T-Rex Rantz, Volume 6: Holiday Edition

Ahh, the holidays. A time for family, food, fruit cake, and themed 5ks. What’s not to love? If your soul is as black as coal, like mine is, then you find there are plenty of things not to love about the holidays. Note: if you have no sense of humor about the holiday season, please stop reading now. Oh, and brace yourself for tons of pictures of Grumpy Cat and the Grinch – my spirit animals.


1. Holiday Travel

I’m going to start off with something that I think we can all universally hate, which is holiday travel. I actually find the entire thing to be deliciously funny. Nothing says you’re happy to see your family like arriving 6 hours later than you planned because some asshat got into a fender bender on I-95 and proceeded to refuse to move his car from traffic and now you’re so frustrated that you can barely even irk out a “hello” to the family you haven’t seen in a year before cracking out a beer. I drove 10 hours to Florida with AJ to spend Christmas with my family and I spent 9.5 of them cursing everyone on the road. Let me be abundantly clear: if you are driving at or under the speed limit in the left lane on a major highway on the busiest travel day of the year, I hate you. I literally hate you. This is to say nothing of the frustration of flying anywhere for the holidays – God forbid – especially with all the winter weather that has been happening around the country so far. If you’re traveling for Christmas, may God have mercy on your soul.


2. Office Holiday Parties

Office holiday parties can be fun if they include an open bar. Otherwise, they just include forced interaction with people you already spend too much time with and now you’re not getting paid for it. I can maybe get into the idea if the party is on a Friday or Saturday night, and it’s someplace swanky and you can bring your significant other. My old company used to have parties like that and it was supremely fun, if for no other reason than there’s nothing better than seeing the old executives at your company drunkenly hit on everyone. Sadly, that’s too expensive for most companies in this economic climate, so now, many companies have their parties during the week. For example, AJ’s company is having their party on a Thursday at 7 pm. He gets off work at 5:30 and we live 45 minutes away. Not happening. How about you save the money you were going to spend on bad food and just put it in my check instead, k? K.

gif grinch

We’re like, busy.

3. Elf on a Shelf

Mercifully, I have not had my newsfeed inundated with too much Elf on a Shelf nonsense this year, but this is primarily because most of my friends do not have kids. It’s only a matter of time, though. Thank GOD this was never a thing when I was a child or it would have given me nightmares forever. I would never have trusted a toy in my room again! The thing COMES ALIVE AT NIGHT and causes mischief?! Am I the only one who finds the Elf on a Shelf unbelievably creepy?  Also, I don’t get it. How is having an elf do bad things supposed to teach your children that they should do good things? Anyone?


Oh, this isn’t terrifying AT ALL.

4. Tacky Holiday Sweaters

So, once upon a time, the 80s happened and I was born and so were tacky Christmas sweaters. Then, twenty years went by and people thought it would be hilarious to have parties in which said sweaters were worn as a sort of theme. And it was hilarious. For like, two years. And now I’m just really confused because I don’t know if tacky holiday sweaters are cool or not cool. It used to be that you had to go to a thrift store or the back of your mother’s closet to find one, but now stores actually produce them specifically for this purpose. Does this not negate the point of the tacky holiday sweater party? Is a sweater actually tacky if it is now trendy because of its tackiness? I’m exhausted.


5. Drive Thru Light Displays (because I can’t think of a better way to describe it)

You know how basically every city has some park or something where they put up fancy Christmas lights and then you have to pay to drive through it? Have you ever seen the lines at those places? And like $7 a car? What kind of nonsense is that? I enjoy a quality Christmas display just fine, but not enough to wait in line and then lose my mind while I try to drive 10 miles per hour through this park. I’m sure kids really, really like this stuff, but you know what else kids like? The lights at your one-upper neighbor’s house who keeps trying to beat that other guy in the neighborhood at his light display. And you know what I like? Not getting trapped in traffic when I have the misfortune of needing to drive down that particular street after dark at some point over the course of an entire holiday season.


