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Wednesday
Dec102008

Batman Smells

Am I alone here?

Am I the only one who unpacked the tinsel, the ornaments, the stable, the tablecloth and the Advent wreath and went "...Meh?"  Anybody with me on the meh this year?

I blame the Peppermint Doughnut of Doom.  Over the past week, Christmas has become further additions to the daily To Half-Arse List:  Cards, watch White Christmas, cookies, vacuum.  Vacuum.  Oh, and vacuum.  Motions, mostly.  It'll probably all come together right on the day itself-- but for now, I'm standing between my LED wreath and my double-box of watered down Jingles, wondering how, exactly, Christmas became a chore.

Am I getting tired?  Am I getting old?  Am I wrong for slamming a fist through the dashboard when that freaking hippopotamus song springs forth?  ("God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" by the Barenaked Ladies, however, gets cranked.  I demand extra credit for this.)

joker got away at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com

tip the bartender

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Reader Comments (26)

So glad I'm not alone here! I don't know if it's the lingering head cold, the fact that I'll be traveling out of town for the actual holiday this year, or the 78 seventh graders whom I still have to prep for their midterm exams next week, but whatever the reason -- Meh. The tree is up, but I've had the box of ornaments open for three days and I've only managed to hang eleven measley ornaments. Bah humbug.

December 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPatty M.

oh, I totally relate, MB. No tree up yet here - and there's only two weeks to go. We have lights, because my partner loves me A LOT but all the stuff I traditionally take care of, well, let's just say, um, maybe next weekend? I have no idea what's making this year different, but my prep schedule is just way off. Good for us, God's wasn't :-)

December 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteraazmom

Full of both humbug and "meh."

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEm the Reader

I'm a member of the 'Scrooge Club' myself.

A Mexican journalist once wrote that Scrooge was a very unappreciated character, because what he hated was the frivolity o the festivities, and the fact that people feel the obligation to feel cheerful on that particular date of the calendar.

On a radio show the other day the host said that 60% of the —Mexican— population overspends and acquire massive credit debts during the Holidays. Debts that consume them the rest of the year; and shop assistants & clerks are being indoctrinated to 'hunt down' customers and literally rob their Xmas bonus away.

Maybe we should return to the basics: Ask ourselves what we are supposed to celebrate to begin with... or maybe watch the Charlie Brown Xmas special for the 100th time ;-)

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

I am in the Meh this year. I couldn't even bring myself to go to the toy store to get stuff for the kids. (They are getting gift cards so Auntie can take them to the movies and I bought baseball tickets for May.) I might throw in new coloring books for Auntie's car and some candy but that's it.
I am not putting a tree up or my Nativities out. I know with my nephew dog and the kids they will get broken so I am not even bothering. I know I should put the Christmas wreath on the front door as the scarecrow is looking very out of place but... I just haven't gotten to it. I also have the flip flop flag on the back door. That should probably get changed too.
I don't think it is b/c I am old. Perhaps tired. I think I am just Christmased out since the carols have been playing since October. It isn't exciting anymore, they start pushing carols and Christmas in October and by the timeit actually gets here, who cares?
Oh and I had to buy all the new decorations for the Church hall. Last year is was just wreaths on the door and a small tree. This year all the Church activities are there so we had to step it up. After threading 200 lights through the 6 ft wreath and swaging the stage in pine and ribbon, I didn't really care if I ever decorated again. I still have to go and put up the new Nativity and finish the extension cords. (Not to mention bake 50 dozen cookies by Saturday.)

I do have the Barenaked "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman" on the CD in my car. I will blast that on the way home when there is nothing on the radio. Of course, sometimes I do that in the summer too.

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKell Belle

Oh, major, *major* MEH. I'm usually the hugest Elf out there and pestering my husband to help get the tree. I haven't even put my creche out and it's in the freakin' closet - not the storage area in the car port with the rest of my stuff.... Never mind cards for clients and family and friends...

What to blame.....Economic blues? That icky cold that lingers for 3 weeks? The lateness of daylight savings time and Thanksgiving? I can't blame the weather, it's gorgeous here in San Diego.....

Mehumbug. ;-)

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCA Sailing Lady

Hi MB. After years of reading your blogs and not commenting, this one inspired me to comment. I am also full of Christmas meh this year and share with you an absolute loathing of the hippo song. Just what is a "hippo hero" anyway? Is it an armed forces vet?

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbiology lab manager

I'm with you on the 'meh'. At least we have the lights up outside, thanks to my husband. Any minute now he's going to say 'lets put up the tree this weekend'. I'm dreading that. He's downstairs wrapping Christmas presents. I'm upstairs hiding.

