Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An 'Eh' Post

With just one week until Christmas Eve day it's sort of getting down to the wire for gift shopping and that sort of thing but alas, even though I have been out shopping twice with my mother and once with my cousin, I still don't really have much of anything to show for my efforts. Most of my time on these shopping expeditions has been spent watching my mother and cousin contribute to the economy while I look at things and think ... eh ...

It seems like every year it gets harder and harder to get past that 'eh' as I have grown to dislike the entire commercial aspect of the holidays. This isn't to say that I'm ready to sign up for Scrooges Anonymous or Grinches-R-Us but I have been finding my Christmas spirit being chipped away just a little bit more with each passing year.

If you had told me a few years ago that I would no longer be putting up a full-size tree and decking the halls with festive trappings, I would have said you were crazy. If you had told me that the simple act of writing out Christmas cards would be an arduous ordeal that I would rather avoid, I would surely have shouted 'nay'! If you had even hinted that I would not bake a single Christmas cookie the entire season, I would have laughed in your face. But, alas, had you told me all those things you would have been right.

The first year that I worked at American Ambulance I came in on my day off and decorated the entire dispatch center from top-to-bottom. I strung lights, hung stockings, and placed a tree in the window. It looked very festive, or so I thought. The next year when I did it, people complained that the tree was in their way, that the stockings weren't right, and that it made them feel "claustrophobic". I vowed that I wouldn't decorate at work for Christmas anymore after that and I haven't. What's the point if people are only going to complain?

The decline in decorating at home came sometime after that when I came to the conclusion that it was more trouble than it was worth. "More trouble than it was worth ..." I never ever thought I would say that about Christmas but there it is though I'm not sure where it came from. Maybe it comes from not having anyone special to share Christmas with; maybe it comes from the retailers screaming "buy! buy! buy!"; maybe it comes from the expectations that I can't afford to fulfill; or maybe it just comes from overall disappointment in what used to be "the most wonderful time of the year". I'm afraid that my beloved grandfather, who loved all things Christmas, would be disappointed in me but then again, maybe he would be disappointed in the ways that Christmas has changed, too.

I don't know if it's because I'm feeling run down and tired lately or if it's because my finances can never stand up to the Ghost of Christmas presents or that I'm just old and crotchety or that Christmas just isn't what it used to be but it's just become 'eh' for me. And to be perfectly honest with you guys, that 'eh' makes me very sad but I just don't seem to have the energy for more than that right now.

I don't know, maybe Scrooge and I have more in common than I thought ...


  1. Linda,

    I thought the place looked nice that year.

  2. People actually complained about you decorating? That's so ridiculous it makes me gag. I can't believe that people would scoff at someone trying to bring a little happiness into the office, especially around the holiday season.

    I'm sorry that people didn't appreciate what you did Linda. I know it's hard, but try to remember the good about Christmas.

  3. Anonymous9:33 AM EST

    I understand.... I used to go all out as well.

    I was on the phone with a family member who was stressed to the max (all the "shoulds and have tos") and I was thinking to myself, ya know, it shouldn't be this way...that's not what it's all about.

    I guess I'm getting more practical as I get older... maybe it's because there's no kids around... dunno.

  4. Awwwww... Don't feel bad, Linda Loo! Complainers do not deserve your attention.
    I think it may have something to do with your kids being grown up now, too. Christmas is mostly for the kids.
    If it makes you feel any better, I became the same way. I think since last year. Not much decorating, no baking... But I have the Christmas spirit and all shopping done ;o)

  5. Your last paragraph might be the answer. I don't know either. I do know, as you already know, that you have much to be thankful for.

    I can't believe that people would complain about you doing the decorating. Yikes. That just doesn't seem right at all.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)

  6. well, you and Scrooge do have something in common. You both work too much.

    Friend. call in sick and bake some cookies. Surely you have just a little PTO?? Days like this are what it's for.

    After all, are they going to put "She was such a hard worker and always offered to cover shifts when someone needed off" on your tombstone?? I think NOT!

    Seriously girl, you haven't taken a day for you since your birthday, IT'S CHRISTMAS ya know.


    love ya.

