It’s Pumpkin Spice Equinox, Bitches.

I am literally shitting pumpkin spiced foods and beverages out my ears at this point, that is how much I am up in this fall business.

I have been for weeks.

Every year, I find myself here. Writing a blog post about how fucking fabulous fall is. Others have done the same, about decorative gourds season, and about the bliss that comes with the best fucking season of all seasons to ever exist.

Eventually I get sick of it. I tire of the maple candles and the apple picking and the farm stands and the pumpkin spiced flavors and the basic bitch UGG boots. Then I move on to Hallmark movies and cherry and cinnamon flavor palettes and holiday music and putting my tree up before Thanksgiving.

But for now, it’s fall. It’s fall and I am in my zone.

I’ve reached the point where I stop procrastinating on the Halloween costumes, and they begin to take their final form. My two oldest kids – 15 and 11 – still dress up to please their brother, and I am ready. I am ready to sew, tuck, pin, and hot glue that shit together like the most Pinteresty Mom you’ve ever known.

My fall display has been out on the front porch for several weeks now, but I’m ready for phase two: excessive fall display. I’m talking hay bails, I’m talking corn stalks, I’m talking fucking potted marigolds.

Two weeks before Halloween, it will morph to Halloween-themed.

November 1st, we move back to excessive fall display with a flair of Thanksgiving.

And about a week before Thanksgiving, the Christmas bonanza takes over and my fall display moves to the table for Thanksgiving dinner.

I have a system. I’m ready. It’s go time.

As I am typing this, I’m actually – legitimately – sitting here, yelling -nay, screaming – in my Steroid Starla voice: LET’S DO THIS! LET’S GO! Because fall is my jam, and I’ve got my canning gear out.

Literally. I’m ready to make some pickles. To pickle some watermelon rinds. To give salsa and pesto and spaghetti sauce another go around. To make up some fucking fruit butters and canned pie fillings. I hate cooking, and I especially loathe the heat and load of canning. And yet the thought of spending an entire day over a steaming pot of vinegar and boiling water has tingles shooting out of every hole of my Martha Stewart reading – water bath canning – yes, I can do this and no, none of us are going to get a deadly intestinal disease from improper processing – head.

And the icing on this fall’s apple cake is: we seem to have escaped our typical, autumnal heat wave. For quite a few years, it would be a muggy 105 degrees for several weeks through September and October. We would slog around in the heat, wondering how we could ever celebrate autumn when it feels like we live on the equator in the middle of summer.

But – fingers crossed – with the exception of a couple days of heat here, and a few days of humidity there – it is cooling down.

Cooling down for, you guessed it: layers.

The thing I’m loving this year is the new appreciation for basic ass girls like me being into this shit. Like finally people are standing up to the naysayers of all-things-pumpkin spice and proclaiming: NO! You will not make fun of me for enjoying the fusion of nutmeg and cloves! NO! You will accept and embrace the addition of cinnamon to create a trifecta of flavors that have literally been around for centuries. “You know pumpkin spice doesn’t even have pumpkin in it!” the naysayers proclaim, and finally we are there, ready to respond: no shit … it’s called pumpkin spice because it’s the spice used in pumpkin pie, you ignorant, nutmeg-hating twats.

So today is the first day of fall and I’m feeling fabulous about it. I’ve got crafts staged in the garage, and pumpkin spice pancake mix prepped in the fridge for breakfast. It’s Pumpkin Spice Equinox, bitches.

Reasons the B(itch)’s a Grinch

Is anyone surprised that I dislike Christmas as much as I dislike Thanksgiving? …or as much as I dislike anything, I suppose…

I can be a bit of a negative nelly; although, I prefer to consider myself realistic and just very anachronistic. But in recent years, I have noticed that my vehemence towards the holiday season has gotten considerably more impassioned, more negative you might say – so much so that I have even considered not celebrating them. I feel I have some good reasons though.

#1 Christmas is supposed to be about Jesus, not gifts. Need I remind you all of the Macy’s bag nativity scene from my experience at the mall last week? Nothing disgusts me more than the blatantly materialistic consumerism that has taken over the people in our culture. Maybe it’s just a California thing, but as the years have gone on Christmas has become less about the meaning of Christmas and more about what did you get me?

