The holidays come just once a year. And every year, this wonderful time brings with it seasonal cheer, bustling shopping malls, quality time spent with family and friends and the same old conversations. And we’re not just talking about the small talk one has to make with distant family members. We’re talking about those phrases people only say during the holidays.
Yes, year after year you gather with loved ones far and near and have the same old conversations about weather, the holiday season and the year’s end, and you hear a few key phrases that would be incredibly out of place during any other month.
People ask how you’ve been behaving, comment on weight, and ask you directly about how you want to be surprised with gifts. It’s a little odd, once you start to think about it.
There’s also plenty of complaining about the holidays. Whether people are hating on Christmas carols or wishing that the stores would wait until after Thanksgiving to start selling and putting up holiday decorations, you’re bound to hear about it, whether you want to or not. So brace yourself and prepare all of your responses. People are definitely going to be saying these phrases over and over.
“Christmas keeps starting earlier and earlier.”
Yes, some stores, such as Hobby Lobby, Home Depot and Hallmark really do put out their Christmas decorations in the middle of summer, the Chicago Tribune reports. And though those who detest this practice are the most vocal, about 40 percent of shoppers start crossing items off their holiday lists before Halloween. So there really is a desire for this.
“Don’t spend too much on me.”
Parents, grandparents and all of those worried older folks will always beg for their loved ones and children not to get them anything too lavish this holiday season. It’s a bit awkward because this feels like a comment on the state of your finances and you know how much they’ll end up spending on you. But hey! They asked…
It’s the seasonal version of “Have a nice day.” Early spring hosts just as many holidays as the winter, including St. Patrick’s Day, Passover and Easter. And yet, it’s November and December that are designated as the holiday season.
“I say ‘Merry Christmas,’ not ‘Happy Holidays.’”
For people who really get mad about political correctness, some folks sure are obsessed with Christmas. Never mind that there are over 10 holidays in December for the world’s various religions, it’s all about Christmas for the people who say this phrase. Whether you say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays,” it’s all about being kind to one another this winter.
“I’m so sick of Christmas music already.”
Sure, hearing Mariah Carey belt out “All I Want for Christmas Is You” or Bing Crosby croon “White Christmas” can be tiring, but people who spout out this phrase get sick of Christmas music after listening to the radio for half an hour. It must stink to be a Scrooge…
“I need a gift idea from you.”
Trying to think of what to get for people as gifts can be incredibly difficult, but it’s only around the holidays that you hear people begging for ideas. It’s hard to be surprised when you offer up an itemized list for Christmas, but at least you saved someone the head-scratching.
“I always gain so much weight at Christmas.”
“So, were you good this year?”
Yes? No? Sometimes. Though this is meant to be a cheeky question about whether or not you made the “naughty” or “nice” list, there’s no real answer. And nobody ever asks about your morality on your birthday, do they?
“This year went by so fast!”
The holiday season coincides with the end of every calendar year, so when in discussion about your life over the past 12 months, expect this phrase to pop up with everyone you talk to. Especially at New Year’s Eve, you’re bound to hear people talking about how grateful they are the year is over, even though the next year will just be more of the same.
“What did Santa bring?”
This slightly whimsical spin on “What did you get for Christmas?” taps into the spirit of the holidays, but if you’re older than 10, it just feels cheesy. You can easily have this conversation without making it feel childish.
“’Die Hard’ is the best Christmas movie.”
Wander in to any pack of men during the holiday season, and you’re sure to hear them singing the praises of “Die Hard,” an action movie that just so happens to take place during Christmas. Choosing this 1988 Bruce Willis film as your favorite holiday-time watch is the ultra-masculine choice, because the manliest men would never actually admit aloud that they prefer “Elf.”
“The gift receipt is in the box.”
It’s hard to find the perfect gift for anyone at any time of the year, but there’s an added pressure during the holidays. Luckily, there’s the gift receipt to make returns easy for all involved.
“You look festive!”
Is this a compliment? A mildly rude statement? The jury is still out on that one. But telling someone they look festive instead of handsome, pretty or simply “nice” is really only appropriate when one is wearing a Santa hat, ugly sweater and a string of lights.
“I’m going to head out for a walk for a bit.”
OK, sure. People will go for a walk any time of the year. But what could drive someone to excuse themselves from a warm home to wander out into the biting cold and show? Family. Yes, getting out of the house after a big holiday dinner and taking a stroll through the neighborhood is a perfect way to deal with holiday houseguests.
“Who wants to go for a drive?”
Walking isn’t the only way to escape some of the more irritating members of your family during the holidays. You can also grab some folks you actually get along with and go for a nice long drive. As you listen to some Christmas music, go on a mini road trip to check out the best holiday light displays in your state.
“That office holiday party was a disaster.”
Oh, the office holiday party. When there’s a stressful office situation and free alcohol, things can get out of hand quickly. What starts as a few beers and a game of Secret Santa can end with an especially late night, a few too many shots of Fireball and an awkward Friday morning at work. Luckily, there are ways to drink in moderation this season.
“Are you really going to eat that?”
You’d think that the snide comments about going for seconds of stuffing would be left at the Thanksgiving table, but you’ll hear plenty of this chatter during the Christmas season too. But don’t worry what other people think. Go for that extra-large Christmas tree sugar cookie. The holidays only come but once a year, after all!
“Christmas has become so commercialized anymore.”
Sometimes it can feel like Christmas has lost any religious meaning and is all about the gifts. And while December 25 is a major Christian holiday, Christmastime is also about being with friends and loved ones and showing them how much you care. And those Christmas gifts on store shelves in the fall are actually a good thing! They help people to budget their holiday. So if it bothers you, just move on.
“The airport was a zoo.”
Holiday travel is stressful; there’s no ifs, ands or buts about it. So as your relatives fly across the country to visit, they’re sure to say the airport they flew out of (and then in to) was a zoo. Maybe they should have looked up the busiest travel days of the year and known to avoid them. That’s a common mistake travelers make during the holidays.
“I really do wish it would snow.”
It’s not often that people wish for cold weather and piles of snow. But then there is Christmas Day. Thanks to Bing Crosby, we’ve all been dreaming of an idyllic white Christmas for decades now. Luckily, there are some destinations that practically guarantee a white Christmas.