Friday, December 07, 2007

The one where I explain what the Grinch, Charlie Brown and I all have in common

Part 1: How I resemble the Grinch

Every One in the world liked Christmas a lot...
But Julie Pippert, who lived south of Houston, Did NOT!

Julie hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.

But I think that the most likely reason of all,
May have been that the month was simply too small.

For, you see, when the month of December rolled round,
She had birthdays and parties and demands abound.

Buy plates, hats, gifts, and balloons.
The guests are all coming, the party's too soon!

Her head spun in circles, she looked quite a fright,
Mopping and sweeping, polishing her home perfectly right.

Juggling Christmas and Birthdays should be a joy,
But all Julie could say, with a sigh, was, 'Oh boy!'

She struggled to execute every single detail,
Endlessly rechecking her phone and email.

It seems RSVPs are in short supply this time of year,
She had no clue at all who meant to come here.

Not to mention the holiday open house and the cookie exchange,
Was it one or two dozen? She didn't want to shortchange.

She stared out from her unadorned home with a frown,
At the festive holiday decorations all over the town.

"A snowman out of recycled materials!" she cried to the heavens,
""While I sit amidst chaos, all sixes and sevens!"

Then she growled, with her bitten nails nervously drumming,
"I MUST find some way to stop Christmas from coming!"

*************************************************************************************


Charlie Brown: I just don't understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I'm still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed.

Linus Van Pelt: Charlie Brown, you're the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem. Maybe Lucy's right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest.

Julie Pippert: Au contraire, Linus, my blanketed friend. Good ol' Charlie Brown is not alone. Charlie Brown, I feel ya, homie. I may the Charlie Browniest of them all.

*************************************************************************************

Clearly, I am feeling the Pressure of the Season more than the Joy.

I am overcome by Expected Happiness.

We all know December is a month of constant activity and demands: the normal routine is utterly lost, and requests for time, money and attention are constant. I'm not alone; people all around me are stressed. It shows in our strain and how we snap all too easily.

But it's not just the stress from this. It's the real stress to keep up the Spirit of the Season.

The stress to be happy and enjoy (!) has turned my smile upside down.

As you can see, I am clearly the love child of Grinchie and Charlie. Just call me Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, the baddest mother in the whole damn town.

I'm trying to cut things to keep it simple, yet sweet, but each hack seems ruthless. Who trims Christmas? Trimming is for trees, not fun!

So. Here I sit, on the cusp of Joyful Events feeling in the dumps and more than a little sorry for myself. It's okay, I want to slap me, too.

I promise myself that it's just the build-up; once I get to the fun, I'll enjoy myself. And surely I am right, but I surprise myself every now and again...I'm that unpredictable.

Just one more day of snapping at the children to NOT! MESS! UP! THIS! FREAKING! HOUSE! AND! WILL! YOU! PLEASE! STOP! PLAYING! WITH! TOYS! AND! NO! MORE! EATING! IT! MAKES! A! MESS!

(Parenthetical edits added per Jenn's excellent suggestion.)

I will have fun (damn it).
I will have fun (damn it).
I will have fun (damn it).
I will have fun (damn it).
I will have fun (damn it).

Will Quiet Pleasure do?

*************************************************************************************

One of the bright spots on the blogosphere horizon is my buddy Anne Nahm at annenahm.com. She has been posting these things that seriously make me LOL. WARNING: If you lack a sense of humor, especially one that involves anything to do with Christmas or the Christ Child? Don't follow these links.

It all started with Mmm...Sacrilegious.
Anne was perplexed by this Rule that one never places the baby Jesus in the creche before the 25th. My inner Church Lady came out all fierce and admitted a peeve. But then I conceded her point that (a) what to do with the figure of baby Jesus until then was a toughie, and (b) it was a little creepy to have all these adults standing around an empty cradle. I meant to be funny, but instead my throat got lumpy, my stomach flopped, and my brain turned to mushy morosity. Adults gathered around an empty cradle. My life, and that of so many I know and love, especially right now, made my heart seize and ache. And it was all supposed to be FUNNY.

