So far, those of you following this blog have probably determined that Holidays = family (-) + presents (+) + no school (++) + sleep (++++). If you add that all up, you’ll see that the holidays are pretty happy. That is, assuming you don’t have to watch your 3 year old cousin for more than twelve seconds.
There are bad things about this time of year as well, though, and so, in hopes of making everyone ‘thankful’ for the next six months as we suffer through bitter weather, 5-school-day-weeks, and just enough sleep every night to keep our brains from accidentally (or possibly purposefully) killing us, I’m going to go over those things right now. Also, we all know teens love to complain, and, well, what am I? (Hint: not a vegetable or mineral).
Yes, you knew this would be first on my list. I mean, first of all, I rarely see any teens in any holiday commercials. I see perfectly groomed “roughly-shaven” 25-year-olds with their “natural yet perfect-looking” wives getting cars, beautiful-yet-harried parents shopping for toys, and young children who, coincidentally, also look to be unusually perfect.
I suppose this is because teens fall under ‘animal,’ as in you need to credit an animal trainer in the commercial at some point. And we all know that there is no more room at the bottom of the screen for any more small white/semi-invisible words to do so, as that room is already occupied by things such as “Professional driver on a closed course,” “Restrictions apply,” “Never take commercials as financial advice,” “Professional talking one year old actor in a closed crib with unrestricted access to financial planning,” etc.
Additionally, none of these commercials are realistic. Sure, that couple can afford a new Lexus every year even though neither one has a sign of being employed. If that’s true, then why isn’t there a group of people “occupying” their driveway? And there just happen to be no cars on the road…and of course children love getting clothes for presents. Okay, so maybe you could believe the absence of traffic-maybe there was a tsunami warning and it’s a coastal road-but the clothes part.
Now don’t get me wrong. I like “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Winter Wonderland” as much as the next person.
However, I don’t enjoy getting into a car, turning on the radio, hearing “Jingle Bell Rock” played nonstop (except, of course, for the interruption by the Radio announcer interrupting the song every ten minutes to let you know, “We’re playing songs with no interruptions for the next three hours!”), getting out of the car, buying food at a supermarket while “Jingle Bell Rock” plays over the PA system, getting back in the car, listening to some more “Jingle Bell Rock,” getting stuck in traffic and fed up with ‘JBR’ (and thus turning the radio off, and then having to hear the combined “JBR”s playing in every single car around the one I’m in (each three beats behind the next)), finally getting home, taking a sledgehammer to my car’s radio, which somehow turned back on, and then walking across the street to get the mail, while listening to “Jingle Bell Rock” played by a neighbor’s inflatable decoration. To relax after that horrific ordeal, I generally turn on the TV, only to hear some JBR overlaid with happy shoppers in stores that are no doubt playing JBR on the PA system during a commercial break. And all of that has been going on since November. Enough said. (Not enough said? Maybe you should know that I have gone through sixteen car radios in the past seven days alone-and three sledgehammers).
IF YOU DISAGREE and love the songs, READ THIS: “Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock; jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring…” Repeat until your feet involuntarily start tapping and the song gets stuck in your head for the next six years.
Yes, even us teens have to do some shopping once in a while. And that brings you to: the crowds. The masses of people mobbing the stores for only one reason: to prolong your exit from the songs blasting from the ceiling.
Actually, the crowds are also annoying because crowds = long lines. Which means that if you are buying something, you might need to stand on top of shelves to hold your place in line. Shelves that, conveniently, have little toy elves that dance and sing “Jingle Bell Rock” when they sense motion. Coincidentally, a few of these elves appear to be victims of a sledgehammer.
But enough about the bad, let’s focus on the good of the holidays: the presents, the sleep, and the absence of school. Mostly the presents, although you need to watch out for parents who give cards that say “restrictions apply” in small white on white print at the bottom.