T’is the season for great expectations, which invariably lead to holiday fails.
December 26, 2013
And so that was Christmas. And Thanksgiving. And Hanukah. And a bunch of other boozy, carbohydrate and kin filled days and nights comprising the holidays.
Of course, we still have New Year’s eve and day to contend with. For many, that’s a big one as well. But I consider the holiday marathon between the 25th of November and December. When one stops drinking as I have (a decade-old resolution held firm), New Year’s Eve loses its punch so to speak. Something I’m eternally grateful for the following day.
I know it’s a freshman cliché but I do not care for the holidays because they are so damn commercial. Between Black Friday and the Lexus “December to Remember” I’m cooked. I realize the irony, given I’m in the advertising profession. So be it. On that note, I also loathe how every ad agency on earth feels compelled to create holiday videos and digital ornaments. It’s like the Christmas lights competition in a suburban cul-de-sac. Give it up, dudes. We’re not clicking!
On a deeper level, the holidays vex me because they are so mired by expectations, drizzled with resentments, steeped in alcohol, smothered in sugarplums and capped off with towering Visa bills…also known as traditions.
I can’t speak for citizens abroad but in America I’m pretty certain there isn’t a person alive who doesn’t enter into the holiday season with strong mixed emotions. We want so much from ourselves and others that we literally freak out. Martha Stewart be damned, we cannot deliver! Some of us buy things to compensate. Others drink and eat to excess. Most do all of the above. In short, we become overly emotional. Quarreling is as common as caroling. In the movies this is portrayed as comedy or melodrama. Unfortunately, in real life there may not be a group hug at the end. Harry does not always meet Sally. We all get run over by a reindeer.
This being said I have three young girls who absolutely (and understandably) adore the holiday season. My wife and I (especially my wife) go above and beyond to bring it to them. And they usually get what they want. And then some. Starting with a bunch of days off from school.
Thus the seeds of great expectations are planted. The want will now grow bigger and bigger until it feels like a need.
(Author’s note: This may not be your truth or even a truth but it is mine…)