6. Opening Presents in Front of People

I have a paralyzing fear of opening presents in front of people. I just hate it. I have this awful feeling that I’m going to get a present that I don’t like and then I’m not going to be able to conceal my face and then the person’s feelings will be hurt, which I would never want to happen. For my birthday, I literally go in the other room away from AJ and open my presents and then come back and tell him how much I like them after I’ve had a chance to convince myself that I really like them, just in case I don’t. I’m lucky that he indulges my fears. On Christmas, you can’t do that. The whole family is there and everyone is staring at you and waiting to see your reaction when you open your present and it is just terrifying.


7. The “Happy Holidays” vs “Merry Christmas” Argument

I honestly do not know why people care so much about what greeting is used during the holidays regardless of what side of the coin you fall on. People say way more offensive shit than “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” all the time and that doesn’t seem to get nearly the amount of attention. If you’re offended that people say “Happy Holidays,” try and remember that even NOT including Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, which are obviously legitimate holidays, this is known as the holiday season not because of Christmas alone, but because of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years combined. Maybe that person wants ALL THREE of those days to be happy for you! Is that so horrible? No. And if you’re offended that someone said “Merry Christmas” to you because you don’t celebrate Christmas, then recognize that you can still have a Merry Christmas by going to the movies and eating Chinese food like a normal person. That’s what all my Jewish friends from home do, and I assure you that their Christmas is merry as hell. Point being, there are more important things to get upset over, so stop it.


8. Artificial Trees

I know that like 90% of you probably have a fake Christmas tree in your house right now and you love it and omg there’s no mess! Hooray. Good for you. Artificial trees are killing Christmas and the economy and they probably killed Jesus himself, in my opinion. I grew up going and getting a real tree every year and it was the biggest deal. The only person who was really into it besides me was my dad. My brother would want to buy the first tree we saw so we could go home and he could play video games, but my dad and I insisted on going meticulously from place to place until we found the perfect tree. It’s one of my favorite memories as a kid. So help me God, as long as I live, I will never own an artificial tree. Cleaning up the pine needles is not that big of a deal. Watering the tree is not that big of a deal. Now I go through the ritual with AJ and I’m pretty sure he thinks its dumb and I don’t even care because we’re building traditions, dammit. An artificial tree is not a tradition.


Truth be told, I like pretty much everything else about the holiday season. I like decorating the tree, I like eating millions of cookies, I like spending time with my family, and I like giving people presents. But that’s not really funny, so there you go.

LEAVE A COMMENT: What annoys you about the holiday season?

44 thoughts on “T-Rex Rantz, Volume 6: Holiday Edition

  1. Erica

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. A ten hour drive on already busy, slam-packed roads with my dog is not fun, but rather stressful. I’ve enjoyed not making the trek home and rather stay with my close friends who consider me family. It’s a lot less stressful and I’m not forced to be nice to people who really don’t want to see me anyways! Happy Holidays! (And by the way, my run last night looked like a T-Rex on my Nike+ app- it was awesome!)

    1. trex

      I’m pretty sure my family would come up here and murder me themselves if I didn’t come home, but I admire your bravery. And how did you manage to make a T-Rex shaped route?!

      1. It’s a little bravery, but a lot more hurt that keeps me away. My mom passed away when I was little and my dad is in a nursing home and has no idea who I am. So if my brother isn’t around for Christmas, neither of us go home. It’s hard being the odd adult kids out amongst the rest of our aunts, uncles, and cousins. Less hurt makes it a little easier to bear the holidays, which were my mom’s and grandparents favorite times of year. No sympathy wanted really- just being honest.

        As for the t-Rex running route, that was just a random stroke of luck!!!!! Maybe we could have a contest between our collective running communities and blogs to see who comes up with the coolest looking one!!!!

