit (or maybe alot) of both. Here are some things we love and hate about the holidays, especially this year:

Brooke (60-Something Baby Boomer)

Ah, Christmas! How do I love thee? So many reasons but these three come to mind…

  • Gifts. Those given, more so than those received. This was not always the case. Shlepping through the snow, fighting mall crowds, grabbing anything because “I’m sick of this crap and I’m sure mom will love this set of socket wrenches.” Nowadays, shopping is a joy. I have way fewer gifts to buy and I don’t set one flip flop clad foot in a mall. I love Amazon all year round, but especially at Christmas.
  • Spode. Specifically, my 12 place setting collection of Spode Christmas china. Steeped in tradition, like my mother before me, I take it out once a year and create a spectacularly beautiful table.
  • Christmas in Florida. I love the way Florida does Christmas. Despite every image you’ve ever seen, Christmas doesn’t have to mean snowflakes and icicles. Only about a third of the planet will be blanketed in snow this December 25th and I, for one, resent the exclusionary stereotype. Twinkling lights are beautiful on a palm tree.

And if there is love, there must also be hate…

  • Cold. This is a relative concept. There’s cold and then there’s glacial, heart-stopping, just-kill-me-now cold. I experienced the latter every year before moving to a blessedly tropical climate but I’ve been grousing about the cold here all week. I had to crank the pool heater up to 89° and wear a sweatshirt on my walk this morning. 50 degree temps? NOT what I signed up for.
  • Hallmark movies. Love ‘em or hate ‘em. I hate ‘em and hate those who love ‘em. I wouldn’t think it possible for the Hallmark channel to inject even more saccharine into their endless stream of formulaic drivel but they take it to a toxic level at Christmas time. Fear of succumbing to a diabetic coma keeps me far, far away.
  • The inevitable weight gain. Come January, gyms will be filled with mask-wearing endomorphs, chubby fingers futilely reaching for toes long since absent from view. I will be among their rotund ranks, just as sure as Candace Cameron Bure will find love with a sweater-wearing high school teacher in her hometown in the lightly falling snow of a Hallmark Christmas movie.

Amanda (30-Something Millennial)

Christmas Pros:

  • Cookies. Cookies can be eaten around the clock. Cookies with coffee? You got it! Cookies with wine? Yes, please! Making cookies for friends? You HAVE to sample your goodies before you give them away.
  • Christmas Lights. The illuminating glow makes getting dark at 5PM not so bad. Plus, as I walk my dog, there is always something to look at. And you just have to wonder what goes through someone’s mind when they buy a gigantic, inflatable snowman for their front yard…
  • Winding down. A few days off to rest and recharge makes everyone a bit more cheerful. I love holiday spirits – my go-to is a Black Cherry White Claw.

Christmas Cons:

  • All the cookies can make the seams on your leggings a bit more snug.
  • Pretending to LOVE the gift someone gave you. Yes, some people are amazing gift givers. Others not so much. The angels always make sure to attach a gift receipt. Be like my Mom, she staples the receipt to the tag of any piece of clothing she gifts me (thanks, Mom)!
  • Losing track of what day it is between Christmas and New Year’s Day. What day is it? When did you last shower? Are you still eating leftovers?

Lindsay (Fabulous Forties)

Ahhhh Christmas time. All the joy, jolly and happiness that we see on Hallmark and Lifetime movies looks truly amazing. And then you look around while you are in public, if you leave your house, and see none of the fantasy portrayed on TV. Even TV Santa Clauses look like they are having the best day of their lives. Ever seen a mall Santa THAT happy?

I’m a bit more realistic about what there is to really love and cherish about Christmas. It is not running across a snow driven field into the arms of someone you love with a big smile and the sun shining because in real life its cold and there is snow in your shoes making your toes numb and the wind is making your eyes water. So what do I love about Christmas?

  • Indulging. Christmas gives us a great reason to overeat and over drink with our closest loved ones
  • Shopping. Christmas comes with guilt free on-line shopping by the fireplace because it is to spoil other people’s kids (and not me)
  • Traditions. Christmas comes with traditional Christmas movies (which we spoke about last year…didn’t read it? Shame on you…click here, once you are done reading this blog, of course)! The Christmas movies of past are a tad more realistic than those filmed in most recent decades.

And with love comes hate. Take Grinch to the next level hate! What do I hate the most?? PEOPLE!

  • People are actually more rude at Christmas than any other time of the year. A man who would generally be a gentleman and hold open the door for you cannot be bothered primarily because he is forced to be at the mall. Can’t totally blame him.
  • People who insist on swapping presents, when no one else wants to, so now you must shop for something useless just because it is the time of giving. Bah Hum Bug!
  • All the people. My biggest hate is the impossible task of balancing all that need/want to be seen. It is not possible and yet I still love you, so please stop shaming me.

