Festive with a Vengeance

posted Monday November 7th, 2011

Ray took me to lunch last week.

“Here’s the thing,” he said, by way of apologizing for getting snippy with me the day before. “It’s just that when you are rushing around doing all that holiday stuff, you look so miserable.”

My jaw dropped, then my lips pursed.

“I’M FESTIVE!” I announced, shocked that anyone could challenge my holiday cheer — be it for a birthday, Halloween or my favorite avalanche of joy, Christmas.

“Yeah, that’s the problem,” he said, sighing. “You’re festive, all right. But you just don’t look happy.”

I flashed back to the scene last Sunday, the day before Halloween – me racing around like a crazy woman, looking everywhere for my black and white oilcloth tableclothes, rinsing pumpkin seeds, baking cookies, making soup, clearing real cobwebs and hanging fake ones, all while trying desperately to clear the piles that crop up on every empty surface in our house as soon as I turn my back. And not being very nice about any of it.

I hate it when Ray’s right. It’s true. I’m festive — with a vengeance.

“OK, I’ll try to look like this throughout the holiday season,” I said, flashing my biggest, fakest courtesy smile.

“That’s better,” Ray replied weakly.

I do know what he means; I’ve been thinking about it, even before that little intervention. I need to cut back on the holiday cheer. And so there will be no “Homemade Fucking Christmas” this year (which involved the goal of making every single gift I gave, then beating myself up when I failed); no push to create a half-dozen varieties of fruit-infused vodka and tequila (though I did just come into a box of grapefruit, so maybe one batch); and I promise not to try to make my own latkes.

OK, who am I fooling? I do have plans for a tamale day, a full-sized Christmas tree and my first attempt at a Hanukkah brisket. What can I say? Old habits die hard.

I do promise to do it all with a giant smile on my face.

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Tags: Filed under: holidays by Amysilverman

7 Responses to “Festive with a Vengeance”

  1. I totally get where you are coming from. I run around like a crazy woman to create what I think is what my kids need to have great memories to look back on. What they will probably remember are the moments of total freak out and the mess of the house after the event. At least I haven’t screamed, “This is so you have a happy ___name the event____!” At Party City in a few years.

  2. Oh wow Amy you are awesome. Want to come to my house and do holiday art projects with all my kids?

  3. Wow! I hear ya loud and clear!

  4. Yes, Holidays….it is a love and hate relationship. I hear you.

  5. Does this mean no cookies and cocktails?! ;o)

  6. So funny! I had to read it to my husband, so he would see that I am not the ONLY one that celebrates with a vengeance.

  7. cookies and cocktails will still happen!

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