  2. After reading your tweet I had to pop over. My favorite is …in all caps…. ‘KEEP THE CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS!!!!” Anyone who has read up on the history of Christmas knows that for hundreds of years it’s solely been a time of feasting and drunken debauchery (short days, lots of food due to harvest/slaughter of the animals in the old days that would go bad) and while Christmas was a solemn day for religious purposes, historically- it’s been a drunken mess. So drunkenly messy that the Puritans who settled America nearly banned it (and did in some states in the early years of our country). Caroling was more of a “trick or treat” type thing where drunk folks would sing for booze and food so they would go away without destroying something on your property (I kid you not)..not to have fun.

    So… the made up war on Christmas cracks me up. It’s an American holiday about shopping, having fun and eating way too much junk. We cannot historically confirm the date Christ was born, so we picked the winter solstice and was like “yup, this works!” and this holiday has always, always been a clash of puritan ideals and drunken craziness that has nothing to do with Christ… so eh, not much has changed! ;)

    Ya, not sure if ugly sweaters are ironic anymore. Hmm.

    Off the soapbox now.

    1. I would also like to add that there’s nothing wrong with the religious side of Christmas either.. It’s all good to go to church and have a nativity scene and call it a Christmas Tree…yadda yadda… but when people feel that religion is under attack, I look at history and go “no it’s not.” It’s always been half religious for Jesus’ bday and half “We’re bored and cold, let’s party!” :)

      1. Oh my gosh I love this comment!
        Seriously, someone just closed their eyes and picked a friggin date. (Not that I don’t appreciate that he was born and all, but……)

      2. trex

        Agreed! You pretty much summed up everything I want to say.

    2. trex

      PREACH, girl. Love this!

  3. Jeanie

    Funny you should mention cookies cuz just today my Aunt Carla sent me my Grandma’s Spitz cookie recipe (my fav cookie recipe) I just need a cookie gun for lack of a better word lol. I have an artificial tree that I’m giving away this year cuz nobody wants it (ie family who buys real trees) but I only have it cuz we aren’t allowed to have real trees in the condo plus who would want to carry a real tree up and down 3 flights of stairs? not me (I barely want to carry my laundry basket! ). For highway driving, I’m so with you there! I just want to fly everywhere and that’s because I get special treatment at the airport (can’t go through normal security) so it’s a lot faster. I <3 flying!

    1. trex

      How can they ban you from having real trees? What type of communist condo association is that?

      1. I think the reason some complexes don’t allow real trees is fire hazards … which really gets back to the core issue behind many of the rant items: people are morons, and at the holidays morons become BIGGER morons, everyone loses patience and starts acting like morons even if they aren’t, to the point where they start celebrating moronic behavior to make themselves feel less moronic.

        Or something like that … :)

  4. Kelly L.

    Elf on the shelf scares the crap out of me. The first time I saw was at a bookstore, and I had no idea it was for kids. It is one creepy thing! And then, people get really serious about it. Apparently, the child is not supposed to touch the elf on the shelf, or it will lose magic. I have seen people scold others on fb about letting their child hold the elf. And they aren’t joking! Whhhhaaat?

    1. trex

      I don’t want to say that all people with small children are crazy, but I’m starting to think it might be true. Then once the kid reaches a reasonable age, they snap out of it and become normal again.

  5. All I can ever think about when someone brings up Elf on the Shelf is the Twilight Zone – I am absolutely certain there would have been a terrifying episode featuring it. I’ve also always had a real tree, can’t imagine getting an artificial one!

    1. trex

      Oh there DEFINITELY would be a Twilight Zone episode about it!

  6. Erin

    The fact that the elf on the shelf is creepy is my cop-out excuse for not having one. The real reason is that I’m lazy. Like I need one more freaking thing to do and I have all the time in the world to come up with naughty things for this stupid elf to do and pose him every night. My kids really want one, but they are 9– I’m not starting thar crap now, so I say I’m creeped out. Merry Christmas!

