You know Christmas is coming when ....
I know it’s Christmas when my kids come home from school with a request for donations to help “fill a stocking” for a child. When my mailbox suddenly has something in it! When I go to the store and walk past the poor, bell ringing, frozen individual just outside the door and then navigate through all the shiny, overpriced, unnecessary generic “gifts” (basically anything in the store, but wrapped in clear film and accompanied by a bow - see horrific pic) and all I leave with is a headache and a simultaneous feeling of being somehow unsatisfied with everything I own and crippled with guilt for the fact that I own anything at all. It’s exhausting. It’s overwhelming. And I just shut down.
Then there’s the constant exhortation to host and attend parties. “Do Christmas Right!” and “Guaranteed Crowd Pleaser!” are fabulous example of marketing by subtly telling you that a) hitherto every Christmas you’ve “done” has been wrong and b) that there is any such thing as a guaranteed ANYONE pleaser (see horrific pic)!
I’ve told you before about that disapproving voice in my head. The one that reminds me that whatever I manage to achieve will never be as good as [fill in the blank] , that if I’m not writing classic literature then anything I come up with is pointless parp. Well, I’m realizing that Christmas gives that voice a time to truly shine and it’s ruining everything!
Have you ever heard of a Scold’s Bridle? It was an iron device used to punish women judged as gossips or scolds during the 16th century (see horrific pic). It causes dreadful pain by driving a spike into the tongue upon any movement of the mouth. Obviously it was impossible to eat or speak with this thing on and so the punishment was two fold. I need to find some equally effective psychological tool for that nasty inner voice and now I’ve written that I think I have found a clue! I wonder if I can force it to shut up by not feeding it?! If I can avoid flyers, commercials, stores – there won’t be the same dissatisfaction/guilt paradox that seems to feed it steroids. It’s worth a try. And if that doesn’t work I guess there’s always the possibility finding somewhere remote and peaceful to spend Christmas and I think I know somewhere I can afford (see horrific pic below).