Bah Hum-Turtle

I hate Christmas.

Yes, I said it. I mean it, too.

I hate most major holidays, but Christmas irritates me more than most. Possibly because it goes on so long.

I hate putting up decorations. I hate taking down decorations. I hate decorations. I hate cars slowing down in front of me to stare at decorations. I hate the expectation that I’m supposed to put up decorations or be a party-pooper.

I hate secular Christmas music. I hate that I can’t turn on a radio station without hearing “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Or “The Little Drummer Boy.” Oh, how I hate “The Little Drummer Boy.” My most hated Christmas song ever is “Little Saint Nick” by The Beach Boys. What exactly were they smoking when they wrote that song? What terrible, powerful malevolence keeps it circulating year after year? Die, Little Saint Nick, die!

I hate how my schedule gets messed up. I hate driving in the dark to get to places I don’t want to go to do things I don’t want to do. I don’t care if I’m getting fed. I’m not supposed to eat most of it anyway and it doesn’t make up for the lost time. I hate that Christmas parties ruin my plans to celebrate the winter solstice.

I hate how my TV schedule gets rearranged. Every station suspends new shows to run old shows I could get on Netflix if I really cared to watch them, which I don’t, or I would. I hate “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It’s a terrible life! The only thing that poor man ever wanted was to leave that two-bit town and no one will let him, not even God who stops him from committing suicide. He can’t catch a break. And now they take 3 hours to run it and play an hour and a half of commercials. I can watch Fringe if I want commercials.

I hate that people justify lying to their children about the existence of a certain supernatural being “because it’s cute.” You know what isn’t cute? Lying to your children.

I hate the weather. I hate that i stays dark until 7 AM and gets dark by 5 PM. I hate snow. I hate cold winds and cold floors and cold air when I get out of the shower. I hate that I don’t have enough money to keep the house at 83 degrees like I do in summer, and that winter seems to last longer every year I’m alive.

I hate the obligation of giving presents. If I knew what you wanted, I would have given it to you before now. I hate holding on to presents. I hate wrapping presents or deciding how to wrap presents. I hate carrying presents from place to place and then carrying different presents back again. Frankly, I have enough stuff. I don’t need more, and neither do you.

I hate the stress. I hate that the most wonderful time of the year often involves hanging with people you choose not to see the other 364 days.

I hate that you’re expected to “be good” for the month of December. Not even the whole month. Just until the 25th day. Aren’t we supposed to be good all the time? “For goodness’ sake” and not to get stuff?

I hate hesitating before I say “Merry Christmas” because the PC police have me so wound up over possibly offending somebody that I can’t in good conscience say what I mean. I hate that my high holy day has been corrupted by a fallen world, and I can’t even find it in myself to celebrate it anymore.

So Merry Christmas, dear readers. May your days be merry and bright. Mine won’t be again until June 21.


About Robynn Tolbert

Born in Kansas and born again at age six, Robynn has published two novels and started her third. Robynn, aka Ranunculus Turtle, lives in Kansas with a clowder of cats, a patient dog and a garden.

11 comments on “Bah Hum-Turtle

  1. I hate it too, for most of those exact reasons! Shall we hate on it together? 😉 Sounds like more fun than some of the things folks think we should do around now…

  2. Wow. Why don’t you tell us how you really feel? 😀

    I used to hate Christmas for a lot of those same reasons and including being coerced to wrap my husband’s gifts he gives to others (except that I have always really liked It’s a Wonderful Life as well as the Muppets’ Christmas Carol, and White Christmas for various reasons). I don’t have any expectations, nor do I shop for presents. I give homemade baked goods to people I feel like giving them to, and if anything comes my way that I don’t care for I either re-gift it, or take it to Goodwill. My kids and their spouses get an Amazon gift card so they can get whatsoever they wish. And, after this past Thanksgiving, I simply will not spend any more holidays whatsoever with family that rain on my parade, or that call me afterward to diss my family.

    I put the tree up because my husband loves it, and this year I’ve found a reason to like it myself. It is precisely because it gets so dark in December that I like having the candles in the window, the lights on the tree, and the star gently back-lighting the plaster of Paris nativity scene from our Portugal years. We aren’t going to get the prize for the best decorated house, but we like it. By the time I take down the decorations in January, the days are already getting longer. and, of course, being in Florida means spring is only about a month away. Next year, I’m going to make cloth gift bags for my husband to “wrap” his own stuff.

    So, I used to bah-humbug, but now I do Christmas on my own terms, not according to anyone else’s expectations and standards. Mostly I ignore the hustle and bustle, and take time to do what introverts do best: I stay home.

  3. Oh, Robynn, this made me laugh (it’s Monday morning, and I’m off to work, so thank you). I loved the commentary on IAWL. I used to think I hated Xmas, too, but after reading this, I realize that I only dislike it very strongly. Though, I tend not to tolerate any Xmas music (with very few exceptions). I do, however, enjoy Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song. Which doesn’t count, I know.