RPJ - I watched the Charlie Brown special this week. Didn't help.

December 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCJ

Definitely old! I'm feeling the same way. Although it might be the economy...

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElisabeth

I have to say I have a bit of bah-humbug myself this year, but I suppose I'm entitled since I have to have my gallbladder out on the 22nd and have been feeling pretty darn miserable for months. The tree is up though, complete with a special cow ornament made by you circa 1993-ish? And of course, a little bnl + Sarah McLaughlin blasting the Best.Christmas.Carol.Ever makes every day better. Sometimes I even listen to it in the middle of the summer just for fun!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarisa

Hi, Marisa! I'm so glad to see you here. How good to know you still have that cow ornament! That made my day :) Hope you're feeling better and that your little ones are doing well.

Marisa The College Roommate of Julie The NephewsMama, everyone!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMB

MB, I[m totally with you on this one. Major "Meh" here. In my case, though, I know what took my Christmas cheer away. On November 24th, my best guy-friend lost his battle with cancer. He had fought valiantly for almost ten years, but in the end the cancer won. He was such an elf at Christmas-time, and such a warm, sunny person all year-round, that everything just seems completely gloomy and gray without him.
I'm going home at Christmas (another source of "meh" weather-wise...who wants to go from warm, sunny Arizona to cold, gray Indiana?). This year, though, I'll be dividing my time between seeing my niece and nephew (and the rest of my family) and helping clean out my friend's house. I wasn't able to go back for the funeral, so I haven't really had a chance to say good-bye.
Needless to say, I can't stand to hear Christmas carols, I don't care about shopping, and I'm exhausted from having to put my "happy face" on and go teach school. I can't tell you the number of times my students have said, "Miss Smith, are you okay?" Instead of cute little handmade Christmas cards, I have students bringing me handmade sympathy cards. I feel like I have robbed them of part of their Christmas experience. I don't want them to remember third grade as the year their teacher lost her "bestest friend". Meh.
My friend (it's complicated....we were once a couple, but decided we were better off being friends) left behind a beautiful daughter. She is twelve and also in full "meh" mode. She said the sight of Christmas decorations makes her stomach hurt. I'll be spending some time with her too. We've decided we're going to help each other get through it this year.

On a more cheerful note, we have two Christmas specials that we've been able to watch and actually enjoy....Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We've decided they are both just melancholy enough, but get the point across. Besides, they were her dad's favorites.

Maybe if everyone allows themselves to feel "meh" this year, next year will be better. My friend was fond of saying, as he was suffering through yet another round of chemo, "It'll get better. Probably get worse before it gets better, but eventually I'll turn the corner and things will start looking up."
Allowing himself to have that attitude kept him fighting and enjoying life the best he could for ten years. I think there's a lesson there somewhere.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWiserlemmingAZ

Triple MEH for me. Every year I decorate our office for our annual Holiday charity event and it totally takes me OUT of the Christmas spirit. I used REALLY deck the halls but now struggle to even put up a tree. I do, however, LOVE to give gifts and put a lot of thought into them for each person. I'd definitely rather give than receive!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSara N

Oh, but you must watch White Christmas, if nothing else!

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKT

As an aficionado of Christmas music, I must now go to WalMart and hunt down the bnl song. I feel so left out.
We have 'meh' this year, but it's because we went from three children in the house last Christmas to one child in the house last Christmas.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterstarnarcosis

WL, my most sincere condolences on the loss of your friend. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this right now.

My mother's brother died suddenly on December 23 before any of us grandkids were born, and she confirmed to me that the first Christmas is definitely the hardest... but that the best advice they got was from their pastor, who recommended that the family do Christmas as normally as possible and avoid running from it, because then they'd always be avoiding the season. You're already doing that by celebrating your friend's life in watching his favorite Christmas specials. It sounds like you are doing the very best you can, and I think your students see and appreciate that.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMB

White Christmas is my all-time favorite movie. No, not Christmas movie, just movie in general. Because, you know, the Best Things Happen While You're Dancing. :o)
I hope you find your Christmas spirit at some point. I enjoy the Hippo Song, on the other hand, that horrible, horrible Christmas Shoes song could never EVER be played again and I'd be happy.
We moved in August, and I think we have just been in overload mode for a few months. The tree is up, the lights are on, but no ornaments. The new (from a yard sale) lawn stuff is next to the tree - we actually lit up the reindeer and the tree together last night. Aah, to have lighted reindeer in your living room. It was nice reading light anyway...

