17 December 2007
T’is the season to be grumpy

Or maybe Deck The Halls With Disemboweled Husbands? I used to love Christmas. Then I moved to France, where I eventually married Grumpy McScrooge, Mr. Anti-Christmas himself.

Maybe Anti-Christmas is too harsh. Perhaps just Disconnected is a little more correct to describe his total lack of enthusiasm, interest, or desire to be giving at this time of year. Maybe he was just raised wrong (I’ll vote for that any day). Whatever the reason, the man has made me loathe the time of year I used to love most.

Giving gifts has never been his strong point. And to his credit, he pointed this out to me in the very earliest of days. He’d rather give his time than a gift. And that’s lovely, really, in theory, except the man has no time to give either. Hell, if I can’t have a nice, calm, family evening every now and then, I should at least have that lovely laptop I’ve been pining over for YEARS, right?

But it’s so not just about me anymore. I’ve gone through a Christmas without a single gift for me under the tree, and while it was possibly the single worst experience I have ever had to endure, I managed to make it through. The scars of that Holiday From Hell have, indeed, healed over, but it’s still a touchy subject. Very Touchy.

So now we have three kids tossed in the mix, two of whom are old enough to be completely interested in Christmas and one of whom (the oldest) is already antsy about whether or not Père Noël is going to bring him a race car. And Grumpy McScrooge, having possibly learned something from the nuclear fall-out that followed the last time the Christmas tree was left half-bare, has indeed decided that gifts will be purchased, and has even insisted on helping out in this area.

Which is the problem.

Had things been left entirely up to me (as they should have been, right?), the nightmare of Christmas Shopping For Small Children in France would have been completed. I do not do crowds, and for those of you not in the know, in France the crowds at Christmas are incredible. Their ingenious system of allowing stores to be open only a certain number of hours means that everyone is forced to go at the same time. There are no lovely, spacious, clean 24/7 Walmarts here. And the fact that these stores are able, for a few short weeks, to open on Sunday, only increases the panic in the aisles.

Scroogey doesn’t do crowds either, nor does he do shopping. So taking him in to the fray at this point will be akin to pulling off his fingernails, with pliers, while applying an electric probe to his nether regions. WHY? Why his he insisting it be done This Way?

It’s certainly not because he has any ideas of what to get the monkeys. He’s as useless as tits on a bull in that department. He does have ideas about what not to get them, but we’re pretty much on the same page as far as that goes. In addition to being limited on funds, we’re extremely limited on space, patience, and lots of other things we’d like to have in large supply. All of this means we should have started looking, searching for ideas, and exploring the possibilities long ago, back when we’d have had time to plan, purchase, wrap and hide things that the Fat Guy will be sliding down the chimney.

Should’a Could’a Would’a. So here we are, just over a week before that happy day and nothing has been done, no plans made, not the first gift purchased, not even a tree put up, because honestly, ten minutes with this man could even kill Kris Kringle’s Christmas cheer. Supposedly we’re going to make a day of it tomorrow, but the prospect of that terrifies me. Just mentioning the words Christmas and gift in any combination around that man is enough to put me in such a horrible mood that I’m afraid the possibility of a public shouting match is very real. His passive-aggressive way of not dealing with any of this drives me apeshit. And having to deal with rude salespeople and obnoxious crowds will only increase my need for certain calming medications.

Fortunately, Monkey-1, just when I was at the point of despair, made me very happy that some of my genes have made it through. He asked if I could take him to a toy store so he could get a gift for each of his sisters. I could have cried.

posted by Doc at 10:24 | Permalink |


  • At 12:48, Blogger Nelly

    Oh Darlin', welcome to the feckin' Married to an Evil, Party-Hating Frenchman club...

  • At 16:41, Blogger La Rêveuse

    I hear you. Mine (though not French) bitches and complains about every aspect, and then later complains if I missed anything. UGH. Doesn't want presents, to spend money, etc., but if he gets a gift that wasn't on his list, and doesn't get what was on his list, well... then there is hell to pay.

    Luckily, I've learned to tame the Christmas Beast. Elvis Presley, Dean Martin and beer. Works every time. ;)

    And Monkey 1? I just want to cover him in kisses. What a sweet pea. You're doing something right, girlie. Be proud of yourself. That's quite a gift. :)

  • At 04:21, Blogger Emmanuelle

    You should watch "grumpy old men Christmas Special". You wouldn't feel alone. :-)

  • At 07:55, Blogger Linda

    Ah, Christmas--the gift that keeps on giving and not in a good way. My husband waits until the last minute to get anything and then turns to me for help to buy for his kids. I hate that. I get everything done for my family and don't want to go out and buy again. And his gift for me? I've learned to tell him what I want months ahead. On my last birthday I didn't say anything and ended up getting nothing until two days later. Somehow, that just doesn't do it for me. I hate Christmas and all of that shopping required. Bah, humbug.