Posted by: sulya | 2 December 2009

I Am Scrooge

You wouldn’t know it to look at me and you certainly wouldn’t guess it if you based your assumptions on how I am with rooms full of little children.

But I fucking hate Christmas.

The only things I like about the whole damned season are the trees and the lights but even then I’m picky as hell.  Outdoors, I like leaf-naked trees wrapped in mono-coloured lights.  Preferably blue.  So that they are kind of like a stunning trick of the eye until you’re right next to the tree itself.

Inside I would prefer mono-coloured lights as well and I would happily not decorate the tree because its smell and sitting in a dark room watching it glow are more than enough romance and clutter for me in my already cluttered heart and home.  That said, my family has had a tradition of making their own decorations that I do love largely because it is fun to watch people who begin by saying, “I don’t make things” wind up making the most beautiful decorations of the year.

The whole light thing is a pagan tradition from northern climates so it certainly has nothing to do with christian messiahs, obese middle-aged men with too much facial hair or rampant, nauseating consumerism.  I mean, I can sometimes tolerate some of the music but the stores started to play it about two weeks ago and most of it is drivel and I would rather gouge my eyes out with mistletoe and eat a poinsettia than be tortured by it for another three weeks.

Seriously.  I am a scrooge.

I get ideas for gifts for people all the time (except my dad because he’s like the most difficult person ever and I think I’ve used up most of the good energy over a decade ago when I made him a three dimensional cow based on a cartoon book we were working on together for him) but come Christmas I can feel my brain shut down, my generosity of spirit ebb until it is nothing but a shrunken blackness perched in the hollow where my heart should be…

It was implied by people, and I even hoped in my way, that once I had a child my perspective would change and it did.

It got much, much worse.

I don’t want to steep him in the mythology.  Or the commercialism.  I don’t want him buried in the bullshit sea of torn paper saying, “I WANT MORE!!!”  If I had my way, I’d take him somewhere far far away where Christmas is not celebrated and play trains for a week.  The moon is looking good right about now and, yes, even playing trains is more appealing to me than this damned holiday.

But here’s the thing.  It’s not just up to me.  The ex and the world have had their say and because I don’t want my son to know I am such a terrible scrooge I have mostly just watched helplessly from the sidelines as he has grown to LOOOOOOOOVE everything about Christmas.

The music, the lights, the tree, the decorations, Santa.  Mostly the decorations though.  And mostly the lights.  Which is, in it’s way, interesting.  But today it became somewhat unbearable because I had to hear all about the fabulous plans for trees and decorations and lights that are going on in his other home OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN.  And while it is not competitiveness so much as a desire not to fail to meet my son’s needs, fail to nurture his interests…  I had to come up with something I could do that would neither break the bank nor irritate the already rubbed raw part of me while being creative instead of “out-of-a-box” in order to provide some sort of Christmas-type joy (for him) around our home together.

This is what I’ve come up with so far:

The purple and blue ones are “the lights” (his idea), the white ones are snow and I had the idea to hook the small red balls into the loops of the bows.  Left unattended it makes a rather enticing cat toy as well…

It’s on his newly stripped bare (he’d outgrown the old pictures) bedroom wall and when he suggested making another one in the hallway I skillfully evaded  with a well-intoned “We’ll see.” Which loosely translated in my head to “Only after I knock myself bloody and unconscious on a full-size nativity scene while drinking rubbing alcohol in front of some nuns.”

I may string some lights around my balcony doors.  Multi-coloured because that’s what he chose.  And who knows.  I might even cave and get some sort of fake tree because I am just not ready to deal with a a real tree, four stories worth of stairs and two cats with kittenish tendencies who do not get to go outside and will think the forest has come to them with free invitation to climb… but I dunno’ if I have it in me.

Truth is, I wonder sometimes, if I had ever been able to playfully, carefully, warmly build a tradition of my own with someone who really loved me and whom I really loved back whether or not I might have stopped being such a scrooge by now.  But that’s probably just a story I tell myself, like so many yarns I spin, so that I can sleep badly and wake to the sound of my own quiet sobbing.

Okay.  Well.  The only other thing I can tolerate about this time of year is that I usually buy myself one bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream.  And drink a little at a time, over ice or in a homemade hot chocolate with dutch cocoa and chocolate chips.  Last year’s bottle lasted into March I think and it may now be well-past time to buy my bottle for this year.

Yuletide Cheer from,

The Octopus in Residence



  1. I will join you being scrooge. Every year I cringe about how much forced work and consumerism is tied into Christmas, it is not fun. I suggested to my family we just do like what we used to do when I was a kid – our own (okay, all Jewish people in NY’s) tradition for Christmas day – Chinese food and a movie (in the near-empy theater.)

    That is a nice ribbon-tree.

  2. I LOVE your Christmas tree.

    I too despise the holidays and all the consumerism. And the music.

    A toast to Bah humbug! :::clink:::

  3. […] 4, 2009 at 3:08 am (Holidailies) You have got to get yourself over to Sulya’s blog and see the Christmas tree she and her son made and read her post about how she feels about […]

  4. michele & kitty – thanks for the kudos on the tree. I need to add some blue-tack to the back of some of the bows to make sure they stay up. The dryness in the air wreaks a bit of havoc with the adhesive…

    nice to know, too, that I am not alone in my Christmas loathing (smile).

    michele, I am so with you on Chinese Food & a Movie…. Maybe I’ll get to do that this year? Be a good fall-back plan for sure… Can order it in and line up some good DVDs… Hmmmm….

  5. Nice tree.

  6. Thanks, max.

  7. Consumerism fills every possible holiday of the year, so sadly, it is life.

    As for Christmas, I love it. The lights, the music, the repeat of old movies.

    • I would say that perhaps I would enjoy Christmas if it the weather were balmy to hot, instead of cold to frigid but frankly, I’ve lived in milder climates and I still wasn’t a fan so all I can say is I’m glad someone enjoys this time and it might as well be you darling!

  8. Great tree! Two Christmases ago I gave just about everyone in my family a gift ceritificate to this online charity website:

    Everyone appreciated it and I did not have to set foot in a store. Except for the children in my life.

  9. Ah, yes, but you are a classy, classy wench my darling… To be scrooge is to be class-free until it is just about too late (smile).

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