I honestly think I hate Christmas. I will qualify that and say I hate American Christmas because I've spent Christmas in other countries and they don't seem to celebrate with the same vigor that Americans seem to. My top ten reasons that I hate Christmas: 10. Shopping and the presumption that I need to get everyone gifts. 9. The presumption that even if I declare that I'm not giving gifts, those who give me a gift deserve to get one back anyway. 8. Christmas songs - even if you really love the the tunes, why do the airwaves of every public space need to be flooded by them? This can include as a subcategory of special Christmas albums by celebrities. 7. Traffic around shopping centers (essentially all main thoroughfares) is horrible for a month. Do morons only drive during the weeks before Christmas? 6. The guilt I'm to feel for not having the perfect Norman Rockwell holiday with my parents, grandparents, wife and kids. 5. Romantic movies that make people feel like losers for not having found someone "special" in their life. 4. Christmas parties...especially the ones that I don't want to attend but it will look bad if I don't go. I've held parties for the past 10 years, this year I quit. 3. Christmas cards - why bother? Most just sign their name after a pre-written Hallmark sentiment. That goes double for virus-inflicting e-cards. 2. Christmas television commercials. Why the fuck do I need White Diamonds perfume or a watch from Kay Jewelers? 2. Christmas decorations - just because plastic inflatable yard decorations are on sale at Walmart doesn't mean you have to buy them (all). 1. Christmas and seasonal sweaters. Ya I know tacky sweater parties were all a silly rage a few years ago...but we have all moved on...haven't we? I have nothing against spending quality "family time" with my siblings and parents, albeit brief on Christmas Day. I have no problem being thankful for what I have in life, but I'm annoyed with the Christmas ritual dogma that serves to make us all buy, give, listen, rush, eat, mail, and decorate ourselves into happiness...or at least an implied normalcy. And if you don't buy into it all, some people really give you grief for it. Is anyone else ready to fast-forward to New Years? Or...am I alone in setting myself to be visited by three ghosts tonight? Help me here - what is there to like about it anymore? Bah-humbug to Christmas.