Ba Ha-Ha-Humbug

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

While I would debate that fact for several reasons—that is neither here nor there—as the holiday season is here and there, and with it comes a variety of expectations. You see, we are often presented with “ideal” situations that in reality, fall a bit short.

But have no festive fear! No holiday season is perfect, and as long as you don’t hold things to the ridiculous standard often presented to us, your expectations will surely be met.

The Meals

Expectation: Martha Stewart is truly a genius in that she makes her beautiful soirees look elegant and effortless—and calls them “soirees” and not “dysfunctional family functions.” The food is perfect, the conversation is jovial and no one’s career choice, sexual preference or bodily functions are discussed.

And no one ends up drunk under the tree.

Reality: There will not be enough chairs. Someone will pronounce “hors d’oeuvres” as “whores de-vores” (that would be me). The food will be good, but conversation will cover someone’s career choice, sexual preference or bodily functions. There will be a debate over whether the plastic silverware can be reused for Easter and whether it’s pronounced “PEE-cons” or “pick-ONS,” which will lead to an inappropriate joke about nuts from that one creepy uncle.

Romantic Gifts (as presented in jewelry ads)

Expectation: Cue cheesy background music and a setting that involves a fireplace and gently falling snow. Two people are casually huddled around the tree with hot cocoa as he pulls out a small box to surprise her with a rock of some sort. They kiss and live happily ever after.

Reality: What they don’t show you is that later he poses under the mistletoe wearing nothing but a well-placed Santa hat, thinking that small little box with the bow has earned him at least a few nights of appreciation. She will be too busy tweeting a picture of the ring to show off to her friends to notice him—or care when she does—meaning the ornaments on the tree won’t be the only blue balls in the room.

Exterior Illumination

Expectation: That your house can be perfectly decorated with thousands of twinkling lights and décor in no time at all, with your handiwork serving as a beacon of light for all other holidays revelers.

You will never have to launch an investigation over this carnage. But on a positive note, Frosty has been fixed. A Festivus miracle!

Reality: Despite trying to put the light strings away “neatly” last year, they will come out of the storage container in an arrangement that looks suspiciously like a Noel noose made of tangled up wires. The ordeal will begin with a joke to make sure to call 911 if you fall off the ladder—ha, ha, ha!—and end with a simple wreath on the door after the discovery that half of the bulbs just don’t work, despite testing each one and hanging them up.

But even though most will experience a less-than perfect meal, sub-par gifts (make donations, not debts people) and defunct decorations, remember what’s truly important—family, friends and your holiday spirit(s).

Like the blog? Buy the book.

35 responses to “Ba Ha-Ha-Humbug

  1. Yup. True. All true. Last year my boyfriend and I gave each other a vacuum for Christmas. There is nothing more romantic than that.

  2. I can’t call things “soirees” for fear I’m saying it wrong.

  3. I was always hoping for a pony underneath the tree but that never happened. You learn that most of the time you’ve got to make your own dreams come true. This year I’m thinking a Big Boy statue for my pasture. Maybe Ebay?

  4. Well said! I cringe at the thought of untangling the lights – WTF is it with the conspiracy of one bulb going out so you have to replace the whole set? The bottom picture displays the perfect arrangement – cute and functional at the same time!

  5. Hahaha the picture thing is so true. Their commitment to facebook is impressive.

  6. I just read a little blurb this last week about martha steward and her method of killing the holiday turkey. She gets them drunk so they’re “relaxed”. This really doesn’t apply so much here, but I feel it sorta knocks her fancy schmancy soirees down a notch to an affair I can better relate to…

  7. Abby, that was brilliant! I laughed so hard, I had to share it with my husband! Loved the “blue balls”!

  8. Honestly the only thing I like about xmas is having a real tree in my house and decorating it. I don’t even attempt the outside of my house, and I most certainly do not look forward to spending an evening with my family, which always ends up with someone crying and feeling like they are being picked on. Well, they most likely are being picked on as my mom tends to pick on people. But by now in my family I think you should have a thick enough skin to dish it back or just say you don’t want to come to dinner for xmas eve.

  9. This is hysterical. I recall a Christmas where I was miserably sick with allergies from my parents dog, blowing my nose on anything within reach while various relatives squeezed the talking toy wrestler in my lap, from my stocking, because they wanted to here it say, “Body Slam!” I was 30.

  10. I love the humor and truth in your post, Abby! I don’t drink vodka, but a quality six-pack under the tree would be a welcomed gift.

    • I really don’t drink either, but the gnome is another story. As for the six-pack, that’s usually my go-to for my mom. Hard to wrap, but gift bags work great.

  11. Festivus! My favorite part of the holiday! Let the airing of the grievances begin…

  12. I remember the moment when I realized that the written term “hors d’oeuvres” was the spoken word “oredervs” – I was a teenager and I was like, “OHHHHHHHHHHHHH, that’s what that is.”

  13. It’s the imperfections that make the laughter around the table. Oh and discussing bodily functions and fluids…

  14. Like so many other things, when planning Christmas I cling to optimism. This is not always rewarded, but there is always next year

  15. &then a Canadian broad from the Far East will enter to let you all know you are pronouncing it wrong : Pee-can !

  16. As i wrote yesterday, I’m looking forward to typical “dad” gifts, if I get them – socks, underwear, bad cologne, tools….can’t wait. fa la la la la la la *cough*

  17. I laughed out loud reading this! I’ve never figured out why, on ONE day a year, suddenly we’re supposed to do everything (including get along) better than we did the OTHER 364 days! 🙂

  18. I am hysterical reading this – because it’s ALL true!!


  19. I will never be able to look at my blue ornaments the same ever again. I’m telling everyone to donate any extra dollars to the Rolling Jubilee.

  20. I’m betting that Frosty ends up on his ass again this year. Alcohol induced or otherwise.

  21. If we put up a tree…it would look just like yours. We are not that in to the decoration thing at all.
    Loved the Gnome next to his drink 😉

  22. so happy to hear the snowman is back in service – I recall that grisly crime scene from last year *shudder*

    and the gnome has the right idea – holiday spirits indeed!

  23. LOVE the romantic gifts part and the well-placed Santa hat! Hysterical!

  24. Oh, you are hilarious. You are truly one of my favorite bloggers and, yet, I don’t make it over here nearly often enough. I don’t make it anywhere often, including the shower. Can you smell me?

  25. The thing I found most hilarious was that that Charlie Brown tree was OVER $10! Robbery. Ahem.

  26. We always have these grandiose expectations about what the holidays should be like if we’re with my family. Honestly, we should know better by now. THAT definitely calls for some holiday spirits.

  27. In my family, we like to get good and liquored up and debate politics and religion. It always goes well and no one ever ends up crying.

  28. How can it be pronounced “or derve” when clearly the r is after the v?

Talk to me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s