Holiday No No No 

Dear Minerva,

I hate Christmas. I hate the whole rotten season. The lights, the colors, the greetings, the bows, the infernal music and the dumb smiles on everyone's faces. Besides locking myself in my house until Jan. 2, what can I do to avoid the onslaught of merriment?

Sincerely,

—Bah Humbug

Dear Bah Humbug,

Oh, my darling little Grinch, I have to say, I think I love you. I completely understand your aversion to all things Christmas-y. While I don't hate the hubbub and celebration, there are times in my life that I have. I can do without the yearly obligation to wish everyone well in cheery tones. I can do without the sudden pressure to give because it's Christmas, when in reality, people are in need the remaining 364 days of the year. Every time I pass anything soaked in cinnamon scent, whether twig brooms, candles, pinecones or Fireball, I feel like un-swallowing my Christmas pudding. What I challenge you to do is try to let people enjoy things, even if they annoy you. The holidays are one of the few times of the year we may actually see people at their best. No, you needn't become a recluse or Scrooge your way out of every interaction. I know the holidays are hard. I don't know why they are hard for you, and your feelings are absolutely valid, but by practicing a little acting, you might find you can deal a little easier with the merriment of others.

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