    1. trex

      That’s the other thing that doesn’t make sense! The holidays are basically the busiest time of the year…why would people CREATE messes and then have to clean up after that creepy elf? Makes no sense.

  7. LOVE IT!!! I’m a horrible holiday Grinch. I have to add I hate decorating, especially when I have to take it all down and wrap everything individually a couple of weeks later, I can’t eat cookies or anything else with wheat so basically I can’t eat holiday food other than the turkey and ham, and other than my husband and daughter’s, I just as soon skip the whole family thing. We are going “home” for Christmas this year because it is the only time we can (can’t take high schoolers out mid term) and haven’t been to the US in years so it is time to renew drivers licenses and do other business, that will be a royal pain with holiday hours. Yep, going to be a peachy holiday here :-P (Only upside is getting to run the Jacksonville Bank Marathon, YAY!)

    1. trex

      Hey, at least you’re fitting a marathon in while you’re here! I also hate decorating. It just seems like it’s a lot of work for just a few weeks and then you have to put it all away. I do decorate a little, but not much. My mother swears this will change when/if I ever have kids, but we’ll see.

  8. Well, I actually love this part of the year and nothing annoys me. :)
    That said, I don’t have to travel anywhere as my family lives in the same city, and we don’t have drive-through light displays, nor the Elf on a Shelf.
    We do have St. Nick’s today when all children get a little something (fruit, chocolate and long, golden twigs to remind them to be good) in their boots (which need to be cleaned just for this purpose).
    The only thing I don’t like about people around Christmas is that people forget to be nice to each other.

    1. trex

      If you had Elf on a Shelf, you’d find it annoying, I promise! Generally speaking, I love this time of year too. I just love complaining about things even more.

  9. Artificial trees – there IS a legitimate reason to have one, which is why we do:


    When the kids were little we used to go up to a tree farm close to us, and they had a huge blow-up Santa (like 30ft or something) and displays and it was loads of fun and we’d go there and select our tree the week after Thanksgiving and it was great. But after seemingly getting sick every year, we found out both my wife and younger son were terribly allergic to pine trees in particular. Next year, fake tree – huge difference.

    It has been 10 years and the health benefit is clear … so we just bought a new fake tree. Not like shopping for a real tree, for sure … but all it means is a shifting in traditions, which turns out to be easy enough if you need to do it. Sure as heck doesn’t ruin Christmas :)

    Holiday Parties – I honestly haven’t had one of the ‘classic’ types in more than 25 years. My last two companies were too large and risk averse, so it is always a ‘holiday luncheon’ sort of thing. And in the division I work for now, we do a charity event along with the lunch, so we wrap and decorate and make stuff over lunch. Also, the department I work for is corporate engineering so our group almost never sees each other, so it is actually good to have these things.

    As for the ‘Merry Christmas’ thing … if someone is genuinely wishing me well, I really don’t care what sentiment they use (like the nice person who kindly wishes you good morning at 4PM) …. the problem I have is those who use it as a ‘hammer’ of their religiously righteousness – those people are just a$$hats.

    1. trex

      Oh Michael, you always have a legitimate reason for disagreeing with my rants. It’s so disappointing :)

      1. It is perfectly acceptable to say ‘STFU CAN’T YOU SEE I’M RANTING HERE!!!’ :)

  10. Conni Miller

    I liked you before. Now I love you, lol. This was priceless. I just needed to read this right now. Thank you!

    1. trex

      I’m so glad you loved it and that I could boost your mood! I live to serve.

  11. blanks

    Haha! I love Christmas but I really liked your post. I also agree about the artificial trees and i will NEVER get one either. BUT I learned something highly disturbing from your post and that’s the ELF IN A SHELF!!! I’m so glad we don’t have those (or at least not that i know of) here in Mexico, I would absolutely never sleep if one of those was ever in my general direction, my biggest childhood fear being that stupid Chucky doll from Child’s Play!!

