- Cold weather
- Guilt over not delighting my child by hanging lights outside our house
- Guilt over letting my parents see me ignore Hanukkah
- Turkey-based meals
- The whole rigmarole with the tree (Really? I'm supposed to drag a goddamn tree into my living room? Are you pulling my leg?)
- The insertion of religious symbolism and ceremony into my everyday life
- The fact that people resent me for removing religious symbolism and ceremony from their holiday season
It's not just the crowds in the malls or the expense, but rather the inefficiency of the whole process. It's the idea that I want some book, but instead of just logging onto Amazon and buying it, I have to give my wife some sort of clue about it. Maybe it's a hint of an author I like, or perhaps it's a dramatic sigh when I look at the books on my night table, but more likely than not, it's me adding a link on my Amazon wish list to the exact book I want. It's like a treasure hunt with particularly dull-normal clues.
We did some shopping for Winter Present Tree Day this weekend by visiting our local knick-knack shop. Knick-knacks are the dregs of gifting, but tradition dictates that you gotta cram something into the goddamn stockings. The knick-knack store was ridiculous. It was filled with shelves of decorated items that I never before realized needed to be decorated, like toothpicks. We've all seen the toothpicks with the frilly little bits on them, but these were even more ornate and stately. I guess that's a gift. Hey, merry Winter Present Tree Day, here are some goddamn toothpicks.
They also had dish towels with clever little phrases on them. Would I want someone to buy me those? No thanks, I hate being out-clevered by my linens. We're just one step away from giving out decorated toilet paper as gifts. I can imagine someone buying me artisan hand-etched toilet paper and I'll have to stare at them and say, "Do you know what I do with this stuff?"