For me the Holidays are a time of being with friends and family.  I cherish all the times I get to spend with family and friends both old and new.  I have been to fantastic parties, ate incredible food, drank divine wine all at the expense of  gracious hosts.  Because of all that I love this season.  Mind you, I do none of the following except  attend the parties, eat the food,  unwrap the gifts, enjoy the decor.    But this is also why I hate this time of year.

The holidays are a time of stressing out, going into debt and creating extra “projects”.  It is almost as if everyone takes on another job without pay.  Between decorating, hosting parties, baking, cooking, shopping, wrapping presents, and traveling it is the most exhausting time of the year-

DECORATING:  Even if you finally get through digging out and unpacking all the “stuff” you have accumulated for this specific time of year without injuring yourself or anyone else, your job has just started.

THE LIGHTS:  Hang lights…I want to hang myself.  Never mind untangling them or finding the one dead one that kills the whole string. Once you get them up you can plug them in and watch your meter spin faster than that SIT-N-SPIN you received as a kid.  You know who likes this time of year?  THE ELECTRIC COMPANY!  Nothing gives off more of that “warm and fuzzy” holiday feeling than a string of lights with plastic glowing Santa’s and snowmen especially in July.

THE TREE:  Real or fake everyone busts their humps setting them up.  Whether you need to hunt down missing limbs for the plastic ones or exterminate all the wildlife that is trying to "adjust" to new surroundings with the real ones.  Real trees never stand straight and need constant watering so the big dead plant does not dry up and burn down the house.  Speaking of real trees, where is the “GO GREEN” initiative when we are killing thousands of trees for a one day celebration?  Do you want the definition of IRONY?  I saw a hybrid vehicle with a pine tree strapped to the roof. AND what is with that spray on snow?  I do not think the faux snow fools anyone. It is 70 degrees in the house, real snow does not have a chance, let it go. And tinsel?  "Look at the Blue Spruce Timmy, you can tell it is a Blue Spruce by the  gold and silver tinfoil on it!”

HOSTING PARTIES:  Kudos to all who entertain, bake and cook.  To let people, family and/or strangers, into your home is very generous.  I personally cringe at the thought of  people in my abode mooching my grub and trashing my stuff.

BAKING:  I love eating the cookies but to me the “Cookie Exchange” is a forced labor induced get-together.  If I turn the oven on you can be sure it is for me to stick my head in to it, not to bake ginger bread men-

COOKING:  I eat out of plastic microwaveable dishes 365 days of the year.  Spending the time, energy and money to buy food I am too lazy to cook myself is a big hang up for me and my table setting is usually over the kitchen sink.

 SHOPPING:  The old saying that “It is better to give than to receive” should be changed to “It is better to not stress out and go into debt purchasing gifts just because it is the thing to do.”  There is so much pressure put on finding the right gift and saving money that the message of the season is lost.  Remember “Peace and Love, Goodwill Towards Man”?  I am sure that Timmy and Sally’s faces, come Christmas morning, will be precious and worth all of those who were trampled or beat up in the process of getting “that perfect gift.” 

WRAPPING GIFTS:  I cannot spend any free time doing my best ORIGAMI on a gift when I know that the person I will be giving the gift to will thrash through it faster than they can say “Merry Christmas

TRAVELING:  Why drive some obscene distance just to be reminded why you moved away in the first place?  Why do you think eggnog is only available around this time of year?  Because eggnog masks the taste and scent of almost any alcoholic beverage!   Holding a tall cup of “spiked” eggnog to help cope with relatives looks less harmless than holding a tall glass of whiskey.  If you drink, DO NOT DRIVE: Those pretty red and white lights will not be coming from St. Nick, they will be coming from an Erie County Sheriff.

There is more but I have to work on my list to Santa. 

To everyone who makes this time of year special  for bitter people like me. You all are the bright star atop of our Charlie Brown Christmas tree.  Happy holidays, including but not limited to Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.