Monday, December 10, 2012

Terror of Tinsel

I love Christmas. It's one of my favorite times of year. I love everything about the holiday. I love the meaning behind it, I love the getting of gifts, and I love GIVING gifts.

But recently when entering to win a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card at The Glitter Globe, we were asked to talk about what scared us at Christmas (there is a new blog offering another gift card. Go win!)

As one of the first winners, I thought I'd share my story with you. Might give you a little cheer even if it gives me nightmares.
The holidays have a tendency to bring out the worry or fear in some of us. Fear of rejection, fear of being alone, fear of having to spend Christmas without the loved ones we have lost or have moved away from. While these are very real things people deal with, I deal with something only a small percentage of the population has to come against.

There is something that comes every Christmas that, despite all the joy and giving, gives me nightmares and a severe case of twitching.
It haunts a small fraction of the world, sneaking in through your front door, to your family holidays, and even lurks near the tree set up in your church.

"But if I lock my door, I'll be safe!" You might say.
You'd be wrong.
Because this terror is often brought in right under your children.

Yes. Children.
They are the worst offenders. They reek of it. Carry it with them and as they rush to your open arms for a Christmas hug, you see they've brought it with's ON them...and there's no escaping. You have to follow through with the hug. You can't emotionally traumatize (or drop) the child. It's on you before you have a chance to scream.
Just looking at this picture makes me fingers shrivel.

You, my friend, have been attacked by velvet.

It is the bane of my existence, and every other day of the year it is avoidable. Velvet stands out in the middle of July. You can see it coming.

But at Christmas...oh my friends, at Christmas...

Every parent thinks it's a beautiful thing to dress a child in velvet. As an Aunt and a Sunday School Teacher, it's the most horrific day of the year.

That feeling...that touch which burns my skin. I count down the days, sweating through my shirts as it draws closer. The nightmares begin the week before Christmas.
And when the day is here...
There's no escape.

You might think this is all funny - which really, it is.  Sadly, it doesn't make it less true.  I HATE velvet.  I seriously can't stand the touch.  My sister used to wear velvet dresses growing up, and being older, would tell me it isn't velvet and to touch them.  I, being younger, stupidly trusted her and fell for it every time (I did the same thing when she told me something didn't taste like coffee. I was gullible).

So while I hate velvet, this is all in fun and games.  Tell me, what's the worst thing about Christmas for you?  Does Tinsel terrify?  Does Holly Haunt?  What about it ....ghastly?
Talk to me. What makes you tick (or twitch)?

As always, we're going to give monkeys away at random, but not for just one comment.  Bring friends! I need to see people are paying attention!


Stephanie Pazicni Karfelt said...

Can I stretch out on the couch for this? Cause it could be awhile. I'm not pointing any fingers, but as near as I recall it started when I was put in charge. I love celebrations, I make up reasons to celebrate. It's coming up with a gift for the legions. (With time and budget constraints, and that it is also the busiest time of the year for other endeavors.) Gifts that will be thoughtful and meaningful. Gah! And Here's the kicker... I. Detest. Shopping. Cannot stress that enough. On-line shopping hasn't proven to be much better, unless you know exactly what you're getting (quality, returns, shipping, etc.). This is what scares me about the holiday. That I will fail in my quest to bring in the Merry.
I keep trying to simplify the holiday, for all but close family. Pop Culture does not work with me on this.
Tried Books & Socks (Autographed books and freakily personalized socks.) This was my favorite - not so much for the recipients.
Tried electric throws (smaller than blankets, lovely things, and I named them after hot guys - think about it). Recipients liked this, but you can't do it every year.
Tried hand blown glass ornaments, that I made myself (or bought) at a glass studio. Forgot about the complications of mailing GLASS all over the planet. That's this year. It has the potential to go horribly wrong.
So, in a nutshell Dr. Kelsey, what scares me about the holiday is that somebody put me in charge around here. Poor management decision.

Kelsey-plain and simple said...

Stephanie, I LOVE the books and socks idea. Truly, I can't even fathom how your people didn't!!! And the blankets named after hot guys? Where's my Jeremy Renner?
Seriously, my dear, tell me how this makes you feel...sit back and relax knowing I love ALL of your Christmas ideas!
Last year I got super lazy with the guys I knew (except my brother) and gave them $10 gift cards to iTunes. I tried harder this year.

DM Kilgore said...

Velvet? Fascinating. I never knew such a phobia existed. ^.^ And Stephanie- (snort). That made me giggle.

Let's see. I love this season so what might make me get the heebie-jeebies?

Glitter? Well, it is after all the herpes of craft supplies, but I don't mind it that much. I like sparkly.

Holly? Pokey and poisonous. But I don't really fear it.

Tinsel? A mess for sure. But I am not afraid.

