Thursday, December 19, 2013

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Things I Hate About Christmas

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Merry Christmas YA FILTHY Animal - T-shirt

I hate Black Friday.

I hate it when I’m all snuggled up in bed, just about to fall asleep, and realize that I forgot to move the damn elf.

I hate wrapping gifts because Mel feels there is an art to it. A strategy. That each fold needs to be just right. Just so. That we need to use different handwriting on the present labels (one for the gifts from Santa, and one for the gifts from us) because if we don’t, the kids will see the same handwriting between both gifts and realize that we are, indeed, Santa. Mel seems to assume that our kids are professional graphologists solving a great historical mystery, rather than a six-year-old boy who sleeps in Spiderman underwear, and a four-year-old girl who eats her own boogers. While I, in contrast, would rather place each gift in a grocery sack with no label.

I hate feeling like a bad parent because I can’t buy my kids all the really cool toys that I wanted as a child, like a Power Wheel, a go cart, or a remote control airplane that really flies and drops bombs.

I hate picking up the tree in the cold, hauling it into the bed of my truck; driving it home on slick roads; hauling it into my house while being carful not to get sap on the carpet; putting it in my stupid rusty stand that hurts my fingers to tighten; stopping half way into vacuuming up needles to unclog the hose on my shitty vacuum; getting sap on my hands and clothes as I string it with lights; and hunching down to water the damn thing a couple times a day, being extra carful not to over fill and stain the carpet. (But I do enjoy the smell.)    

I hate dark chocolate and anyone that puts fruit in my stocking.

I hate when my neighbor is putting up a shit load of lights and a blow up Santa on his house, like he is Clark Griswold or something, and Mel looks at me and says, “When are you going to decorate the house?”

Christmas cookies that look like soft chewy sugar cookies, but are really crunchy dried out nasty cookies, are the reason I have trust issues.

I hate caroling and carolers.

I hate that I will never be as excited about Christmas morning as I was when I was a child. Each Christmas morning, I look at Norah and Tristan’s delighted faces, the way they run around the house, jumping and squealing with excitement, and realize that even though I will never feel that exhilaration again, I feel just a little bit of joy by watching them. That makes it all worth it.

Happy Holidays.  

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Clint Edwards is a tutor coordinator at Oregon State University. He is also the former co-host of the Weekly Reader on KMSU and a graduate of the MFA program at Minnesota State University. His writing has been listed as notable by Best American Essays, and has been published in The Baltimore Review, and through The University of North Dakota, Boston College, Emerson College, The University of South Carolina, and Minnesota State University.