So Anne took pity on me. And in the comments (that wonder blogger!) she included a hilarious photo. I'll C&P it until she sues me for copyright infringement and then you'll have to go to her site and scroll down the comments and look at it yourself:



I can't explain how or why but that was the exact perfect balm to make me feel relieved, peaceful, and grow a sense of humor.

I told her the only way that could have made me laugh any harder was if it included a cracker.

So Anne obliged in I Say ‘Putting on The Ritz’ Was A Valid Answer (WARNING: 1. Engage humor. 2. Potty break before clicking.)

But can the fun end there? Oh, no no no no nyet nein non! Baby J’s First Day Out on Parole

It's a lot of clicking people, but oh, so worth it to see Anne and Baby J's Excellent Adventures. Anne is the bomb (or current modern equivalent).

And now we all know where my sense of humor is, besides in the gutter: paving my way straight to Hell.

At least I'll be laughing all the way. ;)

Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
Also blogging at:
Using My Words
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27 comments:

Kellan said...

I am right there with you, girl! There is not enough time in the month to get it all done - easily and happily. I think it is a common complaint as I hear it from everyone. I wish we could all feel the joy of the season ... more like when we were so much younger and had far less stress and responsibilities. Remember that joy?

Have a good day and don't work to hard. See ya. Kellan

Sober Briquette said...

You are totally rockin' that green glow.

Michele said...

Oh Julie, I'm laughing out loud over that photo. What a hoot. I used to get all stressed out about Christmas. I'd shop way too much, eat way too much, spend too much money. Then, I converted to Judaism. OK, not really just to avoid Christmas but I have to say I don't miss it. My Jewish hubbie was afraid that would be one of the biggest things I missed but in reality, I'm much happier not having to get caught up in the frenzy. I love looking at the lights and decorations. But I don't feel any pressure to get caught up or overspend. I love it. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season in spite of the stress : )

Bon said...

you are a literary genius, oh Grincy one! and the baby Jesus with his sign cracked me up too, which is - all in all - kinda nice. 'cause i have to say the empty nativities do make me feel a little heartsick, usually. perhaps all nativity baby Jesii need a little waiting room just off the creche or something, where they can wait, visibly safe.

thanks for this, all around.

Kathryn said...

You are an absolute delight to read. I so look forward to your posts.
This post was so clever, I've read it 3 times now.
Strange that my boys are watching the Grinch as I write this.
I give you all the credit in the world for throwing a birthday party in December and not letting your child's bday meld into Christmas as so many people do. Well done!
As for the rest of the season, I've decided to take it all in stride. I can recall my mom getting terribly sick after every single Christmas as a kid. She would hold up right until the day after Christmas. She was so busy, running around, making everything perfect for everyone, and once Christmas was done her body would let down. I don't want to do that to myself.
Easier said than done, I know, but I'll try.
Anyway, hope you find a way to ease your holiday stress.
Thanks for a fabulous post. I really enjoyed it.

Kathryn said...

Oh yeah, one more thing. We wrap our baby Jesus in a soft little cloth (like a blankie) and he waits in a temporary crib, and cuddly and warm.
Is that weird?

Jenn said...

You forgot the "damn it" after the "I will have fun" part.

LOVED the pic.

Laughing my tush off.

liv said...

I agree with the sentiment of the JC pic...advent is a time of waiting, expectancy and hope. I hope we can slow down and enjoy it.

As for the grinch, vintage JP.

shay said...

I'm new to your posts and they are great!
Here's hoping your heart grows three sizes today .... AND that you find some time somewhere:)

I can't seem to even get myself engaged this year.

Okay off to click on the sacreligious links:) Can't wait!

flutter said...

Ok, so you look lovely green. And, uh I had this like meltdown in Target, where I was shoppping for our angel that we adopted. and it said that her shoe size is 8 1/2 and she's 10. I couldn't find a child's size 8.5 and I burst into tears in Target....

we_be_toys said...

I love your way with a paraphrased turn of words! I just might have to print off the Grinch part and put it on the fridge - it's so close to how I feel as well.

