See the Santa hat? Isn't it festive? Note the bell? It went *jingle, jingle* as I swept.
From this, you may be getting the impression that I like Christmas. Well, if so, you're wrong... Oh, there are things I like about it, such as hats and bells and reindeer. I like that people try to be nicer than usual. I enjoy the eggnog and mints and cookies. And I do like a lot of the movies. But I don't like the work involved in putting up trees, I don't like the music, and I hate the pressures I put on myself.
I don't even like the presents.
Wait... Did I just say I dislike presents? Well, yeah. I do. Or the whole hubbub surrounding them anyway. Both giving and receiving gifts are great sources of stress for me. Someone gives me something and I feel guilty, unworthy of the attention or the money spent. If it's a gift I dislike, then I feel bad for not liking it. If it's one I do like, I worry that whatever I gave in return wasn't as well suited. I dread selecting gifts, certain that no matter how well I know the person I'm gifting things to I've made an error in judgement and they would have rather had something else. And if I don't know the person well... That's just a nightmare where I play That Crazy Aunt Who Gives The Crazy Lame Presents. I mean, the aunt who gave Ralphie that bunny outfit in A CHRISTMAS STORY probably didn't know what she was doing, right? She was just remembering that he'd liked bunnies when he was three or something. What if Star Wars LEGO toys became the new bunny suits and I didn't notice?
So my stomach has been in knots for weeks and I'm all stressed and I won't feel better until next month at the earliest. Which is sad because it means I'll still be suffering Christmas Distress on my birthday, which is December 26th. And, oh, how I wish they'd move Christmas so that it wasn't right next to the one day that's supposed to be mine!
Anyway, this leads me to a Christmas edition of People Not To Confuse With Andy...
Oh, it's easy to see how Clark and I could get mixed up in your head. We both try too hard and generally wind up sabotaging ourselves as a direct result. We get ideas in our heads and run with them, regardless of the strange looks our families give us. We keep forgetting exactly how klutzy we are, so we try to do complicated things that require coordination we simply don't posses. We miss important details, often spending hours trying to solve problems that could have been addressed in seconds if we'd just been able to realize what really needed done. We hate disappointing people and really want everyone to be happy, so much so that we make them miserable with our efforts. And I'm certain that if someone made a movie about my life, they'd cast a member of Saturday Night Live to play me. Possibly Tina Fey. Can she curl? (She doesn't have to do it well.)
But somehow Clark remains cheerfully dedicated to the concept of the perfect Christmas. And personally I'd just as soon give Christmas a miss.
But I can't skip Christmas. It would break my son's heart. So I'll celebrate it and try to be as merry as I can manage. And I'll wish you all well, hoping that whichever winter holidays you chose to celebrate are filled with unforced cheer and happiness.