Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Magazine Myth: Holiday Edition

I have a love hate relationship with magazines, blogs, basically anything where people have a platform to espouse annoying ideas with basically no recourse (oh wait…). Well, I do love pretty pictures and FOOD IDEAS but I really hate when magazines act like "normal and everyday people" live life like they are rich and have tons of free time and really fancy jobs and all that jazz.

Here are my top 5 holiday magazine myths:

1. Everyone must attend or host half a dozen fancy holiday parties that involve wearing pearls and time traveling back to the 1950's.
Home cooked food and china must be involved as well as wordy toasts that you tear up for and think back on all your amazing accomplishments for the year. I don't think I have ever been or been invited to a fancy holiday party. I'm talking cocktail dresses and pearls and everyone is smoking somehow even though no one actually smokes. A jazz band is playing perpetually and people are calling each other "dahling" and saying dashing things. This hasn't happened to me except when I watch Mad Men. To me, work or church holiday parties always involve lots of appetizers made with cream cheese, weird games,  and a white elephant gift exchange fraught with indignation, competitiveness, and regret. (No lie, one time we left a white elephant party with a CHILDS TOILET. We didn't find it amusing like everyone else did. I mean seriously…we wanted the video iPod! office reference). People are checking their watch, needing to get home, secretly wanting to  fall asleep watching Elf in stretch pants. This is how normal people celebrate!!! Then you take home whatever food you brought and are both offended and glad there is a lot leftover. I guess it didn't have enough cream cheese.

2. You must  buy everyone a present you have ever met and also those peoples relatives and their dogs .
According to magazines only the filthy rich can celebrate Christmas without offending anyone. Fancy gloves for your mail man! Fancy stationery for your bosses daughter! An initialed scarf for your pharmacist! No thank you. Family and close friends only depending on what the agreement is that year. Also I think your mailman would be like "I would rather your dog not try to eat me every day than have these gloves that are clearly marked down by 80% thanks".

3. You have to send out a Christmas card with an adorable picture to everyone you ever met and if you don't send it out the day after Halloween you should feel guilt ridden. 
While I love receiving Christmas cards and sending them, I don't think this is a must. It's nice, but not a must. Also quit wrapping your babies up in lights that are turned on. I don't think that's safe? I also don't have a huge list of people who will want a picture of two adults and two cats wearing santa hats so there's also that. I email you those anyways.

4. Gift Cards are an offensive gift so get them stationery instead.
NO, magazines this is not a thing. I know you are printed on paper so you really have a log in the fire to push paper but NO. Your tweener niece will not want stationery over a Target gift card. End of story. Janna can buy me stationery because she GETS ME stationery-wise. But no, as a teen, stationery was not really a fun gift. Except then you can just write fancy notes to your friends after Christmas Break.

5. Magazines always make every woman sound like narcissistic perfectionist martyrs who have zero interests outside being perfect at everything.
"MAKE TIME to enjoy yourself this holiday! Don't let the holiday bustle get you down, take five minutes for yourself then get back out there being perfect! You don't have to be perfect, just really close to it! Go! Do! From scratch! The most thoughtful gift! Also the house must always smell like cookies!" Yeesh. I love to dabble in cooking, decorating, entertaining, crafting, organizing, ect. But dang, magazines there is MORE to us than organizing and cooking! Sometimes magazines act like what they say is actually rocket science. "Holiday stress getting you down? Don't forget to take time for you! Here's a list of really good ideas NO ONE has ever thought of before! Get a massage! Get your hair done! Get a manicure! Sit down with some cocoa and watch a Christmas movie!" Thanks, didn't think to SIT DOWN and watch tv. I couldn't have made it through this holiday without SITTING DOWN that one time!!!!

Oi. I know. It's a rant. But I have been having lots building up over the last few months. I gotta get it out or I won't sleep well. And magazines truly annoy me. I guess I'm not reading the right ones. But the pictures are always so pretty I have hope for the content. Like you hope that hot actor is actually an interesting person or something. I guess I should just pretend there are no words in them unless its a coupon. There. I'll just do that.

Thanks for listening,


  1. Good post! I SO AGREE. Especially about the Christmas do people send them out so fast? You not only have to have a card idea in mind, but also a great picture (or a few). Too much pressure!

    ALSO, I think it's interesting...I was looking through this article yesterday that showed a bunch of vintage ads that were sexist and/or "this mixer does everything but cook the food...that's what wives are for!" And it was so ridiculous/funny because they were actual ads...but aren't magazines sort of still the same?! Maybe not as blatantly sexist...maybe not sexist at all...but it seems the expectation is that women do it and have it all...a job, a family, lots of money, a great house, parties, friends, and all with lots of style. It's still as unrealistic and unfair as saying a woman belongs in the kitchen...actually, it's just adding more pressure to that. Ya know?

  2. LOL yes, exactly. The magazines are almost worse now because it's like not only CAN you do it all but not you MUST or you will have zero self respect and be a social pariah!!!!!

    Also, I want that mixer ad to put up in my kitchen. "THAT'S WHAT WIVES ARE FOR!"

  3. Babies wrapped in Christmas lights DRIVES ME NUTS! How does a baby, electricity, and lead poisoning from the wires say "Merry Christmas!"