Jingle Bell Rock

With the exception of people who do not celebrate Christmas, I probably have the lowest Christmas stress level in the city. My shopping has been finished for over a month, my “holiday baking” consists of making and freezing dough when I feel like it and then thawing and baking said dough into cookies when I have time, and, if it wasn’t already abundantly obvious to readers of this blog, I am not exactly Martha Stewart when it comes to decorating so I don’t get worked up about it. My in-laws do not like to travel at Christmas so I don’t have company to worry about. I don’t host any family meals, which may or may not be a reflection of my cooking ability. My blood pressure stays nice and low during the Christmas season.

My mother is like that too – except she always hosts meals and when I was a kid we always had a seasonal houseful of company – Christmassy things never seemed to bother her. Unexpected visitors for dinner? Last minute houseguests? No problem. A few years ago her oven broke, on Christmas Eve, and she calmly made all her meals, including a chocolate Yule log, with the help of the microwave, barbeque, and a George Foreman grill. Gin may have aided the situation.

So it’s a bit strange to me when people go crazy around Christmas. There’s a certain, unhinged look to people who ARE GOING TO HAVE THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER, DAMMIT. Nowhere are those peoples more en evidence than in shopping centres a mere nine days before Christmas.

I was in Superstore today. I know what you’re going to say: a new tap, then a Superstore visit, all in the same week? What’s next, organizing the drawer I keep rubber bands and Saran wrap in? Living the dream, baby, living the dream.

But Superstore shoppers: wild-eyed people wielding those gigantic carts through the aisles, bumping into things and snapping at people, grinding their teeth into nubs over a woman leaving her cart to sprint with her obviously potty-training toddler to the washroom. It was somewhat disconcerting, so I took a cue from Buddy the Elf and decided to sing loudly to spread Christmas cheer. Well, maybe not consciously decided. I didn’t realize I was actually singing audibly – along to Jingle Bell Rock, of all songs – until an elderly man with a cart containing no less than eight boxes of All-Bran Buds and as many containers of Metamucil smiled at me and said, “It’s nice to see the Christmas spirit”.

I was embarrassed, of course, as anyone with a marginal singing voice still croaky from a recent cold would be. But, you know, I felt pretty good, and as I pushed my cart in the slushy, packed, road-rage-y parking lot, I hummed Silver Bells. Because I’d rather look crazy-happy than crazy-I-AM-GOING-TO-BAKE-A-FRUITCAKE-AND-YOU-WILL-LOVE-IT.


  1. Subspace Beacon says

    Doncha just want to lean over to those people and whisper into their ear, “Yo, dumbass, you’re doing this to yourself. Lighten up.”

    My mother is set to a SUPER-HIGH STRESS LEVEL during the Christmas season (actually it may be her default setting) and she is boggled that we invited 40 (or so) people to our open house. She just asked when I was planning on grooming our backyard sledding hill to ensure maximum fun for the guests. Uh? NEVER!

    (BTW,”riding the disco stick” is my new favourite sexual euphemism.)

  2. Good for you! I will be glad when this week of school/business Christmas obligations is over and we can settle down and just be us.

  3. We must be cut from the same Christmas mold.
    Guess what we are having for Christmas dinner.
    IT rhythms with flicking rings.
    I refuse to be stressed.
    Which is why I am very glad my stressors stay in BC this holiday season.

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