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It’s that time of the year when the December holidays are inescapable – and honestly, I could be writing this in the middle of September and that statement would still be accurate.

There are a lot of things I dislike about the holidays, and many I do enjoy. And, in a show of brutal honesty, I’m going to tell you all about them. I’m a giver, me.

I honestly:

*Love Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas.” I own it. I can and do play it at various times throughout the year, and if I could have it, Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby,” Macca’s “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime,” and all the versions of “Sleigh Ride” going 24/7, plus a few others to be noted below, I’d be all over the idea of Christmas in July. Add in my “Christmas Belles” CD and I’m golden.

*Love every, single version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and would add them to that 24/7 select list. I get the rapey vibe, but I also am aware of when the song was written, the reasons the lyrics are the way they are, and the fact that it’s clear the gal is not actually wanting to leave. Plus, the rare role reversal versions put it on equal footing. And I like those, too.

*I don’t play “Wham-ageddon” because…wait for it…I actually really like “Last Christmas” and think it’s a good “I’m moving on” song. Of all the Christmas songs to single out for a negative-sum game, why pick on this one? I have a laundry list of others I think are so much worse, and so much more deserving of being avoided at all costs.

*Hate overdone decoration displays. I have a sliding scale for overdone, though. Keep it all on a theme and a color scheme and, even if you can land a 747 on your roof, I’ll tell the world it’s beautiful. Have every theme known to mankind in your front yard, however? I shudder as I look away. You do you, because I’m not for one moment telling you not to do you with this one, but if I’m oohing and ahhing over a mismatched display, it’s due to peer pressure, not actual enjoyment.

*Feel that those who tossed up one string of lights or put out one small decoration deserve the same kudos as those who bought out every store’s holiday display items. We don’t know how hard it was for the less decorated dwellings to get anything out and up, and I applaud the effort.

*Likewise, if you don’t decorate at all, I applaud you for a variety of reasons. You do YOU, babe.

*Love getting Christmas cards, though I literally send none these days. I WANT to send them, I possess the cards and the stamps, but the work involved in sending them feels like…well, work, and I don’t want to work, I want to write. Ergo…no cards. I extra love those who still valiantly send cards to me with the clear understanding that they’ll receive none back – you’re doing God’s work and I appreciate it.

*Used to love and now loathe the various “gotcha” stuff that travels over the internet at this time of year, like the snowball fight. In the early days, it felt fun and connecting. Now it just feels like more spam.

*Want to throat punch anyone who makes a big deal out of how anyone wishes them a good day. Happy Holidays is what covers the myriad holidays that hit in December, but if you want to say Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Splendid Kwanzaa, Peaceful Solstice, or whatever else is being celebrated, have at it. There are literally more official days and holidays in December than they are actual days IN December. Making a big deal about this shows that you’re a petty, demanding person who cannot accept that others might have a differing view or lifestyle. Don’t be that person. Because I will want to throat punch you.

*Like good fruitcake, which does exist out there. It tastes like cake, versus a dense, sodden log, and it’s divine in a variety of forms. Sadly, most of those forms never arrive at my house, but hope springs eternal.

*Really loathe “Elf.” I can barely stand Will Farrell as a supporting character. Having to watch his man-child character onscreen for 90+ minutes is akin to torture. I had to go into Best Buy a lot over the last few weeks, and that’s the movie they had on repeat for the Geek Squad guys. Whatever they’re paying the Geek Squad guys, it’s not enough. Adding insult to injury, I only got to see the Peter Dinklage scene (aka the only good scene in that movie) once.

*Really like most Christmas movies. Unlike Christmas music, I can pick and choose and therefore never have to see something I hate more than the first time. And most, barring “Elf,” are pretty good and worth repeat viewing.

*Like “Office Christmas Party.” I liked it when it premiered, and I still like it now. Jennifer Aniston really plays a believable bitch, which are the only roles I can stand her in. (Yes, I’m still Team Jolie over here.)

*Really hate Hallmark Christmas movies. They’re like crack, and I can only watch them if I view them through a fantasy or science fiction lens: this isn’t real life, this is some weird pocket dimension that eats goals and achievements and spits out fake small-town ideals and only has gay or POC characters if they can just be gay or POC characters that act straight and white. I don’t disparage those who love them, just don’t expect me to love them with you. I’ll be over here, writing the story of how the big city girl finds the Fake Small-Town Demon, destroys it, and brings those she can rescue from that pocket dimension back to the big city with her to remember their goals and dreams and start their lives afresh.

*Loathe almost all Christmas music that hasn’t been noted here already. I find it ether maudlin, utterly sappy, too cutesy for words, or a combination of all three. The religiously based carols are okay, but I have to be in the mood for them, which I rarely am, and I’m almost never in the mood for them if I have the radio in the car on. Exceptions to this are any Christmas songs sung by Der Bingle (Bing Crosby), Dean Martin, or Johnny Mathis, because beautiful voices get a pass.

*Used to like and now loathe all the “joke” Christmas carols. “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” was funny when it premiered in, I believe, the 1970’s. Now it’s just painfully tired. And that goes for the rest of them, including the Chipmunks’ version of anything. Especially the Chipmunks’ version of anything.

*I’d rather hear the barking dogs’ version of “Jingle Bells” than any other version of that song, including those sung by Der Bingle, Dino, and Johnny. It is not one of my favorites by a long shot.

*Every Christmas song other than those I’ve named and a handful of others is in the running for Christmas Song I Hate the Most. I can’t choose, because literally when “Jingle Bells” comes on I think it’s the one I hate the most, but then “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” comes on and I reflect on how crappy everyone was to poor Rudolph until he was useful and then that’s the one I hate the most, until any other song not on my short list comes on, and then I hate THAT one the most, and so on.

*Know that I am not alone in this one – the musak/all orchestration versions of 99.99999% of all Christmas carols are the worst things known to ears and should be abolished today if not sooner.

*Have years, however, when I want to hear Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving and though to New Year’s. Those years are few and far between, but I do have them.

*Have far more years when I hate even the stuff I like. Other than “Santa Baby” and Mariah’s “All I Want” because I can never hear those too much or too often.

I’ll take my hat and coat and go now.

copyright 2021 Jeanne Cook. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce any portions thereof in any form whatsoever.
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