The Holidays do not make me feel merry in the slightest bit. Sure it's nice to have Hot Cocoa on a cold morning, but you can do that in the Summer, just open the freezer ajar. The snow looks nice while it falls but soon it turns into dark gray puddles on your sidewalk. Christmas makes me sad really, It robs all other holidays of importance, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are grossly overshadowed by America's Capitalistic birthday. Christmas is just another holiday. What does it celebrate exactly? The birth of Jesus? No...not really. Even to the most devout Christians there is nothing to celebrate, Jesus was not born in December, nor was he manufactured in the North pole. However I do not hate the holiday season just to be contrary, probably most of my hatred is rooted in the fact that I work with the general public. Instead of being joyful that one awful year will end and subsequently an equally awful year will begin, people are in such a frenzy to entertain their guests that they forget all manners whether it be while driving or grocery shopping, the Holiday stress consumes them.
I must have a face that says to people, "Hello! ask me questions while browsing the aisles, I know where every product is located no matter how obscure. Ask me. Really. I'm not doing anything important at all." For yesterday I was stopped by at least 10 customers in an hour. One lady, a typical midwestern mother asked me why we don't have any Mrs. Butterworth's Family Size Pancake Syrup in stock. After telling her that I didn't know why, she continued, "Well this is the second time I've come to YOUR store looking for the jumbo size. I'm not made of money you know! This is the third time this week I've had to buy a small bottle." I didn't believe her. There is no possible way a family, however large could go through 3 Mrs. Butterworth's Original sized Pancake Syrup bottles, especially considering it was only Monday, even if she did consider Sunday the start of the week. The Goselin's couldn't even manage that. "Well it looks like I'm going to have to go to Wal-Mart AGAIN!" "Yes. It looks like you will," I said. I turn the corner into the next aisle sweating a bit. That is the closest I have come to being rude to a customer and it really did make me feel sick, but how dare she...MY store, give me a break, she is closer to owning a Hy-vee than I am. Not only are people exceptionally rude, but they are so panicked that it often leads to sickness. The other day a young girl threw up what looked to me to be atleast 3 meals worth of Chicken Noodle Soup, Campbell's if I had to guess. Did I complain that the sight made me want to vomit as well? Or that I could still smell the stench in my nose that night when I was trying to fall asleep? No. So why should you (generic housewife with bad hair,) complain that there is not a sufficient amount of Mrs. Butterworth's to fulfill whatever need for a copious amount of pure hydrogenated corn syrup that you might have.
Life on the homefront also takes a turn for the worse. People want presents, family is coming to town, and the ever dreaded annual cleaning rampage is occurring. My mother makes an art of this. I can hear her running frantically in circles in the early morning. Sure things need to be straightened up, but she takes it one level past insanity, polishing silver drawer pulls that are never pulled, or dusting behind the refrigerator. I cannot hardly imagine what would happen should we be expecting several relatives to be staying with us, but it is just my older sister and nephew. Would they notice the polished drawer pulls? Or the thin layer of dust behind the refrigerator had it been left to accumulate? Most likely not.
By far the worst part of the holidays is the annual christmas card we will undoubtedly receive from my Aunt and Uncle. Though we are the oddball of the family, we are not forgotten. Though my mom's side of the family are biological jews my immediate family is the only practicing sect left in the Goldberg family. My Uncle and Step Aunt are both Evangelical Christians. Both were conventionally attractive and legally wed to other people when they met in the Police academy and partook in a passionate affair. After awhile my uncle divorced and married his cop lover. That is when my Uncle was born again. Now we have started receiving cards from him with bible verses scrawled all over them. Though the general christian message never changes, the cards themselves seem to be getting more hilarious. The card this year may be the best ever. The front is a photograph of a very snowy field with a fence in the distance. The text reads, in the most ridiculous purple font I have ever seen: "Be sure of this--that I am with you...ALWAYS..." John 16:22 Had this been a Christmas card written from a tattoo to a human forearm it would seem very appropriate, as a once a year greeting to your Jewish relatives, not so much. Next to a large trail of foot steps which seem to belong to some bizarre animal it is written: "His presence is the present that means everything." I imagine a greasy old man peeing at a urinal of the "His Word" card manufacturing company's corporate office thinking aloud and praising himself on how brilliantly punny he is. Inside the card in an equally cheesy font it says "Today, tomorrow, and always--rest secure in the everlasting arms of the Savior that loves you more than you know. Have a Blessed Holiday, and remember to keep the CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS!" Just as there will never be an I in team, Christmas will never again be a religious holiday, no matter how hard my Aunt and Uncle campaign. As if the card did not make it's point obnoxiously clear, my uncle wrote on the footer of the card "May the joy of the season, and God's peace be yours now and for the coming New Year! And may the spirit of the Maccabees enrich the days of Hanukkah." In the top right hand corner is written: "Christmas 2009," as if we have ever kept a card from them so long that we could not keep them in order of year. If Uncle ___ and Aunt ____ were the kind of relatives that are always stopping by to say hello, or even calling to say Happy Birthday, we would most likely allow their Christmas card to pass. We might say "Hey some people enjoy forcing their religion on people disguised as a holiday wish, and some people don't." Or even "Can't beat 'em forget 'em." But they are not those type of relatives, and we are not forgiving people. Instead we bash them, we bash them until we have dragged out all of their dirty laundry, and then we laugh. It is then that we are all together and united by the hilarity of our Christmas card that we all remember the true meaning of the Holidays. For in the long run it is not important what gifts you will receive but the company in which you bash your Evangelical relatives that will remain true in your hearts.