  7. This is a year like no other. I blame the economic meltdown. Everyone is scared. Will I have a job? Can I get that loan? Will it get worse. And everyone know that even if Obama is the second coming of FDR, we are in for a tewrrible year. I spend so much time listening to my customers'worries I feel like I should charge for therapy...

  8. When you put every thing together... all that is going on around you at this time of year... you hit the nail on the head. It is the Holiday BLAHs! And you are not alone, dear lady. I spent last Christmas Eve in tears and I have NO idea why. Take delight in your photography. And, if you can, I so totally agree with MightyMom, take some PTO. You are worth it.

  9. Y'know, aren't alone! Why, it was only YESTERDAY that we even decorated the tree, and I still have yet to string up the outside lights, and build our little "snow village" in the living room. Sadly enough, the same thing can be said here; "eh"! I haven't even bought a single thing for the Mrs., and our annual trip to NYC did not build the Christmas spirit it had in previous years - of course that had to do w/a certain family member making snide comments about our "taking all these trip"...but I digress... Yeah, Christmas has become "eh" for us too!

  10. you're not alone Linda

    I think being over worked and over tired has a lot to do with it. I have opened the closet where my tree and ornaments are stored a dozen times - I look, I shrug, I say 'eh'

    plus the financial stress!! I hated the consumerish when I had money - now I don't even have money to hate spending LOL

    yesterday I got into an arguement with my DIL over gift lists and the general crassness of it all

    she and my nieces are very label conscious and it really bugs me

    they e-mail each other and me with the most outrageous "wishes" - Nordstrom and Coach bags and desginer jewelry

    I have always enjoyed picking gifts based on how I feel about the person - what they like, their hobbies, something they said months ago that I made a mental note of

    I told my DIL this and she rolled her eyes and scoffed and I just lost it!! I was half yelling and half crying about how they might as well just buy their own gifts, there's no surprise, no magic

    not to mention how awful I think it is that they pick such expensive things

    don't feel bad Linda - you have a good spirit and a good heart and I think sometimes people like us get a little lost in the crowd

    wanna come decorate for me!! LOL

    hugs sweetie

  11. Not alone love, right there doing the "eh dance" too. I think we will find that spirit within ourselves again, given time. Until then we survive, because that is what we are! Love ya, you've been here for me.

  12. Okay all you folks who have gone all scroogy can just join me for Hogmanay.

    Return Christmas to its relgious purpose and then a week later go out and whoop it up so you have some atoning to do for the resolutions that have already been broken.

    The greenery is all the same. The presents, parties, singing and dancing are even better, and the liquid refreshment is plentiful and loaded.

    Of course you will have to learn more of Auld L'ang Syne than just the chorus, but nothing is perfect.

  13. Anonymous2:26 PM EST


    The gingerbread house was very yummy that year ;)

    thanks for the pie !

  14. Not that I am a religious sort of Yahoo, but the true meaning of Christmas is that Jesus was born and then died for all our mortal sins. That what we should celebrate. Santa is cool and all but I think in this land of economic woes he is overwhelming us... Peace and love and hugs to you my friend.... As for the complainers... F*ck em... eh!

  15. My father's reluctance to put the tree up grows every year!

  16. Duchess Linda,
    I don't think of you as the Grinch at all. Not in the least.
    I think you are working way too hard (I know it's necessary), and you are tired and run down and feeling blah. You hate the commercialization as much as I do.
    The fact that people would complain about you trying to bring some cheer into the office is just not right.

    I hope you can take a breather and enjoy the peacefulness that I believe the season should bring to us all.

    I agree with Dianne. Sometimes people like us (I'm including myself with you and Dianne and those who who understand the real meaning of Christmas and feel sad at the 'eh?' feelings) can get lost in the shuffle.
    I never ask for anything. No wish lists. I don't want it to be about me. Really. I just want to relax and enjoy.

    I hope that makes sense. You hit a nerve with this post.
    Come over and see my pretty angels. ;-)

  17. Anonymous7:57 PM EST

    We also were feeling a little 'blah' this year..(but what do you expect when XMAS displays came out in stores before Halloween) so we got all new LED lights for our home. LED candles for each window (battery- operated, light sensors) and for our Christmas Tree, too. The LED lighting is brighter and more clear! And set to another ambient light sensor, you don't even have to unplug it. (LEDs save $$$) So just waiting for the white snow now.... and heard it's coming!!!!

