My wife says I never get into the holiday spirit. She won’t go as far as saying I’m a Grinch, but she is often surprised when I receive actual presents and not coal from Santa every year. Don’t let her know this, but I actually love this season. Yet, it is not for reasons you may think. Mistletoe, candy canes and singing carols are just okay in my book. Coming up with the most random Secret Santa gift that will leave people speechless always makes me chuckle. Another notch up is watching fellow cube mates let loose after tossing back way too much eggnog at the office Christmas party and having to do the walk of shame the next morning.
Don’t get me wrong. As jolly as these things are, nothing brings me more holiday glee then going Tacky Christmas Sweater hunting at the local mall. I always know when it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas based upon how many Rudolph’s and Elves I see plastered across the chest of a wool sweater. It seems like grandmas compete in some sort of twisted game to see who can wear the most ‘festive’ attire. And by festive I mean snowmen huddled around Santa lying in a manger.
These grannies go to great extremes to hang just the right amount of bells on their outfit so spectators far and wide will hear the ‘ring-a-ding’ and have the opportunity to witness them in all their fuzzy, ugly glory. There is no way anyone in their right mind looks into the mirror, sees one of these hideous warmers staring back at them and comes to the conclusion that it is a good idea to actually be seen in public.
Even though the Tacky Christmas Sweater is primarily a female phenomenon, I think it shines light on an ugly habit most men face. I’m speaking of our tendency to act before we think. Rash decisions, irrational behavior, impulse buying, risky habits, regrets and words we wish we could take back. The root cause of all these actions is a failure to think through the decisions we make. It rears its’ ugly head very randomly, but has a greater propensity to show up in late December.
Take for instance the thoughtfulness most men display when it comes to holiday shopping. If you are in a relationship, raise your hand if you’ve already purchased gifts for your significant other? Anyone…anyone…Bueller? I am assuming that if you are like 99.9% of all men you are justifying your laziness by saying it is only December 16th
This means you still have eight more shopping days till the Eve is upon us and if all else fails there has to be some random convenience store open Christmas morning, right? When you are visiting the local mall at 9pm on Christmas Eve there will be no tacky sweaters to distract you. This is because the ladies will have long since departed and left the leftovers to husbands and boyfriends freaking out over the ideal gift. Let me fill you in on a little secret: all the ideal gifts were bought back during Black Friday.
Without thinking about style, color or size, you are grabbing any piece of clothing you can find off the rack. One does not need to be a fortune teller to realize the chances are good there will be some bawling going on during Christmas. It will take place either in the morning when she unwraps her size 20 dress in lady of the night red or in the evening from your back reacting to the stiff couch you will be sleeping on for the foreseeable future.
Maybe you vaguely remember how your wife complains about the Shop Vac not sucking up Cheerios off the carpet. You begin to do the touchdown dance as you picture her face lighting up when she opens a huge box filled with a new vacuum. You don’t know how wrong you are my friend. A man’s brain is wired for practical while a women’s is wired for meaningful.
So, for my fellow men that are in the same boat as me, all I can say is you have a little time left to get your act together and pay attention. After all, your fantasy football team has more than likely been eliminated from the playoffs, which should free up the majority of your time anyway.