December 26, 2005

How to Make Christmas Fun as an Adult

An eccentric guide.

1) Don't set a timetable—or if you do, don't take it too seriously. If your husband were that determined to have dinner at 4:00, after all, he would have put the turkey in the oven himself. If all else fails, offer him a tuna sandwich.

2) Just because an object resides in the boxes marked "Christmas Decorations" does not mean it has to be displayed this year. Maybe it can go up next year instead. Rotate the Christmas knicknacks. Think about giving some away.

3) The house doesn't have to be any cleaner on Christmas Day than it is on any other day. If people wanted to be in a clean house, they'd be at your stepmother's place.

4) When in doubt, make a joke of it. Self flagellation isn't funny: the persistent temptation to engage in it is, however, hilarious.

5) Anything that goes wrong should be blamed on your nonexistent cook and household staff. Explain very earnestly that they've been spoken to harshly, and/or sacked.

6) Skip the nice china: it sets the wrong tone. Set out those cheerful Christmas plates your mother got you eight years ago: the ones with the bright colors and trees and reindeer that you regarded as a criminal waste at the time. China and silver that have to be washed by hand are only to be used when absolutely necessary, or when the world will end the next day via nuclear annihilation, and therefore all the dishes (every single last one of them) can be left in the sink.

7) When contemplating any aspect of holiday celebration, ask yourself, "do I feel like doing this?" This guideline will never steer you wrong.

8) Delegate tasks to your husband and mother. Have kids so that they can be given assignments in a decade or so, and—with any luck—take over the primary responsibility entirely in another 25 years. It's the only way to transition into the coveted "support" role your own mom enjoys.

9) There are 364 days a year to make yourself and everyone around you miserable. It doesn't have to be this day.

10) Buy most gifts at the ABC stores in Hawaii, so they'll be super-affordable and you won't go broke. Make it a point to still have money on December 26th.

Madeleine L'Engle: "We want nothing from you that you do without grace. And that you do without understanding." [From memory: A Wrinkle in Time. Feel free to fact-check my ass.]

11) If you're still subscribing to Martha Stewart Living, cut that out. She's a con, for crying out loud. Get Radar instead. Or something pornographic.

12) Make sure to get some of your Christmas decorations in the Hanukkah section at the store. That blue and silver stuff is much prettier than the garbage they foist off on the Anglo-Saxons. What are the Jews going to do to you, anyway?—kill Christ all over again? Relax.

13) The most important dose of Prozac all year is the one you take on Christmas Eve.

Posted by Attila Girl at December 26, 2005 11:01 AM | TrackBack

...ABC stores in Hawaii

Great store, no? I came within a hairs-breadth of buying a ukelele at that store. Daisycat talked me out of it with an earnest and heartfelt snort of derision.

One more for the men:
14) The world will *not* come to an end if you don't spend the final two weeks before Christmas making sure you have the most extravagant light display in the neighborhood. (I took this year off, and they showed me up, boy they did!)

Posted by: Desert Cat at December 26, 2005 05:37 PM

When in doubt, select the chocolate flavor!

(AKA Rule of Life #1)

Posted by: John at December 26, 2005 05:47 PM


But you did put up the kitty tree again, no?

Posted by: Attila Girl at December 26, 2005 06:01 PM

Um, well no. Daisycat put up the small tree, so I didn't think we needed two trees. I had a feeling most people didn't click through to the extended entry last year though, and I wanted to share the story again this year.

I don't know what was up with me this year. I didn't even decorate my cubicle. I'm certainly not in any kind of a humbug mood--just the decorating bug passed me by this time.

But if the small tree doesn't go up next year, the cat tree will certainly come out again! I did dig out a double fistful of cat toys for them on Christmas Day though.

Posted by: Desert Cat at December 26, 2005 10:44 PM

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