    Love Christmas, Thank God!

  18. Anonymous8:59 PM EST

    I know exactly what you're saying and I couldn't agree more. I got away from the "eh's" when I quit relying on department stores and the commercialism for my gifts. For the past three years, I have created gifts for my family.

    Last year, for my grandchildren, it was kind of a hybrid between creating and buying. I used pictures I had taken of them to order personalized debit cards. My granddaughters were absolutely thrilled to have their pictures on a Visa card.

    This year, most of the family is getting copies of the Sunday Scenery calendar. It allowed us to stay in budget, be something special they can use, and hopefully everyone will appreciate.

  19. Anonymous9:52 PM EST

    I'm sure that you aren't close to being the only one that is feeling like you do at Christmas time. This year especially I think a lot of people are beginning to wonder if perhaps the holiday is more trouble than it's worth.

  20. Anonymous12:59 AM EST

    I'm standing beside you saying 'eh' in unison. I haven't sent Christmas cards in six years. I put very little out when it comes to decorating. I despise shopping. I think you know how I feel.

    It has to come from the heart.

    If you're gonna do it, do it for yourself, because you enjoy it.

    Hang in there, friend.

  21. With our current situation, we're not doing the typical commercial Christmas, either. But we did send a donation to our local newspaper - they run stories of needy folks in the community, and our closets were divested of coats and sweaters we haven't worn recently. We took them to the Homeless Shelter.
    Our kids are all grown up and we have just a few little ones. But I'm a Christian and this is an important celebration for us. I think that everyone has gotten so jaded with the "buy me, buy me,"
    nonsense. We're finding new ways to of ourselves.

  22. Anonymous2:21 AM EST

    Maybe putting your all into just one holiday is too much for you. You do so much during the year that you can think of it as Christmas seasons. So when you're taking your daughters to concerts, hosting their friends at your house, helping out bloggers, taking photos and sharing them with us, those are your "Christmases" :)

  23. Oh, I remember that day...

    Former scheduler: "Who put this tree here? It's in my way!"

    My word, if looks could kill!! LOL, the place did look beautiful Linda, and you have to admit we did have fun with the gingerbread house!! HAHA

    I, myself, find X-mas not like it used to be when I was a kid, and agree with Jamie there. I tend to enjoy New Years/Hogmanay more. And if I had the money, I'd be in East Ayrshire at the family Inn/Pub, attending a Burns Supper and trying haggis on the 1st of the year! But of course, I'm working like usual, well, you know the deal...

  24. Here's my suggestion to the putting a tree up thing -do that and then leave it up all year -till the next holiday. Dust it off a bit and you're ready to go for yet another year. Of course, this only works if you have an artificial tree and it's best to do this when you've done a really exceptional job of trimming it too. That's my theory and I did stick to it for one whole year back in 1997-98. It started innocently -working 80-90 hours a week left no time to defrock the tree. Then by April when my older daughter offered Mandy $20 to take the tree down and she refused, I decided if she wasn't doing it for money, I wasn't about to do it for nothing and so it stayed up till the following Christmas. I'd have been perfectly happy to have left it up yet another ear but Mandy suddenly got brave or ambitious -not sure which -and detrimmed it then. Saved me a hell of a lot of work though, thus it saved me lots of energy ya know to do other fun things.

  25. Anonymous4:54 AM EST

    Christmas has become all about the Christmas Presents... I do not like that Christmas has become the Retailer's event of year. In the Big Picture, I've been feeling like you do about Christmas for years and years... but I still manage to enjoy it my way - small, quiet and simple!

  26. There's nothing more certain to deflate your enthusiam than miserable colleagues. :(

    I am still as enthusiastic as I've always been about Christmas, though it does seem to get more difficult to choose presents for people these days.

  27. I feel your 'eh' and loved that you labeled this blah. I enjoyed reading it and can relate on so many levels. What happened to the magic???

  28. The only ones we have to blame for any bah humbug feelings during this time of year are ourselves. And we are the only ones who can snap ourselves out of it.


    Snap out of it!

  29. Hey ScroogieLoo - I got your card in the mail today!
    *smooches and hugs*

    Don't make me shove some mistletoe up your grinchy ass!


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