Cheer? Bah.

Goodwill toward men? Unlikely.

Holly jolly? Uh huh, right.

You’re supposed to believe that Christmas is the most wonderful time of year. Even the song says so, but between school pageants, crowds at the mall, holiday traffic, lack of money, wrapping, baking, parties, decorating, shipping packages, traveling to family get-togethers, trying to get along with everybody once you get together … that buzz in your head? That’s the “hum” in “humbug.”

So what can you do to cope? First, admit that “Christmas Sucks” then grab a cup of cheer and join author Joanne Kimes in her new book by the same name. Pretty soon, you’ll be ho-ho-ho-ing.

Christmas is for togetherness (unfortunately, with his family, too). Christmas is for the kids (and the toys that require every battery in the house). It’s for giving gifts (to people you really barely know), setting up a tree (after fighting over the knotted lights) and parties (4,500 calories, straight to the thighs). It’s for wrapping (tossing things in a gift bag) and caroling (making up words). And, admit it, it all stinks.

So how do you cope? Kimes says there are lots of ways to live through the holidays without locking yourself in the bedroom for the month of December. In this book, she offers some tips, along with plenty of laughs.
If shopping fills you with dread, plan to do your gift-buying early, Kimes says. Start in January with a list of the people you know you will need a present for and squirrel those gifts away. Try to finish your shopping by Oct. 30.

But, without a doubt, somebody you didn’t shop for will show up at your door with a gift for you. Save yourself from embarrassment by having a few wrapped items under the tree, that you can give, quick.
Manage the tipping. Know what to tip and when. Make a budget for everything then add 25 percent for “incidentals” so you’re not surprised when the bills arrive in January. Be prepared for in-Santa-ty.
Give up competing with the Joneses’ decorating. And when Dec. 26 rolls around, congratulate yourself. Christmas wasn’t so bad after all.

So your Christmas isn’t exactly a Hallmark card come to life and you’ve had it up to your ears with “Jingle Bells?” Tired of baking things you never get to eat? Join the club, and read “Christmas Sucks.”

Kimes pokes fun at everything Christmas lovers hold dear, but she’s not nasty. Instead, this book is bawdy and hilarious, filled with so many familiar holiday scenarios that you’ll see yourself and your family in almost every page. The great part is, that while you’re chuckling and nodding your head in agreement, you’re also getting useable tips on how to take the mess out of Christmess.
Anyone who’s ever re-gifted, re-wrapped, re-circled the lot for a parking spot or reveled in the holidays will love this laugh-out-loud book. “Christmas Sucks” will put ha-ha-ha into your ho-ho-ho.

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