Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's the Most Kind of Just Okay Time of the Year

I'm calling bullshit on the holiday season.

I just don't get it. People lose it prepping for Christmas, and I can barely get myself to care enough to buy hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps. I mean, I enjoy most of the trappings of Christmas. I love Christmas music. I like the sparkling lights. Cookies are pretty awesome. I don't dislike seeing my family. I just can't see what all the fuss is about though.

My life is basically an ABC Family Original Christmas movie waiting to happen.

Sarah Rue would be cast to play me (because they would immediately rewrite my character as a woman).

My super androgynous name is quite the lifesaver for the studio executives who can't be bothered to change the script.

The first half hour would be lots of scenes of me eating Oatmeal Creme Pies alone in bed by the light of my computer screen (seriously, Chris, look at your life) and drinking wine from the bottle, untangling giant balls of Christmas lights while drinking wine from the bottle, looking dejected as I try to curl ribbon while wrapping gifts and drinking wine from the bottle, and slipping on the ice while carrying giant shopping bags (filled with bottles of wine).

That all changes when I choke on a magical candy cane, or get knocked out when a mystical Christmas tree falls on me, or have a spell cast on me by a wily elf played by Tori Spelling (or really any of the cast of the original 90210), and I wake up to find that everything I've been wishing for has come true.

I've landed a job writing Dawson's Creek fan fiction. It pays great, they've given me an office right next to  Leann Chin, and they let me day drink. Nick Pitera has finally responded to one of my incessant, kind of clever, mostly creepy YouTube comments and agreed to marry me. We've got twin babies who sleep all the time unless I want to pose them for totally adorable pictures to post on Instagram (and they take direction wonderfully). My hair has never looked better, and science has discovered a way to burn fat while eating pizza rolls.

Not so fast though. Turns out "Perfect Life" Chris started neglecting her friends and family in the excitement of her fancy new life. I begin to realize that perfection is boring, and as Christmas gets closer I realize how much I had to be grateful for to begin with. I realize that maybe my other life wasn't so shitty. Sarah McLachlan will play quietly in the background as I breakdown into tears, wishing that I could go back and spend the holidays with the people I love, even if it means giving up my plush new life (it's cool, I wasn't that attached to the babies yet anyway).

That's when I wake up from a coma surrounded by everyone that I love...and all the presents that they brought me...having lost thirty pounds from the intravenous liquid diet I'd been on.

And we all lived happily ever after.

I'd watch that shit.

It's obviously not an issue of self awareness keeping me from loving the holidays. I know I have a lot to be happy about, but it's those things that I'm not happy with that I fixate on this time of year. Namely, money.

The holidays are a great reminder that I'm poor as f#%!.

I know some of you are going to say that the holidays aren't about buying presents. They're not about blowing your money on an expensive tree and buying fancy decorations. You're going to tell me that you don't need money to enjoy the holiday season.

You're living in a fantasy world.

Sure, none of those things are required but that doesn't mean that I don't want to get wonderful gifts for my friends and family, that I don't want my apartment to smell like a real pine tree, that I don't want sparkly trinkets to help put me in the mood. Realizing that I can't just go out and get these things bums me out, and that reminder makes it hard to get into the spirit.

That's where Pinterest comes in.

I decided this year to try to find inexpensive way to put myself into the holiday spirit. I'd been looking at crafts that involved old book pages and stumbled across these glittery DIY bulbs that looked fairly easy. Torn bits of book pages are mod podged onto bulbs and then sprinkled with glitter. I bought some bulbs for $4, and I had the Mod Podge and glitter on hand already. I stopped at a thrift store and was looking around for books with olden timey typestyles when I realized that I'd much rather use something a bit more the holiday themed Fear Street Book I already had at home.

It was, of course, much more obnoxious than the pin made it out to be (you can view the original pin here). Getting the pages to lay flat against a round surface was a bitch, getting an even coating of glitter proved harder than I anticipated, and it ended up taking me three hours when I was anticipating forty five minutes. 

They turned out a bit lumpier than I'd like, and you definitely don't want to look at them super close up, but now that they're on the tree (and being admired from a distance) I'm happy with them. They have character.

What I've missed most since starting to decorate my own tree was having ornaments that had a story to go along with them. My favorite ornaments growing up were always the ones that had been hung on the tree for years, and while these particular ornaments won't have as much significance as a "Baby's First Christmas" or "Our First House" ornament, they will always make me think back to when I lived in that crappy little apartment above a bar that was too small for a table so I had to do crafts on a cutting board on the floor. My life may not be right where I'd like it to be, but I know I'll look back at my late twenties with fondness, remembering especially the year that I decided to grow the f#%! up.

So I think I found some holiday spirit after all.

I think it's passed. Who knows though, I'm probably just cold. Maybe if we rescheduled the holidays for a less shitty time of year?

We don't have anything better going on in May, right?

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