Christmas is coming, and the lines are getting long. Parking is a nightmare and all the alcohol is gone. -- That's my ode to Christmas being an absolutely nuts time in North Dakota.

Anyway, I've put together a list of some of the most painful things we experience in North Dakota around the Christmas holiday. Let's dive in.


1. People

Sooooo many people everywhere. As an introvert pretending to be an extrovert, I can confidently say this is the worst. There are long lines at the grocery store, more people taking up seating at your favorite restaurants, and more people breathing up all your air. If you see me, just know I'm screaming 'gettaway from meee' on the inside.


2. Traffic

Holiday traffic is nothing short of ridiculous. I don't know if you've tried driving up and down Washington St in Bismarck lately, but it's a nightmare. Plan on your trip taking an extra 10-15 minutes.

Also, I'm currently taking applications for a chauffeur. Let me know if you're up for the task at hand.

Don't even get me started on the parking situations. Uggh.


3. Money Stress

Admittedly, this is something that affects everyone, not just North Dakotans, but all of our bank accounts are taking a serious hit. Presents, presents, and more presents! Even if you are looking for the best deals and being frugal, it still comes out to be a lot.

The other problem: While we're gift shopping for others, we can't help but find a few things that we need to buy for ourselves. Don't lie. You do it. Embrace humankind's selfish nature.

4. Weather

We always wish for a white Christmas, which is all fine and dandy, but... if in order to get our white Christmas, we have to deal with these freezing, below zero temps, I'd like to just do without, which so far, has been the case this year.

5. Holiday Music

If you wanted to think about something other than Christmas or the holidays, too bad. You won't be able to. The holiday music follows you around from store to store. It invades your subconscious; before you know it, you're singing along. Your dreams are even to the tune of Christmas Fa-la-la-la-la.

Maybe it's just me being a grinch, but I can only handle it in small doses.


6. Gift Shopping

What do I get for this person, and this other person? How much should I spend? What if they don't like it? Oh, wait, I have to wrap this now? -- My brain overloads with these questions every Christmas. Can I just buy myself the things I've wanted to get and you buy your stuff?

I get the sentiment of giving to others, but we're just gambling. We're throwing our money around like spaghetti to a wall, hoping it sticks (They like it).

7. Gift Receiving

Again, this could apply to anyone, anywhere. There is nothing I dread more than this. I like getting gifts, don't get me wrong. What I don't like is opening them. What should I do with my face? Do I hug you? How excited is too excited?

I have to mentally prepare for how I'm going to handle gift opening. I feel like you really have to sell the "I love it" reaction. We're all actors and this is an annual role we must all play.

Don't get me wrong, you may very well like the gift, but sometimes a thank you is the most creative thing I have to say.

8. Overeating

There are so many delicious North Dakota desserts we can eat during the holiday season like chocolate covered potato chips, krumkake, chokecherry pie, and so much more. While that's a great thing, it's also a bit of a struggle.

Can't. Stop. Eating. -- That's the issue. The holidays really test our self restraint and tend to bring about a good amount of weight gain.

9. Holiday Movie Watching

While I love watching a couple holiday movies here and there, it's become somewhat of a struggle; you have one holiday film on this streaming service, another on a different one, and by the end of it, you either don't watch the movies, or you've paid for 3 to 4 different streaming services.

10. Wrapping Gifts

At one time, I would have told you I enjoy wrapping gifts, but now, it's the last thing I want to do after running around gathering all the gifts. That's not to mention I'm terrible at it. If you receive a gift from me, it's more than likely that you will find my hair stuck in the tape. You've been warned.

Also can I just say, wrapping paper is too expensive. I'm literally going to shred this stuff; get real.

11. Holiday Parties

You have your work party, your partner's work party, a stop at the in-laws, and a get together at your house. There are a lot of social commitments you must follow-through with this time of year.

You're expected to get gifts for these, bring food, and probably spring for an ugly Christmas sweater or two. The spending never ends!!

12. The Grinch

The last thing you have to deal with is the "I hate Christmas" individual. After reading this article, I'm sure you've come to the conclusion, that I am that person. Thanks for putting up with me, and thanks for reading!

Remember: deep breaths.

Happy Holidays!



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