Tag Archives: list

List: Acceptable Christmas Creep

11 Jan
Holidays: Creating more AwkwardFamilyPhotos than school picture day.

This is NOT the kind of Christmas Creep I’m talking about. 

I’m squarely in the camp that thinks the Christmas season should begin after Thanksgiving and end on New Year’s Day. Even one day in either direction and I’ll judge you if you have holiday lights up. And every year, I get a bit more judgmental.

However, now that Christmas is behind us, there are a few things I kind of miss. I might be willing to make a few exceptions to the “acceptable holiday window” if it meant I could find these seven things outside of December:

  1. Envelopes in my mailbox that don’t contain bills. It’s like a month of freakin’ summer camp, coming home to find real mail in there every day. Now? Back to my crappy pen pals: AmEx, Pepco and Wells Fargo. Bleh. 
  2. Pretzel Chips in holiday flavors. If you haven’t tried them, you really need to hunt down a bag of dark chocolate + peppermint bits. Two words: Holy. Shit. Actually, on second thought – HORRIBLE idea. I would need a forklift to get me off the couch if these were available year-round. (Note: Being a hoarder, I currently have four bags of these in my cupboard. Which should last me until approximately Friday.) 
  3. People helping each other out. Sure, it’s great that people tend to hop in and help out the less fortunate in December, donating Christmas meals or gifts for families or volunteering at soup kitchens. But think how powerful it would be if we acted that way all year round?
  4. Trees in our living rooms. I often think, “If aliens ever landed on Earth in December, how would we explain that a fair chunk of the population has randomly chopped down trees and dragged them into their homes?”  Anything you couldn’t explain to an alien is, well, kind of awesome. 
  5. Random airings of classic holiday movies. Basically, I’m talking about National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Christmas Story. A random scene here and there is like comfort food. Although – what am I talking about? I don’t even own a television.
  6. Party lights! I don’t even put up a Christmas tree, but I do love my little string of white lights. In fact, I love their little glow more than that of the table lamp on the other end of my couch. Perhaps I should just adopt party lights as a year-round means of lighting my place. Oh wait. I did that in college. To accentuate my beer can pyramid. Nevermind. 
  7. Cinnamon Brooms at the door of Whole Foods. Definitely beats the smell of urine that usually greets me. Frankly, I think hanging even ONE cinnamon broom near the entrance would help.

That is all. Now pardon me as I go string my MLK Day lights. And decorate my Valentine’s Day tree.

The Nutcracker: Bah Humbug!

7 Dec
Image Source: http://b5media_b4.s3.amazonaws.com/28/files/2006/11/nutcracker-girl.jpg

Boring. Sigh. Zzzz….

I’m just going to put it out there, even though I realize this isn’t going to be a popular statement: I’m not a fan of the Nutcracker.

I’ll add this to the list of things I don’t like – such as pumpkin pie and babies – that make people regard me with some combination of horror and disgust. Get over it. More for you. (Note: My friends’ babies are exceptions. Their pies are not.)

Anyway… I had a vague recollection of being bored stiff when seeing the Nutcracker as a kid, so I was curious to see if I’d enjoy it as an adult. Alan’s daughter is dancing in it for the first time, so we went to watch her performance last week.

Five Reasons I’m Not a Fan:

  1. I have no tolerance for mimes. I know, the thing is a ballet, so they’re primarily dancing, but a lot of the first act relies on people acting without talking. Also known as miming. I find it physically painful to watch a family of characters cross the stage pretending to have an animated conversation, moving their mouths like they’re chewing on the largest hunk of bubble gum known to man in an attempt to show us they’re talking.
  2. The story is lacking.  In case you’re not familiar: a rich family throws a Christmas party, their daughter receives a Nutcracker that she loves, her brother breaks it, a magician mends it, the Christmas tree grows like it’s on steroids, and then she dreams that a bunch of people are dancing for her. Someone needs a lesson on plot development. And less LSD.
  3. The Sugar Plum Fairy is full of herself. The one thing the Nutcracker does pretty well is provide an opportunity to showcase a LOT of dancers. The scenes can accommodate a seemingly limitless number of dancers, so it’s the perfect show for making sure everyone has a role. Until the Sugar Plum Fairy takes the stage. Once she arrives, it turns into her show and you realize that all the other parts were just humoring the parents in an attempt to sell more seats. She single-handedly undermines the adage that, “There are no small roles, only small actors.”
  4. Really, a NUTCRACKER? When is the last time you saw a child get excited by a nutcracker? Probably NEVER, because they are inherently boring and hardly qualify as a toy. I know this story was developed long before American Girl Dolls were on the scene, so I’m not proposing they replace the title character with a modern toy. But SURELY there’s something more compelling from those days. I mean, even a corn husk doll (circa Little House of the Prairie) would be more exciting. Which says a lot.
  5. The Magician is creepy. I find it interesting that a holiday/children’s classic includes a character who is clearly a pedophile. His arrival with a trunk full of tricks would’ve been only marginally creepier if he’d pulled up in an ice cream truck. And has no one ever asked why he’s hiding behind a clock watching little Clara sleep?

So I might revise my opinion of The Nutcracker if someone would stage a version where Chris Hansen (from Dateline’s ” To Catch a Predator” series) made a cameo and busted the magician, and Kristen Wiig repeatedly photo-bombed the Sugar Plum Fairy’s scenes. Until that production is available, I’ll stay home.

Unless, of course, Alan’s daughter remains a ballerina. In which case, I’ll dutifully attend and clap during her scenes… and secretly try to enlist her in my battle against the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Now *this* I would pay to see.

Now *this* I would pay to see. (Image: courtesy of my sister, Alicia.)