Tracy Lee Curtis

How did Christmas get so complicated?

Shoppers walk along Oxford Street, one of the main shopping streets in central London, this week.
Shoppers walk along Oxford Street, one of the main shopping streets in central London, this week. AFP/Getty Images

I figured out the problem with Christmas. There are too many pieces and parts. Which I don’t understand, it’s a birthday. It should be treated as a birthday party – some decorations, some guests, gifts, a song and a Christmas pie.

But the Christmas people have taken it way too far. We have to deck the halls. Trim the tree. Hang the stockings, don gay apparel and troll the ancient Yuletide carol. And that’s just the first week. It’s just too much. …

The Tree: After spending the entire year trying to keep dirt, grass, leaves and allergens out of my house, I have to drag a full-grown tree into my living room. That’s after we pick it out, get it on the car, through the door and into a stand. Where it immediately begins to die.

The Stockings: Simple if you already have them, and they’re monogrammed, and you can find last year’s nail holes in the mantel. But made complicated if you’ve lost or added a pet stocking, because it throws the order and the spacing out of whack.

The Dinner: Or as I call it, Thanksgiving 2.0. Hopefully you’ve learned your lesson and made it less complicated. Or better yet, you froze all the leftovers, so that the only thing you’re preparing Christmas morning is the microwave.

The Wardrobe: You gotta have sparkly, bangly, jingly, jangly and lots of red, green and gold. If you don’t slightly resemble your Christmas tree, you’re not doing it right. That’s why I buy ornaments that I can wear as earrings, and glittery shoes that I can hang on the tree.

The Christmas Card: Much more than a card, rather a full-blown family makeover and a rewriting of history. For that photo we are all clean, happy, successful and thriving. Right up until the flash goes off. And then we go back to our same ole, disappointing selves.

The Gifts: For this birthday – which isn’t even any of our birthdays – we must purchase the newest, hottest, hardest-to-get gifts of the season. Gone are the days of the most exciting present being those socks with the toes. Now it’s the Hoverboard. That you’re not even supposed to ride wearing socks.

The Decorations: Wreaths, lights, bows, luminaria, reindeer, and that’s just the front yard.

The Accessories: Christmas china, napkins and candles. Christmas cookies, crackers and coffee. Christmas music, movies and carols. Christmas paper, boxes and bows. Christmas hats, scarves and mittens – and a Christmas welcome mat reading, “Dear Santa, Define good.”

The Hope: The one and only time of year to find your Christmas spirit and your Christmas magic. And to make your Christmas wish – and hope for a Christmas miracle. Gotta go for it.

I just hope my new microwave gets here.

Tracy Curtis will be signing and reading from her new book, “Holidazed,” 2-4 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 13) at Park Road Books.

Curtis: tracy@tracyleecurtis.com

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