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it's all in how you look at it
by robert a. melos

I can't explain it or even understand it myself, but this year, for some reason, I find myself fighting the holiday spirit. It's not like I was ever a big fan of family gatherings, dealing with aunts, uncles, cousins, and assorted family tag-a-longs all out to have a happy this or merry that. It's not like I don't have things to be happy and merry over, I just don't feel the need to go tell it on the mountain, so to speak.

My current mood might be chalked up to the fact the Snow Miser dumped ten inches of the white stuff on me a couple of days ago, but it wouldn't be fair to blame him for my current state of grinchiness. I have fond memories of snow storms during my childhood, but the adult me just doesn't particularly like snow. A dislike of snow isn't enough to explain my mood.

This attitude has been building up for a long time. I personally think it has to do with the overkill of the holiday season. I remember when holidays used to be reserved for the day of the event, and not spread out over several months. I remember when it was unheard of to see Christmas light displays before the middle of December. This year I saw holiday light displays go up around my neighborhood the day after Halloween.

That's just wrong.

It seems people are rushing the season, almost forcing it to be here before it should be, and to top it off they are expecting it to be so much more than it is. Perhaps this is why I feel the need to shun the holiday spirit, and in some instances do all I can to beat the holiday spirit out of those happy and merry people? I just don't seem to be feeling the wonder of the season, and I think I feel slightly gyped.

Oh I know it is my own fault for wallowing in grinchiness, but I see no need to rush the season, or to force a happy or merry upon every individual just because "'tis the season" to do so. I know this doesn't make me seem like a very nice person, because I just won't go along with the crowd and wrap myself in a blanket of joy to the world. Believe me when I say I don't like feeling this way, but it seems like the happy holidays of some have produced a saturation effect in me.

I know the times are of joy and happiness and peace on Earth, goodwill toward men, well most men anyway, but I just feel somewhat hypocritical going around wishing people the spirits of the day when I just want to curl up in a cave far from the maddening crowd, high atop some mountain, and contemplate the reason for my lack of holiday happiness.

It's not as if I don't understand the joy of the season, the thrill of getting gifts, the joy of receiving bright greetings from strangers who normally would ignore your existence, but somehow it just isn't enough. Somewhere deep inside of me, there is a little voice crying out "There must be something more!" My own little level of expectation, if you will, having been buried deep within for so long I'd forgotten it existed, speaking up and finally being heard.

I guess I've covered it, and ignored it because I was used to the daily disappointments of life. I was only doing it a favor by burying it and ignoring it, protecting it from the perpetual existence of optimism. Now, after all these years, it is making its presence known causing me to fight even harder to keep it at bay. It frightens me to think I could give in to such a feeling of expectant joy and holiday bliss.

I wouldn't know what to do if I were to let go of my protective cloak of grinchitude. I suppose I could start by wishing strangers a happy this or a merry that? It might be nice to blindly go along with the crowd and enjoy the season for what it is, without pondering the potential letdowns in the near future. I could be a bright and happy person, going merrily thought life, being of good cheer. I could change peoples' lives, being a bright spot in their otherwise dreary days. I could make a difference, and carry the holiday season in my heart throughout the year.



Robert is the author of the novels Cool Mint Blue, Melba Ridge, and the recently released The Adventures of Homosexual Man and Lesbian Lad; and the creator of the on-line comix Impure Thoughts found at his web site Inside R.A. Melos, as well as having been an on-line staff writer for QBliss where he had a monthly humor column, Maybe A Yip, Maybe A Yap. In his non-writing time, when he's not studying the metaphysical or creating a tarot deck, he sells real estate in Middlesex County New Jersey, hangs out with his dog Zeus, and spends time at the Pride Center of New Jersey in Highland Park, NJ, where he is on the Board of Trustees.

more about robert a. melos


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matt morin
12.9.02 @ 12:08p

Merry Christmas, Robert.

robert melos
12.10.02 @ 1:06a

Bah. Humbug!

Er, um, Merrrrrry Christmmmmas, to you too.

Boy the effort I sometimes go to.


juli mccarthy
12.10.02 @ 12:11p

"Somewhere deep inside of me, there is a little voice crying out 'there must be something more.'"

This is where that weird little Linus kid gets up on the stage, isn't it?

robert melos
12.10.02 @ 5:30p

This is where that weird little Linus kid gets up on the stage, isn't it?

Yeah, but in my version he's dressed for the Rocky Horror Picture Show and he sings Rose Tint My World.

juli mccarthy
12.11.02 @ 10:12a

"Rose tint my world, keep me safe from the trouble and pain..."

Yep. That's appropriate.

tracey kelley
12.18.02 @ 9:44a

A happy this or a merry that.

I'm using that phrase to finish my holiday cards.

adam kraemer
12.18.02 @ 11:07a

God bless Lilly St. Cyr.

tracey kelley
12.20.02 @ 10:04a

Now that all my holiday work is done, and it's just "party party party" I'm getting sick of the rabidness of other people right. The drivers are atrocious, the cloying crowds are disgusting.

robert melos
12.21.02 @ 1:22a

Christmas Spirit 0
Grinchiness 1

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