#2 Christmas is supposed to be about Jesus, not food. I totally get that food is good, and nothing is more fun than getting together with friends or family (or even just your dog) and having a nice meal. But for Christ’s sakes (no pun intended) – Christmas is not not not about eating! Last year I was at the in-law’s for Christmas Eve and by the time we left, I had seen so much food consumed that I (myself) felt ill, despite how abstemious I had been in my portions. For these people, special occasions (and especially Christmas) are all about the food that is going with the day, but this is and never was the meaning of most of the holidays that are being celebrated. It’s disgusting to see how many people in this country gorge themselves on so much food – especially people who may not even really understand what Christmas is supposed to be celebrated for – while others much less fortunate go without. It’s almost sad how easily people forget when their oversized bellies begin to growl.

#3 People are a bunch of ungrateful assholes. Today I received four different emails from Bath and Body Works, Urban Outfitters, and other trendy, bullshit retailers who don’t seem to understand the meaning of “unsubscribe from email list” – all of which contained variations of the same message.

This is such horse shit! I know it’s nothing more than an advertising technique, but why is it that people returning crappy gifts they are totally ungrateful for has become a cutesy cliche? People are such ungrateful jerks! If you hate the gifts others give you, chances are they feel the same way about the Hello Kitty toaster or tasteless sweater that you get them every year – so why not save the ungratefulness and make a donation to a needy charity instead?

Oh … I know why. Because people are even more ungrateful when you give donations in lieu of a gift. This year we gave gift baskets to everyone with wine and a donation card that had been made to a local literacy foundation. A couple of the people we sent these to, though, actually complained – actually complained to us – that they had sent us a list of things they wanted. Jerks.

#4 Family events are stressful. I’m sure a lot of my faithful blog followers love spending time with their overwhelmingly large families at the holidays; I, myself, am even cooking for my grandparents and parents this year. But pretending like family events are always a walk in the park is just about as childish as thinking that rainbows really come from the assholes of unicorns.Families are great, but they are also not – which oftentimes makes family events stressful. If you are anything like me, your family events usually come laced with gossip, drama, too much alcohol, more gossip, more drama, gossip’s transcendent partner, shit talking, and people waffling between judging others and pitying them. I’ve said this before: there is a reason there are so many jokes about how much bull shit family events can be. Because for the majority of people out there, they are.

#5 Most modern Christmas movies make me want to gouge my eyes out so I never have to see them again. Home Alone was awesome. Charlie Brown Christmas will always be one of my favorites. A Year Without a Santa Claus is an awesome work of nostalgia and art. But Santa Buddies? Barbie Nutcracker? Arthur Christmas? And if it isn’t these terrible children’s Christmas movies, it’s Lifetime, ABC Family, and Hallmark shoving bull shit Christmas wish movies down everybody’s throats. And I know I’m going to be in the minority on this one, but The Christmas Story on repeat for 24 hours on TBS every year is annoying. The movie isn’t even that good.

So I’m jaded and snarky, and I hate everything – okay? It should come as no surprise, then, that this B(itch)’s a Grinch. I’m sure if you counted the number of times I used the term “bull shit” in this post, you would be concerned by my excessively foul mouth. In the end, I really do believe that “bull shit” is exactly what Christmas is – not because of what it is supposed to be, but because of what it has become. But if you really got down to it on my reasons, I think you’d have to admit that I’m right…

As for me, alongside being a Grinch, I also don’t believe in scarring children for life because of my own idiosyncratic beliefs. So I’ll be playing the game on Christmas Eve – cooking the pork shoulder, baking the pumpkin pie, and placing the Christmas presents so carefully under the tree that they all are opened in the order that makes the event all-the-more exciting. But on Christmas Day, this B(itch) is off the clock. She’s enjoying a day to relax; a day when it’s quiet and she doesn’t have to go anywhere in particular or pretend to be something she’s not. She’ll probably stop by a local eatery that chooses to be open for lunch, because there are a lot of employees out there that actually volunteer those days because they need the extra pay. This year on Christmas, faithful blog followers, you should all take at least a minute to do what you want and to be grateful for the things others before us have done. And if Jesus ‘aint your thing, at least remember that Christmas could also just mean it’s time to get our heads out of our asses and be good people.