All in all, I see the joy of Christmas through kids’ eyes, and I love their innocence and complete greediness, of course!

Karen (F’ing Fifties)

Cookies and Cocktails and Carols . . . Oh My! These are still a few of my favorite things, well, except carols, unless I can call cranking my holiday playlist and singing along at the top of my lungs “caroling.” If so, then, yes, “caroling” is still at the top of my list – along with the following:

  • Drive-Thrus: No, not your everyday, “super-size it” Happy Meal type of drive-thru (not that there’s anything wrong with those), I’m talking Holiday Light Display Drive-Thrus. I must say, the neighbors have really stepped it up this year and I am all for it. Want to see a reenactment of How The Grinch Stole Christmas utilizing 50,000 lights and an arena-level sound system? Turn left at the second stop sign. Prefer a perfectly timed holiday lightshow synchronized to Mariah Carey’s entire Christmas Album? Pack a snack and get in line, this one is going to take a while (but will be well worth it)! If you prefer to stay in (or are trapped under 20 feet of snow) be sure to google “The Jingle Johns – A Lighted Loo Experience.” Synchronized singing porta-potties dressed in their holiday best (click here to view ) – you can thank me later. Well done, America, well done!

 

  • Drive-Ins: Unlike Brooke, I typically look forward to spending endless hours snuggled up in a warm blanket watching Candace Cameron Bure find love with a sweater-wearing high school teacher in her hometown in the lightly falling snow, but, because being a couch potato has been my regular go-to weekend activity of choice since being under “house arrest,” I did not have the same anticipation this year . . . until now. Enter Drive-Ins. Kids, these are makeshift outdoor movie theaters basically set up in a giant parking lot which allow you to watch a movie under the stars without stepping one foot out of the car. And guess what? They’re baaaaack! I cannot wait to pack up my dog, my popcorn and perhaps some Junior Mints and head out to watch a holiday classic or two. Rest assured, I do not intend to spend the entire 24-Hours of A Christmas Story sitting in my car, well, not unless you triple dog dare me of course!

 

So, what is on my “Naughty” List? One Word: 2020. Is that even a word? If so, it is one that I would like to forget, but, if there is one thing for all of us to remember this holiday season, it is this:

 

Are you in a festive mood this year?

Are you starting a new holiday tradition in 2020?

Let us know!

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7 thoughts on “The Holiday Spirit(s)

  1. Hi, it’s me again. I forgot to mention Christmas music. I love Christmas music. I just heard Blue Christmas by Elvis and it got me up and singing along. Of course, songs by Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby And anything by Pentatonix. OK, I think I’m really done now.

    1. ‘Tis the season for all of the classics! And, please remember, “we’ll have a Blue Christmas without you.”

  2. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, and I must say it still is. Unlike Lindsay, I find people are nicer and friendlier. The lights, the music, and yes, sometimes even the Hallmark sappy movies. When my children were little, we always had the biggest tree we could find, even though it took up most of the living room, along with the fake fireplace on which the stockings hung. Those are great memories.

    Cookies. I don’t like cooking much anymore, but I love to bake. I usually bake many dozens of cookies and take them up north to distribute to family during the holidays. Two years ago I baked 142 DOZEN cookies. I loved it.

    2020 has changed that. This is the part I hate. Not being able to travel to be with family, to be blunt, sucks! We have grandchildren and great-grandchildren we will not be sharing the holiday with. We will probably order take-out for dinner. But we are healthy and that is the best gift of all, especially this year.

    So I wish everyone as merry a Christmas as you can have and a Happy and Healthy Covid-19 free New Year.

    1. We agree, this year sucks! Not only do we all miss our families, we miss each other, too! If it makes you feel better, we completely support you if you feel the need to break your previous cookie record, we’ll even volunteer to take the extras off of your hands! We also encourage you to put up that giant tree again, watch all of the sappy holiday movies (but don’t tell Brooke) and have a very Merry Christmas!

    2. This too shall pass, dear. Have faith and enjoy your Christmas, whatever it looks like. ❤️

  3. Great reading as always! No Hallmark movies for me. Great memes… especially “stay 2 leg-lamps apart “!

    1. Thank you. Unfortunately, I don’t understand Anti-Hallmarkers. The extra dose of saccharin in their endless stream of formulaic drivel is what I looked forward to most this year!  The leg lamp meme is one of my favorites, too. Who knew this fragile “major award” would have a new use during the pandemic?  They’re not just for Christmas anymore! 

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