Christine said...

oh you. i get this. i ruthlessly cut stuff out of my life this season and i feel so much better--not grinchy at all. no cookies (except a small batch for santa) i'm only bring sodas to all the potlucks, and i refuse to put up a tree until mid december. seriously--try it. no one around here seems to care and we are thoroughly enjoying the whole season now!

Gwen said...

Aww. I love Christmas! (kinda sorta). Sorry you're feeling Grinchy. I would write more--and better--but I had my pupils dilated this morning and am having a hard time with this whole computer thing right now. But see how much I love you? I still commented!

Be Inspired Always said...

You are very clever. I love this post! I'm sort of feeling grinch this year too. I think the days are going so quickly, that I don't have time to feel the joy that I want to feel in this wintry season.

I need to find away to slow down a bit, enjoy the flicker of lights on my Christmas tree. Bake some cookies and bring that Holiday smell into my home.

Jillian

Julie Pippert said...

I so want to reply to all of you right now---especially my beloved blind Gwen and okay all of you---but right now I am:

* baking a strudel
* building a tent
* setting up a jumpy castle
* trying to get ready before 7 p.m. when the Grown Up Drink Fest I mean Party begins

I will not be hung over for my kids' birthdays (damn it).
I will not be hung over for my kids' birthdays (damn it).
I will not be hung over for my kids' birthdays (damn it).
I will not be hung over for my kids' birthdays (damn it).
I will not be hung over for my kids' birthdays (damn it).
I will not be hung over for my kids' birthdays (damn it).

LOL

Julie

Anonymous said...

Hi Julie! You look lovely in green :^)

Thank you for the tremendous shout-out - you are really thumping my stats counter, you popular girl, you. :^)

I am glad the picture made you happy and I had a chance to redeem myself from bumming you out. And I see in the above comment you have the anti-hangover mantra going on. But sheesh. If you are not hung over on their birthday, at least consider being hung over for the day after.

Have fun!

Anne at annenahm.com

Yolanda said...

"I am overcome by Expected Happiness."

Make the bumper stickers now. It is so, so perfect to describe how MANY people feel right now. I certainly count myself in the many.

dharmamama said...

Green's your color!

I read this years ago, and it has saved my season:
Unplug the Christmas Machine
http://tinyurl.com/2tblg6

Don't put it on your list of to-dos or anything, just sometime before *next* Christmas, give it a look.

And thank you, thank you for linking to Anne Nahm. Laughs are always healing.

Kyla said...

Well, Baby Jesus on a cracker! ;)

You, my dear friend, made my night. I agree with EVERYTHING you said and I'm feeling a bit Charlie Brownie right now, too. But then end with the Baby Jesus photo had me laughing hysterically. Whew. A bright spot in an otherwise hazy kind of day.

Laura said...

I hear ya!!!! I have 2 birthdays in December for my little guys and then all the Christmas crap...I mean stuff!!!!

Hang in there!

Family Adventure said...

Let it slide a bit, Julie. Kick back and don't worry...it doesn't have to be perfect.

Baby Jesus - LOL

Heidi

another good thing said...

Love the Baby J pix-- too funny. jesus would love your sense of humor. Remember, he chose to hang out with the outcasts, right... well, that's what I keep telling myself.

- Linda

storyteller said...

Seeing and sharing the humor ... creating opportunities for laughter (for yourself and others) ... seems appropriate for the season! I enjoyed everything ... so thanks for taking time out of the holiday busy-ness for this.
Hugs and blessings,

Gunfighter said...

Brava!!

Brava!!

Clearly, you are a fellow Seussian, and that's a good thing)

painted maypole said...

hee hee! look! Another photoshopping post!

very funny
(but glad to see you did finally find your spirit)

lildb said...

rats. I thought I'd commented last week on this post. I'm glad I checked back.

your cover of the Grinch is BRILLiant.

brilliant. *pounds fist on desk*

Lawyer Mama said...

Oh that baby Jesus picture of Anne's is fanfriggintastic! (I have to admit the figures standing around an empty cradle makes me think of the same thing.)

And dude, that Grinch rhyme is perfect. You need to put that on your Christmas cards.