When the first songs of the season make their way into the advertising jingles some time in October I get a sinking feeling because I know the craziness is about to begin. Every year as Christmas approaches I want to run away to a dark corner and hide until sometime in January.
My problem is I can't stand the fuss: the turning of the house upside down, the pressure to buy-buy-buy and spend-spend-spend, the awful office parties, the tasteless decorating, the crowds at the mall and in the bank, the traffic, the mountains of food that can't even fit in the refrigerator, the cooking, the overeating, and did I mention the cooking?
The notion of running away for Christmas has grown ever more appealing as the years have passed and my son has grown up. I have a great excuse now: it's not that I'm weird and antisocial and more than a little contemptuous of the performances which we're obligated to pull off like marionettes to placate society, family and church. It's that I need to run away because I have writing to do. That, my dear reader, is the trump card I've been hiding up my sleeve, just waiting for the right moment to slap it on the table and annihilate the opposition.
I'm a writer. Maybe a weird, antisocial, contemptuous one, but a writer nonetheless, so when I say I'm missing Christmas because I have writing to do, deadlines to meet and scripts to edit, people understand. Not only do they understand - they're even a little impressed.
A writer buddy and I have found a quiet place on the north coast of the island that's perfect for bypassing at least some of the Christmas craziness. I've applied for time off the day job, and I'm stocking up on those anti-Christmas movies I listed last year in my post For Those Who Hate Christmas for those odd times when I'm not, y'know, writing. See y'all in January.