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Maybe I’m a tad bit Grinch

Is it possible to dread the holidays just as much as you love them?

I’d say I’m running right around the 50/50 mark of both loving and hating this time of year.

I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer or Scrooge, but isn’t it still too early to have to hear Christmas music everywhere you go? Isn’t it too early to fight for parking spaces? Isn’t it too early wish it was 2015 already?

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Just picture this dramatization: You’re standing in a line as long as the Great Wall of China all because you thought Wednesday afternoon would be a good time to buy a new pair of warm gloves. But, you quickly realize Wednesday afternoon isn’t a good time to buy those gloves. The “good time” of day or week for buying anything has passed and won’t return until January.

But you’re already there, committed to standing in line. Maybe the line will move quickly, you naively think to yourself. Maybe they will open more lanes.

“Ha! Silly fool,” a voice echoes in the back of your mind. “Of course they won’t open more lanes.”

Your stubbornness and determination to purchase that single pair of cheap, fleece-lined gloves slowly begins to wane against a steadily rising anxiety and rage that only the mix of crying children, garbled intercom sounds and a seemingly endless loop of Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” can provoke.

While this might seem like the rambling exaggeration of a holiday-hater, that’s exactly how I feel. Thank God for Amazon Prime’s free two-day shipping.

And even though the mere thought of Black Friday shopping sends me into a panic, there are plenty of great things about the holidays I still hold dear.

Thanksgiving, for starters, is actually one of my favorite holidays.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to visit my family in North Carolina this year, but I’m very lucky to have some amazing friends who have become my surrogate family.

This weekend we got together for a Thanksgiving potluck. It was definitely something I was thankful to have been a part of.

I will get to spend a few days with my family for Christmas, which I’m looking forward to. The past couple of years, my dad has gone all out with the decorations.

I can’t remember a time when I was growing up when he was excited about hanging lights, but to see the effort he has put forth in recent years makes me glad he is finally getting into the spirit of the season.

I look forward to seeing what he has in store this year.

My roommate and I decided we wanted to get a real Christmas tree to decorate this year. I have to say the smell of a real Christmas tree has got to be one of the best smells ever. If anything can ease my holiday anxieties it’s a little Frazier fir aromatherapy.

And who doesn’t like getting presents?

Getting presents is wonderful, of course, but I genuinely love giving them. To me, nothing is more fun or rewarding that putting serious thought into someone’s gift and seeing a smile on his or her face when they open it. That truly is gift enough to me.

So you see, I’m not all Grinch. I find my own ways of dealing with stress and anxiety and try to focus on the positive aspects of the holidays.

But just to be safe, I’m going to try and avoid malls at all costs.

 

Michelle Goodman is the news editor at The Tribune. To reach her, call 740-532-1441 ext. 12 or by email at michelle.goodman@irontontribune.com.