21 November 2011

Party Pooper Alert

It's that time of the year when I get that strange feeling, that overwhelming desire to give the Grinch a call.  Manila needs to tone down the holidays a notch or two or ten.  Christmas in this country gets ridiculous with a personal shopping lists of over 100, carols in the malls on the first of September, neighbors taking down their Halloween decor and putting up the Christmas lights in the same day, a total bazaar overload, an absurd number of Christmas lunches, dinners and parties to go to, and the inevitable gridlock of traffic it all brings. 

Yes folks, I'm a big fat Scrooge.  Christmas is only fun when you're a kid with all the toys or when you are a teenager that gets a long school break.  But once you are an adult it should be illegal to go around making such a big deal of the hype, the presents and the Christmas party dance excesses of decadence, food and booze.  I think that we all too often forget what Christmas is supposed to be about and overkill the whole merry making bit.    

Even Gael and Aiden get caught up in all the commercial crap that goes along with the season.  As soon as the first neighbor puts up the Christmas whatever, the boys start with the nagging/annoying/pressuring.  When will we put up our decoration?  We counted and there are 17 houses that have decorated.  It seems every home we go to has Christmas carols to play.  Of course I have none.  With school in the equation, the Christmas list gets even longer.  I don't ever remember giving every single classmate a present but apparently these days you do.  This makes me even Grinchier than ever, especially since the gifts are far from thought out presents from one friend to another.  If only the boys didn't get upset or feel out of place, I wouldn't buy any classmate (and many others) a gift.  The amount of presents they receive is absolutely nuts.  They each get something from my friends, my cousins, my uncles and aunts, my siblings plus the grandparents.  It all adds up to a tower taller than they are.  I kid you not.  Opening them is a total frenzy.  If a child would ever have a moment of temporary insanity, this would be it.  Pretty much like the worst sugar rush on steroids.  Half the loot I keep in storage and take out as needed throughout the year.

The holidays are always tricky for a Scrooge Mama like me.  I am so not into it but I don't exactly want to ruin the Christmas of the earthlings.  If anyone is supposed to have fun at this time of the year it is them.  I may be Grinchy but I do remember how much fun Christmas was when I was a kid and I guess it is their turn.  I want a more balanced version of things though.  Sure they can get gifts but with gratitude, they can give gifts but out of affection and not obligation.  Just the other day I was discussing this exact issue with a couple of my good friends who are the hugest brats I know.  They were bratty when we were twelve and they are bratty at 37.  The bratinellas themselves were worried that their own kids would get everything they ever wanted, feel as entitled as they did and be as bratty as they are.

Can you guess how many times I have to roll my eyes and bite my tongue these days? But I make a compromise every year, just so that the earthlings don't look back and think I made them have the worst Christmases ever.  For only 25 days in a year, I will be jolly and merry, Santa believing and gift wrapping, heck I'll even Ho! Ho! Ho! if they want me to.  Twenty five days.  That's not too much, it's doable.  So come December 1st I will put up the tree, sing some carols with the earthlings, wrap the shitload of presents and do all the Christmas crap stuff I have to do.