  4. I really hated Christmas too. I hated all of the Christmas RE-decorating that I was expected to do, followed by all of the UN-decorating and regular RE-decorating that followed. I absolutely balked at Christmas letters and was even pretty ornery about the greeting card thing. I did, however, want lights up on the house and one pretty Christmas tree (not two! Why did there HAVE to be two???). The whole party thing stressed me out. I wanted to have friends over and be invited out, but sickness would always rear its ugly head and munch away on us, swallowing up huge chunks of our time and energy, and dictating what we could and couldn’t do. I wanted to go caroling, but phfffft. And I absolutely REVILED the whole shopping-for-gifts thing and how we had to go do it separately, and how this meant that I was denied face-time with my husband from Thanksgiving until Christmas. And how the deluge of presents meant that I had to somehow convince my children to part with at least some of their previously favorite toys to make room for more new stuff that wasn’t going to fit no matter what I did, that they really absolutely, didn’t need.

    Admittedly, getting divorced was an extreme way of fixing all of this (and no, we didn’t get divorced over Christmas), but–I really don’t hate Christmas any more. And ironically, I still don’t know where I’m going to store my Christmas decorations when the holiday is over, even though I have almost nothing now. Or whether the new gifts are going to find room (scary thought! YIPES!)

    Regarding the music-that-you-hate; that’s why God gave us CD players and iPods and MP3 players! 😉

    In the true Christmas spirit of giving, here are a few links to totally revolutionize your view of Christmas music:

    (I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas) http://youtu.be/FBqU0W06ZH4
    (Angel In The Christmas Play) http://youtu.be/Xb5vwcP_ZO8

    These have the original singer, Gayla Peever singing the songs, but there are lots of other YouTube links for both songs, and for other Spike Jones favorites.

    As for the rest of it, I think I’m going to write a blog post about Christmas music off the beaten track that I enjoy. You’re welcome to drop by!

  5. Ah, Christmas. I can certainly agree with many of Robynn’s sentiments and snickered at quite a few more.

    Decorations? Haven’t put any up in years. I bought a tree and decorations the first year I was in my house, but my cat quickly made me realize just how foolish that was. Tinsel was a baaaad idea.

    Gifts? There aren’t many people left in my life that need much of anything. I’ll get something for my Mom and sister, but gift cards rule the day for everyone else.

    Black Friday? Pffft. I sleep in. I’ll wait until after Christmas to get what I want. (Hallmark ornaments are my vice. I’ll get up early to get those half-off.)

    Christmas parties? I haven’t been invited to one in years and the one at the office is childish.

    Christmas music? Actually, I listen to Christmas music year-round on my tablet, along with 80’s music, Christian Contemporary, movie theme music and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Yes, my tastes in music are eclectic.

    Shorter daylight? Oh yeah, I despise that with a passion…once I get enough Mt. Dew in me to wake up and realize it’s still dark outside.

    When I was young, Christmas was fun trying to figure out just what was in the packages. As a teen, it was fun to be with family, but reality set in about the commercialized Christmas. College and early adult-hood were my dark years, but it was still good to be with my folks and my sister’s family when they visited.

    Today, my Dad left to be with the Lord a year ago, my Mom is alive and more or less well, my sister is on the east coast saving up to retire in a year (some serious envy here, I have to wait about 18yrs) and my brother is the black sheep (not sure if he’s on the planet yet). I never married, so I have no family of my own. I’ll head to Mom’s on Christmas day to spend the day with her and enjoy a reeeeeeally good home-cooked meal. 🙂

    Christmas is just another day to me. I’ll do my best to serve the Lord, just like the other 364 days.

  6. Suddenly, I feel very, very small. 😛

  7. Robynn, I’m with you on decorations, the drummer boy, and socializing with people I don’t like. But I enjoy “It’s a Wonderful Life” because it shows how one good person can influence so many others. Plus: Jimmy Stewart. 🙂

    I don’t often remember to say “Merry Christmas,” but I’ve never had anyone be offended by my doing so.

    As for presents — oy. I hesitate to go there. But here are two links:

    First, Adam Davidson explains why Black Friday is insane in a story that begins with what is possibly the best lead-in ever on an economics article: “If an alien with an accounting degree touched down in America, it might conclude that we’re a weird cult that spends 11 months living frugally and four crazy weeks buying tons of stuff we don’t need.”

    Second, Wall Street Journal interviews economist Joel Waldfogel, author of “Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays,” who explains why the Christmas shopping season is an “orgy of wealth destruction.”

  8. Robynn, it is very scary how much we are alike. And I am amazed how many others feel like we do when I always feel like such a Scrooge for just HAVING such “blasphemous” thoughts/feelings/opinions and not even telling anyone. I refuse to lie to my children about Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the tooth fairy and always have. Most of the rest of the crap, I just stifle my feelings and go along with it, figuring it’s not supposed to be about me or what I like or what I want. I sure wish I had the courage to do things differently. You’re so brave to even admit this publicly. I wouldn’t post a response if I thought anyone in my family would see this, but my “weird writing thing” is pretty much ignored, so I’m probably safe.

    Summer always comes again, dear turtle. Hold on.

  9. Sorry Sis but without Christmas there wouldn’t be Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas. So you see, Robynn, yes there is a Santa Claus….

  10. Well, I survived another year, and I’ll have to put on Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas because it is one Christmas movie I do love.

    Hope you all had a Merry Christmas anyway. I managed. 😉

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