For as much as I love the holidays, you may be surprised to learn just how many Christmas-related things there are that I cannot, in fact, stand. You didn’t ask for this information, but I had such a good time writing “Things I Can’t Stand” a couple weeks ago that I’ve declared it a series. Please leave negative thoughts in the suggestion box if you must. There’s only room for one sheriff in this here town.
1. We all know Elf On The Shelf is weird. I’m not the first to say it, and I won’t be the last. Billy doesn’t think it’s cute and whimsical that the Elf squeezed all the toothpaste out everywhere and rummaged through the cookies last night. Billy wants to know why the hell the Elf doesn’t get in any real trouble for doing things that Billy would surely suffer consequences for himself. Life isn’t fair, and Mom and Dad can’t seem to prevent an Elf from invading your home every single year. They think it’s funny! You truly are at the mercy of their every whim.
2. I despise the song “The Christmas Shoes” with the fire of a thousand suns. I do not think it is touching or sweet or inspirational. I think it’s morbid and creepy and terrible. There are people who think this is the best Christmas song ever, nay, the best song in the world! If you haven’t heard it, I urge you to seek it out yourself and declare a stance on this hot button issue as soon as possible. We live in divided times. I’m afraid to embed the video, because I’m pretty sure doing so will magically summon Newsong and Rob Lowe to my home. I can’t take that risk.
3. The Grinch movie with Jim Carrey is deeply unsettling! And I like Jim Carrey! The original animated Grinch Christmas special was perfect! Nobody asked for more Grinches! That’s all I have to say about that!
4. Take a moment and ask yourself, what is Christmas missing? If the answer that comes to your mind is “win/lose scenarios,” boy do I have a Christmas tradition for you! The being the first to find the hidden pickle ornament on the tree tradition is, in my opinion, unnecessary stress. Why create stakes where the kid with the better eyesight gets an extra present? It’s not Billy’s fault he can never spot the green pickle in the green tree. Why force competition onto children during the holidays? We have the rest of the year for that!
5. I used to like the song “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas”. Really, I did. Hippos are even my favorite animal. I’ve slept with a stuffed hippo for decades! Then I worked at a Greeting Card Company (I’ve written about it before here), and one year we sold an ornament featuring this song. These ornaments on display screeched “I WANT A HIPPOPOTAMUS FOR CHRISTMAS, ONLY A HIPPOPOTAMUS WILL DOOOO” day in and day out from July to January. Every ten minutes or so like clockwork, a Billy would stand there and push the button over and over. “I WANT- I WANT- I WANT- I WANT- I WANT- I WANT-” until you prayed for death or for the rest of the song to finish, whichever came first. Grandmas would marvel about their new hippo ornaments to me while I rang up the purchases. “Isn’t it precious?” I smiled politely, thrilled that these hellish hippos were slowly beginning to infiltrate people’s homes instead of my workplace. Unfortunately they continue to haunt my dreams. I no longer enjoy “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas.”