Some of the cards have been signed, none of the envelopes printed. CTS is killing me and the cards have glitter on them this year, or I would totally print them too! Oh well. I'll remember No Glitter next year! I signed 17 cards last night... the other 40 will have to be broken down this weekend.

I think that Consumerism has brought out the Meh in all of us! You can't walk into Rite Aid the day after Halloween without being bombarded with Santa! What ever happened to waiting until AFTER Thanksgiving to put the Christmas carols on? This year, it was the Monday before Thanksgiving that the local stations (97.1 and 101.9) went to All Christmas, All the Time. Not that I mind so much... but it was a tad early for my taste.

Oh well. Better luck next year. And Wiselemming. I am so sorry for your loss - I hope your holiday can be full of happy memories with his daughter and hopefully some healing.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKris

If I may give an advise WL,:

Why don't you buy a few little toys and give them to children in the Oncology section of your hometown's hospital? And in the toys cards write down that they're from your recently-departed friend? Maybe that could do the trick.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

I've pretty much been "meh" about Christmas since I was 18 and got my first job in retail. Nothing like crass commercialism to suck all the joy out of the most wondrous holiday the calendar has to offer.

I think it's worse this year because of the economy, or to be more specific the relentless drumbeat of how the economy is doing on every single news program from the 5 AM news to the 11 PM news. Evidently it has been determined that we need to know every waking second how much crap Macy's is selling (relative to every other year) every single second of the day, and given that virtually everyone is financially pinched one way or the other, we're internally pressured if we're not buying enough stuff.

Of course, I'd like to think that we could be more like Linus with the spotlight on him, or at the very least all the Whos in Whoville, and be cognizant of the fact that Christmas is more than what can be boxed and bought and wrapped and given. And even though I know all of these things, and preach the values of de-commercialization to everyone I know, I'm more broke than a stopped clock and feel worthless because I have nothing to offer this year, especially when compared to what everyone else in my life has given me. And they're all broke, too.

All I know is that every time I hear "Little Drummer Boy," I want to throw up, or cry, or both. I feel like I don't even know how to play the drum.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterINCITEmarsh

Thanks, everyone. And RPG---what an awesome idea!!!!! I'll definitely look into doing that. I'll also see about having his daughter help me (if she wants to) do that for the oncology center back home.

Pete (my friend) was never one to sit around and be all "Meh". Up until the moment he passed, he managed to find a smile for everyone who visited. It may have been brief, but it was genuine.

All "The Readers" have really helped me get through this awful time. I have found myself checking this blog daily (sometimes even more than that) looking for MB's take on life. It--and the replies--got me through some pretty long days, and even longer nights.

Oh, and by the way, I completely agree with the "Christmas Shoes" song. It should be banned for all eternity. I can't bear to listen to it.

December 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWiserlemmingAZ

[...] so at least I don’t stand alone in my hubuging. But at this point I think we’re even beyond my usual fix-all– pictures of baby [...]

WL,

I tried to send this earlier but didn't get it through. I am sorry for your loss. I was thinking that since you are going to IN where the sun doesn't shine from Oct to May you may want to invest in a UV bulb while you are there. I used one in college and it made the winters tolerable (that and MB's stories over dinner). It gets so blah there and knowing you are going from sunny AZ to very very gray IN, I thought it may be a shock to your system and having the UV light really does help. I know your trip isn't going to be esay but if you go shopping as RPJ suggested then wrap in the pretend UV light it won't be all toooooo bad.

Again my condolences.

Kelle Belle

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKell Belle

Meh=1,000 points

Barenaked Ladies for Christmas=INFINITY POINTS! That is one of the only tolerable christmas songs EVER invented.

December 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersophie

Am I wrong for slamming a fist through the dashboard when that freaking hippopotamus song springs forth?

Yah, well, I hate that song, too.

(”God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by the Barenaked Ladies, however, gets cranked.)

Are you SURE we weren't separated at birth? That - and Josh Groban's "O Holy Night" are the only two songs worth cranking. And I sing along with Sarah Mclachlan's parts, too. I love it when other drivers look at me like I'm certifiable.

December 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Lou the Reader

[...] 24, 2008 by MB Right on the cusp of it all, I’ve finally figured it out, this year’s Mighty Christmas Malaise:  It’s the realization that no matter what I do, Christmas will come anyway.  It’s [...]

December 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEvergreen « Blonde Champ

[...] 23, 2008 by MB Right on the cusp of it all, I’ve finally figured it out, this year’s Mighty Christmas Malaise:  It’s the realization that no matter what I do, Christmas will come anyway.  It’s [...]

December 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEvergreen « Blonde Champ
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