Wake me up on January 2

This is not the most wonderful time of the year. I’m not ten years old and there is literally nothing to get excited about. Hear me out.

I live 1,000 miles from my nearest relative and I’m not into holiday travel torture. I don’t need to spend an entire day eating myself sick. My dogs don’t believe in Santa. The only Christmas music I can tolerate is “Christmas in Hollis” by Run-DMC. My idea of a Christmas movie is Die Hard and I will fight anyone who says it isn’t. The Psychotic Hound is severely noise phobic so I spend New Year’s Eve keeping her calm.

I remember looking forward to the holidays but when I was a kid, there were people in my family who kept the party going. Plus, we were out of school a ton. My parents put up a Christmas tree exactly once so any festive cheer came from outside our house. Once the festive people were gone, there was no one interested in getting the band back together. If not for Facebook, most of us wouldn’t communicate at all.

My least favorite component is the pressure. I spend the workday after each holiday deflecting the “How was your <insert holiday here>?” barrage. I try to leave it at “good” but some folks probe deeper. People never know what to say when my reply is “Quiet.” Seriously, stop asking me questions. I took my dogs for a run and then sat my happy ass on the couch with an adult beverage and binge-watched <insert show here>. Why do I have to *do* anything? Who made you the fun police?

I am so incredibly thankful I no longer have in-laws to try to impress. Every single holiday felt like a job interview and it was absolutely exhausting. It just seems like so much of the holiday cheer is manufactured. People go into debt to prove…something. I don’t actually know what people think they’re proving. To me, it just comes across as very contrived.

People have such high expectations and I no longer try to meet them. This holiday season, I’ll be the one keeping it real with a frozen pizza in the oven. Check in with me after the First. Or don’t.

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