Holiday Magic Is Killing Us

This article popped up in my news feed yesterday: “Holiday Magic is Made by Women. And It’s Killing Us.”

It spoke to me. At that particular moment, I was tangled up in a string of Christmas lights while editing our holiday card photo and singing “Jingle Bells” with the children.

“There is more pressure to make things magical for those around you,” the author writes. “It takes a lot of unseen and underappreciated effort to keep things humming along smoothly.”

Yes, I thought to myself, as I stared into the sinister face of our Elf on the Shelf.

The thing is, I love Christmas. I want my children to experience the wonder of the season. Every year I tell myself that this is going to be the most magical Christmas ever. And then I have a panic attack and sink into the depths of Charlie Brown despair.

And so, in honor of all the ladies who are out there killing themselves in order to make this the BEST GODDAMNED CHRISTMAS EVER, I’ve put together this alphabet poem inspired by Edward Gorey’s The Gashlycrumb TiniesI’ve abandoned Gorey’s dactylic couplets and allowed myself great liberty with the meter—because I’ve got presents to wrap, people. I’ll compose perfect verse when the holidays are over. In the meantime, enjoy.

A is for AMY who overextended herself.

B is for BECCA who forgot to move the Elf on the Shelf.

C is for CLAIRE who missed the window to send holiday cards.

D is for DARA whose kids smashed her ornaments to shards.

E is for EMILY whose Pinterest craft failed.

F is for FIONA who hid in the bathroom and wailed.

G is for GINA who had a panic attack.

H is for HILARY who threw out her back.

I is for ISABEL who ran out of wine.

J is for JENNY who perished on a Target checkout line.

K is for KATE whose husband still hasn’t put up the lights.

L is for LAURA whose in-laws are staying four nights.

M is for MAGGIE who fears her baby will be crushed by the tree.

N is for NICOLE who made snacks for not one school party, but three.

O is for OLIVE who’s been neglecting the dog.

P is for PAULA who drowned in the nog.

Q is for QUINN whose kid ate half of the gingerbread house.

R is for RACHEL who has spitup on her one nice blouse.

S is for SUSAN whose shoulders are aching.

T is for TINA who is not good at baking.

U is for UNA who has 47 more presents to wrap.

V is for VICKY who just wants a nap.

W is for WENDY who can’t even deal.

X is for XENA whose son informed his entire class that Santa’s not real.

Y is for YVETTE who still strives for magic.

Z is for ZELDA whose Christmas cookies are tragic.




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