I know it's the holidays when the cruel needle of fall-back-an-hour pops my Halloween weekend balloon and marks the start of a bleak three-month period I call Soft Pants Season. You know how in cold months it seems impossible to leave your warm, cozy couch once you've slipped into your favorite fleece sweatpants that are Jackson Pollocked with soup stains? That's Soft Pants Season. Early sunsets and the urge to veg mean it's hard to find friends who will actually zip into jeans and meet up after dark, making post-Halloween evenings extra isolating.
Soon after the fall-back sting comes a rapid ramping up of seasonal depression, cold and flu viruses, and football madness (hard to tell which annoys me most). What can I say? I equate the holidays with misery.
But Elissa! What about Thanksgiving? You love root vegetables and squash! Sure do, yet I have major problems with a tradition that distorts history and repackages centuries-long oppression and mass murder of Indigenous Americans as a friendly feast. I know I sound like Lisa Simpson. It's true though.
You can likely guess how I feel about Christmas: Can't stand it. From the showy consumerism (the more you spend, the more you care? What?!) to the cloying carols to the co-opting of the Pagan Winter Solstice celebration, Christmas irks me to the core. The hypocrisy of churches that display PROTECT THE UNBORN signs yet do not protect "born" children from their own abusive clergy sickens me.
Somehow New Year's is steeped in sadness, too. What's supposed to be a fresh start usually feels like a sulky regret parade. Soft Pants Season finally winds down once the red velvet and dark chocolates of Valentine's Day pop up and my heart starts to thaw. ♦
Elissa Ball is a poet, freelance writer, tarot reader, stand-up comic and dog mom originally from Yakima.