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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jingle Bell Blog Fest: Maureen O. Betita

Click here and tell us one thing that drives Maureen crazy during December for a chance to win a  $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate.

 Holidays. I hate them. Well, not all of them. But this one, the big December blow out is very low on my list. It just goes against the grain, all this running about like madmen, hauling ass into the malls, standing in lines, jostling for that gift, or this gift…pulling out the credit card. Sigh.

And the cards. Addressing the cards, getting them in the mail on time ( something I never manage) and then they start arriving and sure enough, Aunt Somebody from WhoKnowsWhere sent a card and lordy, we didn’t send her one!


The music. Makes me homicidal. Nothing like sitting in my favorite Starbucks, trying to write an action themed chase and having the insidious earworm of “Santa Baby” burrowing into the skull. And it’s been playing since just before Thanksgiving! ARGH!

And there are those motion active little toys. You know the ones I mean, the stuffed Santa’s that ‘ho-ho’ when you walk by. The mechanic chipmunks that start singing…again with the singing…as I try to slide past them on my way to pick up my prescription refills.

But they are everywhere in the drug store! At every aisle end…eye level, knee level… 

I often wonder why the clerks in those stores don’t go totally mad during the holiday season and run amuck with an ax. I’m just visiting and the urge to do so is sometimes totally overpowering. Nearly.  (I’d likely be hiding batteries. Every notice how the little kids will deliberately set every single one of these clockwork toys into motion? Kids. Sigh.)

Sigh, again

 I’m more the quiet type. I believe, deep in my bones, that we’ve destroyed the entire natural rhythm of the season. Here it is, the dark of winter, the time when the light fades and the chill seems like it will go on forever, the sun will shine less and less and it will be eternally night… Then the solstice dawns and the sun rises just a bit earlier. There is hope.

Our ancestors, at this time of the year, they hunkered all snug in their caves. Caves full of the bounty they had stocked from earlier in the year and they lit fires, sat around them and told stories. Quiet and calm and knowing that the sun had risen earlier, and so the winter would end, even as it roared outside the cave.
They had common sense. What in the world drove us to make this the time of the year we would constantly be outside of our cave, shouting over the loud speakers, trying to be heard over the carols?

I’m going to find somewhere calm to sit, somewhere to watch the sun rise and know that deep beneath me, the seeds of spring wait.

I’m Maureen O. Betita and every year, the urge to board a cruise ship over the holiday season and spend it with a rum drink in my hand, gazing out at the Caribbean sounds more and more appealing. I love the Caribbean and have written a book set in a Caribbean world. The Kraken’s Mirror will be out soon from Decadent Publishing.

Yes, it features a kraken, but it also brings love, adventure and ipods to a swashbuckling city of Tortuga. With luck, I’ll earn enough to make my holiday Caribbean cruise a reality one of these days… 

Learn more at


marybelle said...

I just had to laugh. I find I can pretty much ignore all the stuff that annoys & dedicate my sanity elsewhere.

Anne said...

Quite the Grinch, aren't you??

Actually, I agree with you on it all. We have a radio station that starts playing ALL Christmas music starting mid-November. MID-NOVEMBER!!!!

Judy said...

There are alot on your list that also drives me wacky!!! The Christmas cards for sure!! The Caribbean sounds wonderful!!

Jane L said...

A good old fashion Christmas in the snow covered mountains is what you need! LOL! BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Maureen said...

Marybelle, I can sometimes, ignore it all. Other times? I want an ax.

I'm not out to destroy Christmas, so I don't think I'm the Grinch...but I could be wrong.

Not a big fan of Christmas cards and the letters...though the letters can be endlessly fun to read and imagine writing a satire of one...

Ever notice that look in the eye of the clerk at the Five and Dime, after the twentieth time some kid has set every animatronic device off?

Yes, a Christmas, quiet, anywhere would be divine!

Deanna said...

Grinch Baby! Oh, you sound just like me!!! LOL ANd times the ax urge is very strong! LOL

Anonymous said...

It's almost over! LOL And I wouldn't have sent you a card if I knew you didn't like them. :) I'll know for next year though.


Maureen said...

Deanna - I'm not a Grinch! I don't want to destroy Christmas! No sneaking around stealing everything... ;-)

Donna, a card from a friend is always welcome, it's the family ones from relatives I have no memory of every having met that drive me bananas!

Kate Richards said...

Maureen, you know me 100% pagan but I love celebrating everyone's stuff. I eat jelly doughnuts at Hannukah! I think you need your holiday simplified to what makes you happy and not what makes you crazy. A cruise...definitely a getaway would be better.

MsHellion said...

*LOL* I'm not sick of it yet, but I don't frequent Starbuck's as faithfully as you and wasn't inundated with ear worms. Yes, I think the holiday has gotten far away from what it should mean--in that Little Women sort of way. But I also think we're a society who is basically incapable of being quiet and reflective in our homes. After all, if we all stayed home, you know we'd all have the TV on. That's cheating! *LOL*

Silence is hard.

Maybe you should write somewhere else for the month of November, like the public library. They're unlikely to have music piped in or annoying christmas toys. And my public library has a coffee place in it...and if my rednecky part of the world has it, surely yours does. :)

Maureen said...

Kate - I can handle a certain amount of merriment. Had a lovely few days w/family. But yup, I really miss a simple circle and pagan carols...

Hel, it's pretty funny...I normally dig the wack-a-doodle energy of Starbucks, but this time of the year, I really do need to remember the ipod and headphones...drown out the holiday music.

Your library has a coffee bar? That is awesome! I'd have to check out the new one down the road, see if they have anything so cool!

TerriOsburn said...

My library has a coffee shop in front too. It's little but nice.

I'm the person who spent the last two weeks listening to Christmas tunes at my desk at work. Not in the car and all the time, though. And I avoid toy aisles at all costs. You need to learn what areas to avoid.

My issue is that it's over too soon. My 5pm Christmas day, I saw someone's update on Facebook was something like "Christmas was good this year. WAS?! It's not just the twenty minutes it takes to open presents, but that's what it seems to be anymore.

Maureen said...

I tend to like the idea of Christmas lasting until Jan...3rd. I think that's the date. Or in the SCA there is 12th Night...

You see, it's not that I dislike Christmas, it's the massive over-inflation that drives me crazy!

Kathleen Ann Gallagher's Place to Reflect said...

I totally understand what you're saying. Even though I go throuhg the motions, the stress of the season increases each year. It would be nice to plan an escape. But, my kids, even thought their adults, would hunt me down. Sorry I missed this yesterday.