So, is there anything that I fear around this time of year?

Ah... wait. Yes. There is one thing.

We have a tradition in my family- each year we pick out a new ornament. I have one for each year since my birth (yes, 40 years worth).

ONE in particular never leaves the box. My mother picked it out when I was about a year old I think.

It's a clown. A terrifyingly evil rendition of "joy to the world" cheery fun. I do not hang him on the tree-- ever.

I have tried to forget he lives there- in that box in the closet. Thanks for dredging up his smirky-evil face.

I'll be leaving you now. Must.Call.Therapist. *SHIVER*

Kelsey-plain and simple said...

*Shudders with DM*
I HATE clowns!

So Sorry to dredge up the memory ;) They are terribly awful things. My mom received one from her grandma for her birthday (Dec 1) once and had to hang it as a Christmas decoration in order to not hurt feelings (she hates clowns too).
Luckily, I was two. I walked out of my room, saw the clown, screamed bloody murder and hit the deck.

My mom got to return it due to "Kelsey's" fear of the clown ;)

LaDonna said...

Ah, Kelsey I will see your Haptodysphoria and raise you Christougenniatiko dentrophobia, fear of live Christmas Trees. Everything about them gives me the heebee jeebees. I'd better give you some back story. As a child, my dad fancied himself a mixed of Pat Boone and Daniel Boone. He was a preacher by trade but loved the outdoors. Every year we would hike down the rail road track, find the perfect top of a tree and I would stand there and watch my daddy climb into the top of the tree, saw the crown off the tree and run like made when it started toppling down. Every time his foot slipped, I would scream, with every saw back and forth I would shake and quake right along with the branches of the trees. Then when it came down, the tree blood would get all over me and it was sticky and got in my hair and all over my clothes and go go boots. One year he left the tree outside over night and the next morning when he dragged it into the house, there was a raccoon hidden in the branches. The Griswalds had nothing on us. So everytime I see a live Christmas tree I have the overwhelming urge to run out screaming before it bleeds on my velvet dress or a sasquatch jumps out of it. (It's been known to happen, you know.) I'm sure of it.

Disclaimer: Certain parts of this rant may or may not be true... =D

Stephanie Pazicni Karfelt said...

The HERPES of craft supplies?! <-- See you made me use the forbidden double punctuation mark. And you know what I say? How true! Can't bear the stuff myself. Odd for someone who lives inside The Glitter Globe (where the glitter is actually thoughts, just as sparkly, just as messy, but only escapes the globe when someone leaves my office door open - so that is their fault, right?).
Never realized there are Christmas Clowns. Clowns don't freak me out, just don't think they're funny. Though I like their dogs.
LaDonna, I'm with you on live trees. I adore trees, they need to stay outside. A live one I had once hatched some sort of insects about week in, and the last one fell over repeatedly until Dear Hubby roped it to the wall. I wish I could see the whole racoon in the tree bit. How did you get him out?
I have a few squirrel in the house ideas swirling.

Nicole said...

I love you sister! I will try and remember not to buy Shelby a velvet dress this Christmas... Try... :)Thanks for toughing it out when I "forget" Shelby does love her hugs!~ <3 U!

Robin Harnist said...

Ahhhh, I love these stories! Clowns, velvet, live trees, etc, etc.

I'm actually not "afraid" of much at Christmastime, but I cannot, cannot stand most of the Christmas movies out there. Like Christmas Story or even the old Rudolf know, the creepy one that everyone loves....shudder.

Elsie Wilson said...

Oh you're all so funny. (Velvet? Seriously? But it's soft, velvety; mmmmm.)

I think my greatest fear is more the emotional, family relationships one. Somehow it all comes to the surface at Christmas.

Because my marriage created a bi-cultural family, there have been many claims of Grinchism or Scrooginess because of differing expectations: "Today? We have to have the tree up today? But it's Hallowe'en tomorrow." "Sure, be a Grinch, spoil my joy." They say it's a minefield; they don't exaggerate.

On the other hand, Christmas does bring around some super sappy silly songs. Kitsch? Yup. Country? Bring it on. Beach Boys? Bound to be good. Carols in Church? Why not. Just make sure i don't have to hear Little Drummer Boy, and i can live with any Christmas music.

Kelsey-plain and simple said...

Stephanie, Donna, Robin, and Elsie you have won monkeys!

Let me know your mailing addresses so I can send them your way :)

Michelle said...

Fun story. :)
Glitter.... I cringe when the ki ask me to get it out!
Happy new year

Stephanie Pazicni Karfelt said...


Bi-Cultural Elsie? You're like, Canadian for pity's sake. Sheesh. ;) (She's really from Bhutan.)

Here is my address: Stephanie Karfelt, Spooky Hill, Iceland.