I don’t want to sound like a Scrooge, but this time of year can really be a hassle.  Before I elaborate that further, I would just like to preface this by saying I do enjoy Christmas for the most part.  I enjoy Christmas cookies, songs, and movies.  I enjoy both giving and receiving presents, but there are a few things I don’t look forward to every year.

Working- I’ve been out of college for a few years now, but it’s still hard every year to not have a month off for Christmas and New Year’s. Oh, to have a month off again.  I had a month off last year, but I was recovering from surgery.  Not a good time.
Shopping- Pretty much any store in town is packed to the max and the parking lots are crazy.  Add some snow to the mix and parking is even worse.  No one knows where the parking lot lines are and you end up weaving through zig zags.   Plus, the traffic around the mall sucks.  Trying to get around Louise this time of year is horrendous.  I have to remind myself that patience is a virtue.
Family Gatherings-  In general I enjoy getting together with the family, but as a young adult whose parents divorced only a few years ago it is quite an adjustment.   You have to give equal time to the parents so no one feels left out.  Then there are the bigger family gatherings with extended family.  As a single 20 something I get asked about a jillion times when I’m bringing someone home for the Holidays or why I’m not producing any grandchildren yet.  I feel I have to remind some of my family that it’s not 1953 anymore and just because I’m not married with five kids by now doesn’t mean I’m a failure at life.  Plus, I have other cousins that bring home every Tom, Dick, and Harry they’ve ever met, which I think is worse than not bringing someone home.
Driving-  I live in Sioux Falls.  Both of my parents live outside of Sioux City, IA.  My brother lives in Wayne, NE.  My grandma lives in Sioux Rapids, IA.  Put all that together and what do you get? A lot of driving.  Gas prices are doing down so that helps, but my time is a precious commodity.  I wish I could apparate like Harry Potter.  Poof, I’m there.  Let’s just hope the weather holds out so everyone makes it safely.
Family Gatherings Part Two- Some relatives lack social grace.  I have an uncle that removes his dentures, cleans them, reapplies Poli-Grip, and places them back in his mouth at the table! Gag!  A couple of my cousins have young children that for whatever reason they feel they don’t need to watch while at Grandma’s house.  The kids run around throwing plant dirt and who knows what else and the other guests are expected to babysit. Urgh.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I feel better after venting.  Also, to any family members that read this, I was not talking about you.  I was talking about that other relative on the other side of my family.  (wink wink)