Twas the week before Christmas. Stresses are high. Responsibilities are higher. Motivation is at an all time low. While still trying to recover from my post-finals mental hangover, I slump in disbelief that Christmas is right around the corner. Every year, I experience the same wave of emotions: nausea, dread, an overwhelming urge to hide under my bed until January 2nd. I sympathize with the Grinch on many levels. The Christmas cheer, the noise (noise noise), the expensive presents given to complete strangers, not to mention strained family gatherings from relatives drilling you with questions about your dwindling love life, are just the beginning of a laundry list of reasons why I hate Christmas. Yes, I hate Christmas. All I want for Christmas is to live in a Grinchy cave alone with my dog, and think about how much I can't stand Christmas. Sorry Mariah, you got me all wrong.

I never used to be this jaded. Many, many years ago, in a parallel universe, my soul was pure and my intentions were good. My belief in a magical being that gave you presents if you were ”good” was the sole reason for my understanding Christmas. It wasn’t about religion or family or giving: only the materialistic, tangible things that would eventually grow dust in my closest and end up as next year’s Christmas present to a lucky stranger. After my belief faded and I grew to understand the true meaning of Christmas, I began to resent what the holiday embodied: a race for consumerism. People are so focused on the material, the best, newest, most trendy objects that their image of giving is warped, based solely upon the intent to receive something.

I will not say that I was once plagued by these beliefs, but I fully believe that Christmas is a toxic month that brings more stress than is necessary. Writing Christmas cards to long lost second cousins and aunts twice removed proves to be superfluous when you realize that your 5 dollar Hallmark card will end up in a pile of like-minded Hallmark cards…in the trash. Christmas music rings constantly in my ears, causing my head to bang like a monkey with cymbals; I even hear it in my nightmares. The cold Virginia breeze nips at your nose and icicles hang from your cheeks, as the Black Friday and Christmas Eve mall run tears stream down in giant droplets. Struggling to deal with your entire family in one confined area leaves you “feeling like drinking and smoking under the kitchen table while you wish you mother was dead” (Vice News, December 16, 2016). This is literally me, though. I feel like everyone is on pins and needles around the Holiday season that it is no longer fun to be around anyone, let alone your crazy family. Sheesh, how many days till Christmas is over, again?

I know you Whos exist, people who are living the Christmas spirit the day after Thanksgiving . You are the Buddy the Elf to my Grinch. You sing your cheesy Christmas songs, make snow angels, eat cookie dough till you puke, and adorn yourself with Christmas paraphernalia, and that’s totally fine; my Grinchy cave is where I will be.

Happy Holidays and Bah-humbug!