The 5 Signs Of Obsessive Christmas Disorder

The 5 Signs Of Obsessive Christmas Disorder

OCD, it's time we talk about it. You are not alone.
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It's something you can't control. The obsessive actions. The lingering thoughts. The uncontrollable urge. It's not your fault, but some people just don't understand. They tell you to "calm down" or "just get over it" but they don't realize that that isn't possible. It isn't something that you just "get over". It's a battle that you fight every single day. It's a part of you that you have to accept and live with. It's OCD and it's time that we talk about it. It's time we talk about your need to deck the halls and your undeniable urge to jingle those bells.

Wait! What?

That's right. You aren't in this fight alone. I too suffer from Obsessive Christmas Disorder and I will help you through it. Christmastime is finally here after an entire year of singing my merry tunes in silence, hiding my secret Christmas list, and covering up my elf socks I can finally let my Santa hat fly. The others just don't understand. They don't get our never ending love for the holiday season and all things peppermint. "But it's only November," you say. Ho! Ho! Ho! young, naive one. Those of us with OCD know that the moment Halloween is over, Christmas begins. Yes, we see Thanksgiving there in our calendar blocking the way to yet another day closer to Santa but it just pales in comparison to the merry holiday. Look, those of us affected by Obsessive Christmas Disorder have to stick together. Wondering if you too have an undiagnosed case? Here are 5 signs of OCD and how to handle them.

1. You've broken out your Michael Buble Christmas album back in October.

The cold weather has approached us and as soon as it's acceptable to break out the riding boots, it's acceptable to break out the Christmas songs. At least, that's how we feel. So it's still October, big deal! You can literally smell the Christmas coming your way and, as we all know, "the only way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear".

2. Your decorations are up and they're PERFECT.

So have you heard that some people won't put up their Christmas tree until after Thanksgiving? That's blasphemy! You've had your tree up for almost a month not to mention the lights, garland, life-sized Santa with all of his reindeer, and Frosty blow up figure. I know you can't help it, it's the disease talking but, let's be honest, the more Christmas, the merrier right? You only adjusted the star 47 times this year. That's called progress folks!

3. You've been secretly wearing Christmas socks since Halloween.

Bats, witches, and vampires are out and Santa hats, elves, and jungle bells are in. You switched out those bat socks for Christmas ones faster than we can say "Buddy" and you aren't ashamed. OCD doesn't leave time for guilt. You don't have time for anything because you have to make it to Hallmark before all of the good prints are gone!

4. Your house smells like gingerbread and cinnamon.

There is nothing better than coming in from a blustery day filled with secret Santa shopping to a house that smells like Mr. Claus himself lives there. Christmas isn't just a holiday, its a state of mind. Does that sound crazy? Sorry, it's the OCD talking.

5. You're secretly sad that it's almost here.

Christmas is almost here, which means that it's almost over. After the 25th we have to go back to spreading our cheer in silence and hiding how jolly we are. It's just not right. As ready for the best holiday on planet Earth as we are, we just don't want it to end.

So, don't worry. Now you know that you aren't alone in your battle with Obsessive Christmas Disorder. This is a fight that we can win together. No more hiding away with your perfect decorations and festive socks. It's all out in the open and it's time to celebrate. Christmas is almost here! The excitement is so real and the emotions are high. Watch Hallmark Christmas movies and eat way too much gingerbread and we will be right there with you, fighting this battle together.

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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6 Ways To Start Pre-Gaming Your Summer Plans Today

A few ways to help you prepare for summer.

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Summer is coming sooner rather than later and we all need to get ready for it.

1. Start making trip plans now.

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If you are wanting to do a getaway over the summer, I would suggest starting to plan for the trip now. The closer you get to the time in which you want to go, the higher the prices of plane tickets and rooms go up. Also planning ahead gives you the chance to pinpoint exactly how you want to spend your trip and not waste your time. Nothing is worse than going on a trip and being stuck at the hotel the whole time because you have no idea what is our there for you to do.

2. Buy sunscreen.

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Do you really want to end up like her? I don't think so. Even if you are the type of person with the mentality that you will only be out in the sun for a short period of time, it doesn't matter. We all need sunscreen. Our skin is the largest organ of our body and we need to take care of it. Think of it this way, do you want to have sunspots when you're old? Or would you rather maintain your youthful appearance for as long as you can?

3. Find a new hobby.

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Let's be honest here for a minute, the majority of us do absolutely nothing over summer break and feel no guilt for it. I have done this several times over the years, and I now look back and realize all the time I wasted not learning or doing something new. If you are working full-time, have summer school, or a summer internship this does not apply to you unless you have the time to do so.

For the rest of y'all, get up and learn something. Learn how to knit. Take a kickboxing class. Try out new hiking places. Start learning another language, or continue practicing the one you learned in school at places where the language is commonly used. Get outside of your comfort zone!

4. De-stress and dispose.

You are so close to summer sometimes it stresses you out trying to get everything done. You need to realize that summer isn't going anywhere and you will get there eventually. Take a deep breathe and keep going. What I like to do is start throwing out the paperwork from this semester that I know I will never use again, don't want, and papers that I don't plan on using for the upcoming final. Disposing of those papers helps me visualize that the semester is almost over.

5. Buy a new swimsuit.

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Before you go out and buy a bunch of new swimsuits, try your old ones on first and see if they fit. Sometimes you just need a new top to match the bottoms that you already have or vice versa. Also, if you know that you are not going to buy a swimsuit for the pool or beach several times throughout the summer, don't waste your money on a new swimsuit. The one from last year that you never wore will do just fine.

Save Money

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The simplest way to understand it is no saving = no money to spend during summer. If you have all kinds of different trips and things you want to do that cost a fee, it would be wise to start saving up for all of your other expenses that you would normally have to pay per month like insurance, phone, or a car payment. I will be in the car payment category since I just bought a new one a few weeks ago.

That being said, my first car payment is due the week I am in New York. I don't want my New York money to be used for a car payment, so I've been taking extra shifts at work to compensate. I have also started going through my closet and selling the items I don't want anymore. There are several resale stores and places online for you to sell your unwanted clothes and other items to put some extra cash in your pocket.

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