    1. trex

      Well, I’m glad I could introduce you to Elf on a Shelf and bring your holiday some international terror! I now want to move to Mexico to escape this thing.

  12. Sandy

    I’m with you 100% about the real tree. And for those who say they’re not environmentally friendly, well, most communities provide a way to have them mulched. And they support tree farmers.

    And: have you seen the ugly sweater 5K? Yeah…you’d just love that!

    1. trex

      It’s not like most people are going into the woods and cutting them down, you know? They come from tree farms! That’s like being mad about people eating corn that’s grown on a farm. Lunacy.

  13. Actually, no – killing trees is killing trees… I’m not a fan of killing nature for 2 weeks of throwing crap on it. Me & mother nature cry when I see dead trees on the side of the road the week after.
    I practice my “present face” before I open those certain people that you KNOW are getting you the stupidest gift ever. My husband totally can read my face & when we get in the car, say, “you hated it, didn’t you”… yep…

    1. trex

      Well, to be fair, most of the trees are grown on tree farms specifically for this purpose. The vast majority of people aren’t going out into the wilderness and chopping down their own trees.

      I practice my present face too.

  14. BAHAHAHA. This post is pure genious. I can agree though, I absolutely hate traveling period. I’m not good with long term driving or any sort of travel. Sadly over the last few months all I’ve done is driving places. Oh well. I also don’t understand why people get so upset regarding Happy Holiday’s versus Merry Christmas. Seriously, who cares?

    1. trex

      Driving places is pretty much the worst, especially this time of year. Ugh.

  15. My company party COSTS $20 to go to PER PERSON and I’ll bet that doesn’t include free booze. Seriously. What is that?! I’ll drink at my home with people I actually LIKE, thank you very much.

    And travel? This is why my dad and sister are coming to see ME. This year, I win.

    1. trex

      OMG, this is a thing? OMG.

  16. Hollee

    I agree with most everything you mentioned. I know it is a personal preference, but my artificial tree is the tradition I keep alive so I will NEVER have to repeat the agony of hunting for and chopping down my first and only real tree.

    On our very first Christmas, my husband and I drove for hours up the mountain in the snow to find one of the few areas we were allowed to cut down a tree. We then hiked forever in the snow (because rules stated we could not chop within a certain distance from the road. Once we got to the legal distance, we the had to hunt for one or two specific species of trees we were allowed to cut down. Then it was a hunt to find one that didn’t look like ass. Finally we spot one! It’s big!!! But that’s okay since we had the space (20 ft ceiling) We proceed to chop, chop, chop! We did not have a chain saw, we had an ax…a very small ax – for a very large tree. Over an hour later and exhausted, we have our tree. Now that we are at least three miles from the truck, we drag this very large tree – for at least another hour before we decided we didn’t need such a big tree. We chopped a few feet off to lighten the load. Finally we make it back to the truck and the stupid thing won’t fit in the bed of the truck. So chop, chop, chop! Off with a few more feet of tree!

    We finally make it home and guess what – the damn tree is is too freakin’ big to fit through the door! At least we have a hack saw at the house to speed up the alterations. We both vowed that we will never do that again.

    The one thing about that real tree that you are right about is that we have a great story to share! Merry Christmas!!! :)

    1. trex

      Ok, well, I can’t really argue with that. That is pretty traumatic.

  17. Elf on the Shelf is as creepy as fuck!

    That is all.

    1. trex

      It is. It so is.

  18. I am soooo glad to finally find some people who are just as freaked out by Elf on the Shelf as I am. I keep waiting for the horror movie to be released…you know it’s coming…and then all these little children will be traumatized for life. Ha…just kidding…well, just a little. :p

    1. trex

      Maybe we should make that movie so we can speed up the process and get these horrible things OFF the shelves.

  19. I agree fully heartedly about the christmas tree issue!!

    1. trex

      It IS an issue, isn’t it? I’m not insane.

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