Forget the raindrops on roses, Gentle Reader – what’s festive about that? A big bucket of nothing, that’s what. No, I’m going to share a list of my favorite things about the holidays – and then, because I’m nothing if not fair, I’m going to list my least favorite holiday things. You’re welcome.
The Reverend Doctor’s Favorite Holiday Things
1. Warm Winter Toffee:
Well, all things toffee flavored. Including, years ago when flavored cigarettes were a thing, warm winter toffee smokes. Toffee flavored things are the tops, and for some reason only turn up in winter. Yum.
2. Festive Holiday Cocktails:
The holidays are a time for the cocktail-maker to really shine. By serving a signature drink at your function, you have a huge responsibility – you’re in charge of making sure that the delicate balance between family cheer and family fistfights is preserved. Also, they are usually bloody delicious. Yum!
3. Christmas Carols:
I love to sing. I love singing with friends, especially. The trouble usually is that people don’t know the same songs. What songs are known by everyone – including your non-Christian or non-celebrating friends? Christmas carols. I especially like the grand, booming, darkly old-fashioned ones. Yum?
4. Finding the Perfect Gift for Someone:
That delightful moment when you spot that absolutely fitting object, that brings someone you love to mind? And you grin madly all the way to the register, and then all the way home, where you call that person and tell them what you got them because you are horrible with secrets? That.
5. Ethical Fur:
Winter is cold, and fur is warm. Unfortunately, it’s also murder. But your grandmother’s fox fur? It’s been dead for sixty years, and it’s not your fault, and it was your old gran’s. Wear it. Or that rabbit-fur scarf your mother brought you from New Zealand, where the rabbits are an invasive species and threatening local endangered wildlife? Wear it with pride, because you’re basically saving wildlife.
6. White Icicle Lights:
They are deleriously pretty. And yes, festive. They light the world up like tiny sugar stars, and suffuse everything with a warm glow. They are pure class.
7. Lounging Around For Hours In Your Pyjamas:
I am a huge fan of all types of dressing-gowns, robes, pyjamas, and so on. And just hours of coffee, maybe some mimosas? A lazy brunch, with all the family gathered ’round? Yes, please.
8. New Socks:
I have a thing about socks. You know how in the Great Gatsby ( the book, obviously – I haven’t seen the film) during the introductory cocktail party, there’s that drunk girl who rhapsodizes Gatsby’s shirts, and starts weeping over how beautiful they are? That’s me. Over socks. I’m still available, fellas.
9. Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts:
When I was a kid, my great-aunt would fly out here from North Dakota. She, and my Nanny, and Maman – they’d make a big trip to Costco, which they didn’t have in the Dakotas in those days, and Auntie Helen would stock up on chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, which Costco only carried in December. They’re inextricably linked in my mind.
For obvious reasons. Yum!
The Reverend Doctor’s Least Favorite Holiday Things
1. Peppermint Everything:
Okay, maybe a little peppermint’s okay here and there, but in December, it’s worse than all that pumpkin crap in the fall. No thanks.
2. Shopping in December:
I’m not a fan of crowds, and any day at any store from Thanksgiving to Christmas is just intolerable. In fact, being in public at all this time of year is gross.
3. Bell Ringers:
I like giving to those who are less fortunate than myself, but I don’t like being pressured into it. Especially by an organization that’s against the things I believe in.
4. Light-Up Inflatable Yard Characters:
I’m sorry, I just find them unbearably tacky. Unless you have one. I’m sure yours is tasteful. If you’re reading this blog, you’re clearly the epitome of elegance.
5. Scheduling/Time Management:
You have seven thousand parties, over the course of three days? And you still haven’t started shopping? Or decorating? Or baking? Or writing your cards? Or making homemade decorations to blog about? Well. I’m sure no one will judge you.
6. The Way That Everyone Hates Eggnog:
At least in my family. I end up being stuck with a half-gallon of the stuff and waaaaaay too much bourbon. And drinking your holiday cheer all alone is just sad. Which leads us to…
7. Drunk Relatives:
Come on. You know that’s going to be a thing. We miss them when they’re gone, of course, but they are going to be sooooo judgemental about your life. As difficult as they are, it’s tradition. They can also cause…
8. A General Sense of Malaise and Melancholy:
Maybe it’s the relatives. Maybe it’s Seasonal Affective Disorder. Maybe it’s overindulgence. Who knows? Who cares? When this settles in, you just have to ride it out.
9. Wrapping Presents:
It takes forever and I’m bad at it and usually I’ve already told the recipient what they’re getting. Blech.
Happy Holidays, my friends!