Sixth Blog of Christmas: The Place for Humbug During the Holiday Season


Sometimes things just don’t go according to plan. And that’s OK. (Photo source: Pixabay)

Bah, humbug!

There, I said it.

I know. It’s the Christmas season. Everything is warm and fuzzy like in greeting cards, sappy viral videos and TV movies. Only, it’s not all warm and fuzzy all the time, because greeting cards and video specials aren’t real life. Everyone feels like saying, “Bah, humbug,” at least once during the holiday season. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

It’s not that the season isn’t full of joy. It’s just that the season is also full of commitments — clashing office holiday parties, school parties, recitals, plays, church performances, family gatherings, and the list goes on and on. Sometimes you just want to shout, “Bah, humbug,” hop into bed, and huddle under the covers with a flashlight and your favorite book. (Those old enough to remember, may even want to hop into a tub, and shout, “Calgon, take me away.”*)

So, this is just a little post to remind you that you get to have a “Bah, humbug” moment or two this holiday season. Not everything will go the way you want it to. There’s someone you’ll want to see, who you can’t see. You’ll have family you don’t want to see, who you have to see.

Something you ordered won’t arrive on time. Or it will arrive, but three sizes too small. Something you’d been planning to buy will be sold out by the time you get to the store. The kids will break something they’re not supposed to. The kids will spill on something they’re not supposed to. The pet will get sick all over something you really adore.

Your flight will get canceled. Or a sudden snowstorm coupled with traffic will turn your two-hour drive to family’s house into a six-hour one. Your mother’s flight will get rerouted and she’ll have Christmas dinner with strangers at a Denny’s in the middle of nowhere.

And it will be OK, because the rough stuff happens. It’s the kind of stuff that makes you want to say, Bah Humbug. And that’s a good thing. Really. Because the bah humbug stuff makes you remember those times when things go right. You see, there’s a reason we love Charles Dickens’s classic, A Christmas Carol. We all have a bit of Ebeneezer Scrooge in us. We all have those moments when the bad feels really bad, and we have an urge to give in to that unpleasantness and go bah humbug. But, unlike Scrooge, apparitions don’t appear in our bed chambers intent on setting us on the right path.**

Like Scrooge, however, we do get moments that redeem us. Moments that remind us of the right path to follow. Those are the moments of joy that make up the greeting cards, sappy commercials and made-for-TV specials that pull our heartstrings. Your daughter will write you the sweetest apology note for her spill. Your son will reach into his piggy bank and present you with all of it because he’s really sorry about what he broke. Your great-aunt who you wanted to see but can’t because you’re going to your spouse’s celebration, will call you. You’ll have a long warm conversation and feel grateful that you got it. Perhaps, you’ll even be the one who feels a guilty twinge of gladness that your mother-in-law is stranded in the middle of nowhere eating Christmas dinner at Denny’s, rather than sitting across the table criticizing you.

So, take a moment to let out your Bah, Humbug. After that, take a deep breath, put on a smile, and wait. Your happy moment is coming. There’s a reason notions like yin and yang resonate throughout so many cultures. With the bad comes the good. And when you recognize that, you can remember that the Bah humbug is just part of the cycle, and rev up for that moment of good to follow it. Of course, you can and should put more weight on the good, and less on the bad, and enjoy the festivity and love of the season.

Merry Christmas,

-RJ Crayton

*As an aside, Calgon is still made. I looked it up.

**As a second aside, The Christmas Carol soured me on people named Marley. Jacob was obviously bad to the bone. Then Bob Marley went and shot the sheriff. So, I’m just done with Marleys.

>>>>This blog post has been part of the 12 Blogs of Christmas, hosted by author Martin Crosbie.  P.S. If you like holiday baking, as I do, be sure to check out this awesome Snow Globe cupcake recipe at<<<<<<<

Miss one of the days? The previous blogs of Christmas include:
Dec. 13   Ellen Chauvet

Dec. 14   Sarah Lane

Dec. 15   Keith Baker

Dec. 16   Virginia Gray

Dec. 17   Gordon Long


About RJ Crayton

RJ Crayton is a former journalist who now writes fiction. She's reported for the Kansas City Star and Wichita Eagle, as well as the smaller publications Education Technology News and Campus Crime. She has two published novels, Life First and Second Life and blogs for Indies Unlimited and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. For exclusive content and first looks at her new work, sign up for the newsletter at
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19 Responses to Sixth Blog of Christmas: The Place for Humbug During the Holiday Season

  1. Thanks for this, RJ. Seems my personal hum bug has followed me around during the holidays this year and even past Christmas. I can now cage him up and get rid of him!

  2. I remember Calgon. Don’t recall ever taking a bath in it. I thought it was a water softening chemical 🙂

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  6. Good job RJ. Thanks for doing this and Merry Christmas to you.

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  15. Thanks, RJ! Makes me want to curl up on the couch, shove the Scrooge DVD in the player and cheer on the cantankerous old fart!

  16. Laurie Boris says:

    Love it, RJ! Acknowledging my “humbug” so I can let it go. 😀

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