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7 Ways I've Already Screwed Up Christmas

Photograph by Getty Images

There’s a certain protocol that guides the holiday season. There are traditions of preparation in which everyone who celebrates the holidays participates. Everyone hits Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving. The trees and lights go up on that day or shortly thereafter. And if you are going to celebrate the holidays you make an unspoken agreement to 'effing play ball. And, I want to play that ball.

Christmas is the one time of year where all the muss and fuss pays off in a big way on the big day of the 25th of December. I eat it all up. But, sadly, this holiday season isn’t going exactly as planned. Due to events preceding this season, I’ve been all out of sorts, with my head nowhere near the game. I’ve dropped the ball, slacked big-time. To the strict, Christmas-schedule keepers, it would be fair to say that I’ve already ruined Christmas.

Here’s how:

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1. Our Christmas cards have now become Happy New Year cards

Tradition and etiquette say that you’re to have your cards signed, sealed, delivered to all your relatives, friends, co-workers and that group of people with whom your only contact is through your annual Christmas card, by the second week of December. Though I strive to keep to that timeline, and though I’m Asian, this year it is just not happening. I only ordered those puppies this morning. And now my Happy Holiday card has become a Happy New Year card. And a Happy New Year card clearly says, “I didn’t get my shit together in time. Maybe you won’t notice???” But they always notice. And then I think about those eager little shits who send their cards a week before Thanksgiving. And I get real mad.

2. We got the driest tree on the lot

When you are at the Christmas tree lot, everything looks amazing. You are glowing and pumped up with that Christmas juice. It can be ass cold outside, cold enough to see your breath, but the smell of that evergreen along with the smiley lumberjack-looking guys and hot chocolate stand make that cold-air breath look like a dancing sugar plum fairy. And it will dance your wallet and $140 to the cash register as you pay way too much for a dying tree. But for now, you are all smiles. But then you will get that stupid needly cluster of a tree home and see it in normal, non-lumberjack lighting and you’ll realize you just bought the driest 'effing tree on the lot. While decorating that tree, every time one of us would hang an ornament, we’d end up with a handful of needles. The needles were coming out in clumps. Like a tree with alopecia. Our Christmas tree has alopecia!!!

Who puts their husband and self on a gluten-free diet when baked goods and cravings are running the holiday show around us?

3. We didn’t get our family holiday photo

You know the one, where we all have coordinating red black and white outfits, possibly even plaid, and where some of us are wearing obnoxious wide wale cords. And we’re sitting in front of the tree in the most unnatural position possible. With our legs tucked behind us like seals. And, if we had a dog, it would be wearing a hat. Aww, screw it. It’s OK that those did not happen.

4. I’m having to pay out the nose to order everything with rush delivery

It’s called slacking on the holiday shopping and then not wanting to brave the crowds at the stores when it's holiday rush time. I don’t want to navigate the crowds and the disheveled racks and tables at the mall. I don’t want to then spend 20 minutes squeezing and bumping my way through throngs of people in the food court to get a 3-item meal at Panda Express. NO! So, I shop online. But I’m so late that the benefit of shopping online is not winning. This rush delivery thing gets pricey. I’ll see you tomorrow, Panda Express.

5. We all got really sick

We have all been sick in our house for the past two weeks. I am sort of stating that just to present a solid excuse for screwing all these Christmas things up. We’ve been sniffling, sneezing, wheezing, and phlegming instead of mulling, trimming and decorating. We have not been making gingerbread houses.

6. I put us on a gluten-free diet for the next two weeks

Who does that? Who puts their husband and self on a gluten-free diet when baked goods and cravings are running the holiday show around us? I want so badly to sink my teeth into one of those gluten-y sugar cookies or have a bite of peppermint trifle. What sucks about it, is that due to my pride, I cannot back down. I can’t be the one who cracks. So here I am punishing myself for who knows what, by not allowing myself the pleasure that a raspberry thumbprint brings. It’s just going to lead to a massive binge. And then remorse and anger.

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7. I haven’t made my annual cookies, yet.

Why would I? I can’t 'effing eat gluten.

Yeah, I’ve slipped up in the holiday prep this year, but oh well. Despite my late holiday cards, my shopping fumbles and our balding tree, we are still smiling about Christmas. And though we won’t have the Christmas 2013 sweater picture, we’ll have family and love and that euphoric Christmas spirit. And glorious trays of gluten . . . someday.

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