Posted by: Emily Schmutz Garcia | December 18, 2012

Bah, Humbug – Christmas Rant

Bah humbug! Once again I am feeling link a grinch. I guess I am more of a Fall person. I love pumpkins and the weather getting cold. I love the brightly colored leaves. Christmas time is another story. Everything starts dying. I like the lights. I like the decorations. Thanks to my mom’s obsession with nativities, I have a love for creches. I enjoy the Christmas music for a small season. I do get sick of hearing the same songs on the Christmas station after a short while and there are a few Christmas songs that I never enjoy hearing, “Rocking around the Christmas tree,” and “Jingle Bell Rock,” are a few on the list.

Is it the commercialism about Christmas that I hate? I don’t think so. I think the problem is that I am a perfectionist and inclusionist. I like to include everyone. I hated being excluded from things as a child, so given the opportunity, I would love to give everyone the perfect gift. But that is not possible. So, I would like to get a few people the perfect gift. That is also not possible. I don’t know what the  perfect gift is, and if I find the perfect gift for one person, what about the others? What do I get them? Do I just not get anyone anything? I hate that. But I also hate leaving people out. Bah, Humbug!

I guess, despite the fact that Christmas is a rubbish time on the mission, I miss Christmases on my mission. I miss not worrying about Christmas gifts. Sure, maybe you would try to get your companion a little something, but that was rather hard since the only time you weren’t with your companion was when you were showering or in the bathroom. I liked the focus being on the Saviour. I struggle with that now. I have suitcases to pack, presents to buy or not buy and what about the fact that it is my first born child’s first Christmas?!

He is almost one. What do I do? Am I supposed to get him something for each of the Christmases we will have? Our Texas Christmas, our Moreno Valley Christmas and our own personal Christmas? I don’t see packing him something in the suitcase just to bring it home-but can I really not bring something for him to open from his parents on Christmas day? So many decisions! I repeat, Bah, Humbug!

Comments along the lines of “Don’t get me anything,” will be utterly useless. I feel like that is a plea to get that person the perfect gift and if I can’t figure out what it is, then clearly I am slacking. And let’s face it, I like presents. I guess why I have such a hard time with this is that I’m picky about presents. I like ones that thought has gone into, but I also don’t like ones that are useless. My mother-in-law got me a lovely Christmas with the Prophets book last year or the year before that. I loved it! I like to read and it was really cool. My husband got me a beautiful salad bowl for our first Christmas. It was amazing and something that we will have and use forever. I want to give gifts like that. I want to give things that people will cherish and enjoy. But figuring out the perfect gift for anyone, let alone everyone, is really hard.

Will Christmas ever be fun again? I liked it when Santa used to come to my house. I think that is because I didn’t have to worry too much about getting the perfect gift for everyone else. When I am working on helping Santa know the perfect gift for Little David and his siblings, will I feel less stressed? Maybe there will be more joy involved and that will outweigh the stress.

And all this complaining is pretty dang selfish. I am so blessed. I have the most beautiful baby boy and the most wonderful husband. I have amazing relatives on all sides. I’m going to get to celebrate Christmas three times, not just once. I have a wonderful life. Maybe I just need to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.” That is a good one for appreciating Christmas. I need to fold laundry and pack now, but maybe later. “After all, tomorrow is another day.”



  1. aahh. christmas will be fun again. give yourself a few years. the kids’ eyes opening in awe at such little things like a new ornament or a plate of cookies certainly makes it more fun. when you stop stressing, yes, it’ll be fun. you just gotta figure out what to let go…. as my very astute golden companion once told me – “don’t sweat the small stuff. and it’s ALL small stuff.” I try to keep that in mind when i feel overwhelmed. And then i bake someting yummy and gain a few pounds and feel much better. ;- ) great hearing from you again. you were always so fun to be around – don’t let christmas stress change that. 😀

  2. Daddy put up the fake tree yesterday and it looks beautiful. Not the same as a real one, but the essence of the spirit is there. I heard the Hallelujah chorus this morning. MoTab…! Chrissy and Mike will be here for Christmas Eve and breakfast. I’ve got a ham of destiny. I am out of work and gearing up for surgery. I went to Barrio Nuevo and sat with dear Jose Antnio’s widow…a signal honor. I got to watch little girls and teenage boys hug your father dearly. Life is sweet. I miss you, David and Babycakes, but rejoice in the joy of others who will shower you with love this Christmas. It is your mission, but we will have a phonecall! Wherever we are, let us thank God for the gift of his Son. Feliz Navidad!

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