The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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Holiday Things I Don’t Get

on November 27, 2012

I was walking into the grocery store today when a woman ahead of me stopped to talk to the bell ringer.  Now I love the bell ringers and think what they are doing is great.  I always smile and greet them.  I wouldn’t want to do their job.  I didn’t think much about the woman who was chatting until I got close enough to hear what she was saying.  It went a little something like this: “I just gave some the other day and I plan to give more once we get paid again.  I wish I had more change on me today because it is just such a worthy cause….blah….blah…blah….”  Now I understand that the poor little lady felt guilty because she didn’t have anything for the kettle.  I get that at some level but one has to wonder:  since when do we feel like we need to explain ourselves to the bell ringer?  It isn’t like these people are working on commission out there.  They don’t get a bonus for a full pot.  It’s nice to smile and greet them but for pity sake lady SHE DOESN’T REALLY CARE.  I really wanted to throw some change in there for the little gal and say, “There – I paid for you too. Now quit blocking the door.” but unfortunately I was also cashless and didn’t think dropping my debit card in there would be wise. Note to self: get a roll of quarters for just such occasions.  It’s too cold to be hanging around outside stores while people purge their guilt. Better yet, I think they need to have the bell ringers hand out tickets to people who put money in the kettle.  That way people could just wave their ticket and say, “I gave already!” when they walk by.  So much simpler.  Coincidentally, as I was walking out of the store I heard a guy telling the same bell ringer, “Oh – I’ll get some change and get it on the way out.”  Right.  I wonder how many times she heard that today? Seriously – relax people.  They aren’t tracking you.

While in the store I noticed they were stocking the oysters in the meat department which brings me to the next holiday thing I don’t get: Oyster stew.  Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a slimy sea creature with the texture of a sandy eraser boiled into a stew, right? Blech.  Before you ask: yes, I’ve tried it. Double blech.  I’ll just add that to my list of other traditional holiday foods I avoid like eggnog and fruit cake.  I know there are many people who love these delicacies but this is my list.  Make your own. After seeing the price per pound for oysters I’m willing to let others enjoy their stew and shake their heads at my uneducated palette. Just saying….

Finally: I only became aware of the “Elf On The Shelf” phenomena last Christmas.  I’m not sure how I missed it before but I was blissfully unaware such a thing existed until some of my friends with younger children began posting on Facebook about it last year.  The more I hear about it the happier I am that I missed the whole thing.  I wish i had thought of it, of course, but I’m not sad that my kids were too old for it by the time I found out about it. Now I understand it’s a cute book and a fun thing to do but – REALLY?  Parents need one more thing to take care of during the Christmas season?  There aren’t enough school plays and church programs and concerts and end of the year “boy we appreciate you so we’re going to take another night” parties to attend?  There isn’t enough to do to shop and wrap and mail cards and bake cookies and…you get the drift.  Now parents get to come up with fun and creative things to do with a stuffed elf every night. I have a feeling that had we an “elf on the shelf”  he wouldn’t move much unless there was a breeze blowing through the house.  The bright side of that is my kids would know that he wasn’t running to report their every move to Santa each night, because, you know, that isn’t creepy at all.  I’m thinking about coming up with two follow-up books: “The Elf Was Not Real: How to Overcome The Feeling Of Being Watched” and “It’s Okay That Your Elf Didn’t Move: Support For Underachieving Parents”.

I love Christmas lights.  We put up a nice display at our house every year but there comes a time when enough is enough.  The Griswalds have nothing on this family:

Hope these people have room darkening blinds!


15 responses to “Holiday Things I Don’t Get

  1. momshieb says:

    This made me laugh out loud! You are clearly WAY more mentally healthy than I am. I always feel guilty if I walk by the bell ringer; it isn’t so much the money, it just feels like I am ignoring them, and being rude, even though I know they are just thinking, “One more hour till I go home….” and they don’t keep track of who stops!
    And I like oysters, but not oyster stew. Then again, my Sicilian family eats octopus on Christmas eve, so who am I to pass judgement?
    But that creepy elf thing…..I’m with you on that!
    Happy holiday blog posting! So much material, so little time…!

    • wedelmom says:

      Just smile at them and say “thank you”. It’ll mean more to them than any change you throw in their pot. 😉
      Have to say I’ve never tried octopus. Calamari (which I didn’t like) but never octopus. I’m not much of a seafood fan anyway. Might have something to do with living so far away from water.
      My mind is positively spinning with holiday blog possibilities….

  2. javaj240 says:

    I, too, am happy that my daughter was too old for “The Elf on the Shelf” thing. Also, I think that thing is $30. I wish I had invented it at that price.

  3. Ew! Oyster stew? Seriously? I had no idea that this was a Christmas tradition! “Sandy erasers.” I agree 100%. I just threw up in my mouth a little.
    I work in a store that sells “The Elf of the Shelf” and I think he is one of the creepiest little creatures I have ever encountered. And he sells like hotcakes. (Do hotcakes really sell that well? I must find a more relevant analogy.) If I had one, he would never get out of the box.
    I much prefer “A Porcupine in a Pine Tree”–a Canadian version of the Twelve Days of Christmas that comes with the cutest Porcupine ever. And it’s the only time the Maple Leafs ever win the Stanley Cup. lol.

    • wedelmom says:

      Yup – Oyster Stew. For a while I thought it was just some weird thing in my family but it apparently is quite popular here in Nebraska. GAG!
      Of course hotcakes sell well – look at IHOP.
      My Elf will stay on the store shelf. I have considered buying four of them so I can give them to future grandchildren and torture each of my offspring but even I am not that mean.
      I’m going to have to research the porcupine. Has to be way cuter than an elf or a maid a milking.

      • We don’t have Ihop up here. I assume it is a pancake house. We used to have Golden Griddle, but they all went bankrupt. I don’t think we have any Canadian Pancake houses left. Hm. What do we have against pancakes. Sorry, “pancake” is Canadian for “hot cake.” lol.

      • wedelmom says:

        International House of Pancakes. (Pancake is American for hotcake too.) I think it’s about the only one left. 😉

  4. I would support your book, “It’s Okay Your Elf Didn’t Move….” by buying the first case of them and handing them out to so many stressed out parents! The tooth fairy gave us a run for our money, can’t imagine having to live up to the antics of the elf!

    • wedelmom says:

      We didn’t even attempt the tooth fairy – I just handed my kids money when their teeth fell out. My poor children had such a non-magical childhood. This would be why I started a “therapy” fund. It’s the least I could do for them.
      I’ll put you down for the first case! 🙂

  5. I’m with you on the oyster stew…It was my Grandpa’s favorite Christmas treat so my mom made it a few years ago in honor of his memory. It was disgusting and none of us could eat it! We were all little hungry that Christmas Eve night!!

    Funny you should bring up the Elf on Shelf. My daughter just asked me last night why we didn’t do this. She said she heard about it at school (stupid school kids!). I told her not all families practice this and ours has chosen not to do this! I would definitely be needing the book “It’s Okay Your Elf Didn’t Move”!!! Hilarious!!

  6. Valerie says:

    The Elf on a Shelf has ALWAYS weirded me out. We are SO not ever starting that tradition!! I love your book ideas! LOL

  7. […] is a very funny article over at TheViewFromASlightlyTwistedAngle that I got a kick out of. I especially like the “Elf […]

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