You Have Post-Traumatic Holiday Disorder?
'Tis the month before Christmas. Visions of holidays gone by dance in my head. Who can forget my mother standing at the bottom of the stairs, screaming, "Everybody up! We're having company for Christmas. Let's clean out the bedroom closets."
Some people call them memories. I call them flashbacks.
Of course, I don't yell at my kids – because they left home and they are screening their calls. No. I got a cleaning lady and when I ask her to clean she says, "No comprendez Anglais," which is crazy because she's my cousin from Tellington.
I suffer from PTHD: Post-Traumatic Holiday Disorder.Anything can set it off. The sound of the chainsaw being started up in the living room as someone tries to get the base of the tree to fit in the tree stand. My partner standing against the wall trying to get the tree straight, with me screaming, "No, to the left. No, the other left!"
If I hear Silver Bells on the radio, I immediately get a glue gun. I forget about the third-degree burns, the finger glued to my cheek, the trip to the ER. I blame this on Martha Stewart. I almost snuck out of the kitchen when she came along and said, "Come back here and carve the guts out of that cantaloupe and use it as a centerpiece."
And what's with the hostess gift? Martha started that, too. I ask, when does the shopping stopl One woman came over for dinner and gave me a sushi-making kit, which is ironic because I was serving fish and chips. But still, you have to put a little thought into a hostess gift. People know when you bought the bouquet of flowers at the Mac's Milk. In most towns, you could bring the hostess a bottle of wine. What do we do in the Country? You can't go to a vineyard party and say, "Here, have a bottle of your own wine." Personally, I give notebooks so people can keep track of their hostess gifts, so when they re-gift it'll boomerang back to me.
This year I have a new coping strategy. I chug an espresso and get back into bed for a nap. Twenty minutes later, I wake up bright eyed and bushy-tailed. I call it a "napacinno". Try it. If you add a shot of rum, you'll miss the festivities all together. It's your holiday so, whatever you choose, it's a good thing.
Deborah Kimmett is a writer and comic, appears regularly on CBC Radio's the Debaters, and in the Winnipeg Comedy Festival. With 30 years experience performing on stage as well as writing and directing for TV and Radio, Deborah now travels across the world teaching writing workshops. She also delivers keynotes on change and humor in the workplace.
Read Deborah's blog: One Funny Lady.
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