Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the U.S. Today is the day we pause to spend some time with our friends and families as we give thanks for all the wonderful things we have in our lives. I hope that you all will truly take time to be thankful and enjoy the day with your family. Let go of the holiday rat race and just relax.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, I think we all have an idealistic picture that looks perhaps something like this:
but in reality, you likely have chaos. Especially when it comes to getting a large group of family members together. Inevitably there will be snarky remarks, complaints and who knows, maybe even a fight, until you feel like doing this:
Let's face it the holidays are stressful, and as much as we all like to pretend they are joyful and wonderful, they often aren't.
So instead of working yourself up and getting anxious during the season, how about sitting back with a hilarious and realistic look at the holidays courtesy of author Jen Mann with her book: Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Yuletide Yahoos, Ho-Ho-Humblebraggers, and Other Seasonal Scourges.
Today, I have a review, and excerpt and a giveaway. So let's kick off this holiday mayhem, shall we?
About the author:
Jen Mann of People I Want to Punch in the Throat is the hilarious author of The New York Times best seller, People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges. She is currently working on a revised version of Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat. Her books are inspired by her immensely popular blog People I Want to Punch in the Throat. Jen lives in Kansas with the Hubs and her two children, Gomer and Adolpha - no, those aren't their real names, their real names are actually worse. Jen spends her free time crafting and volunteering with the PTO. Seriously.
Stalk Jen on her blog, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
Take a peek at the fun with this excerpt:
10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS by Jenn Mann
I am sure if you pressed me, I could come up with a few things I like about the holidays, but this book isn’t about what I like, now is it? Maybe that will be my next book. Ha! As if I could come up with that many pleasant things to say. Nah, I think I’ll just stick to what I do best: punch lists.
- Pumpkin- flavor everything. Pumpkin lattes start showing up in August, and then it just snowballs from there. I don’t even like pumpkin in a pie, but no one wants to eat a pumpkin Popsicle.
- Douchey dads who can’t take their kids trick-or-treating without pulling a wagon of beer behind them. What is the deal? is is a pretty easy job and isn’t very stressful. It takes a couple of hours to walk through the neighborhood, wave to the person at the door, and yell something like, “Anything good for me? Yuk, yuk, yuk.” Why do these dads feel the need to be hammered before they take on this job?
- Shopping for gifts. I am not a thoughtful shopper. I’d love to give everyone a gift card to Target or Amazon and call it a day, but I’ve been told that’s not really fun for people to open on Christmas morning. (Side note to my family: I think those are great gifts. Feel free to give me a gift card anytime you’d like.) Another problem is that everyone on my list already has everything they want and/or need, or I can’t afford what they really want. For instance, the Hubs would like a new watch. Easy, right? Not so much. A Timex will not do for this man. He would like a two- thousand-dollar watch. Gomer would like a four- hundred-dollar Lego set, and Adolpha would appreciate half of the American Girl store. It’s not just them. I’ve got my eye on an eight-hundred-dollar Herman Miller Aeron chair that I’m pretty sure would help me write a Pulitzer Prize–winning novel.
- The events. e holidays are a time to gather with friends and family. Everyone hosts a cookie exchange or a Christmas party or a special dinner, not to mention the winter parties and the concerts at school you’ve got to find time for. It’s funny, no one wants to hang out with me in June, but I’m booked from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. No wonder people are depressed when the holidays are over! You’re the belle of the ball all winter, but as soon as Valentine’s Day comes no one wants to see your face again until Halloween.
- The food. I have a love/hate relationship with holiday fare. It’s so damn good, but it’s also so damn bad. I convince myself that eating twenty chocolate-covered peanut butter balls is perfectly fine because I only get them “once a year.” What other time of the year is it acceptable to sit down to a five-course meal and then eat the left overs a couple of hours later with a piece of pie on the side? Every party has delicious food to stuff your face with. I’m sure there’s a veggie tray in the mix somewhere, but I never see it. Plus, who wants a celery stalk when you can have chocolate at every holiday celebration from Halloween to Easter?
- Anyone who gets offended if they aren’t wished the proper holiday. “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah,” “Joyous Kwanzaa,” “Feliz Navidad,” “Wonderful Winter Solstice.” Whatever. At least someone took the time out of their day to say “Have a great holiday season” to you. There is no need to be a dick. You don’t have to get your hackles up because you don’t celebrate whatever holiday they’re wishing you. Just say thank you, asshole.
- Christmas music everywhere. I’m certain there are more than fifteen Christmas songs, but it sure doesn’t feel like it when you hear the same damn ones everywhere you go. It also annoys me that stores start playing them in October. I guess I kind of understand playing Christmas music in retail stores, because it’s a subliminal message to get people motivated to start their holiday shopping, but there are some places it really doesn’t make sense. For instance, I do not need, nor do I want, to hear “Away in a Manger” when I’m pumping gas. I have to fill up my tank regardless of the season. It’s not like listening to holiday music will make me say, “Ooh, it’s Christmastime, I think I need to upgrade to premium gas today. A little holiday splurge!”
- Bell ringers who hound you. Hey, dipshit, I gave when I went into the store. Don’t look for me to give on the way out, too.
- Kids home on winter break. is is another love/hate one. Each year, come December I have visions of the four of us decorating the house, baking cookies, and making homemade gifts for our friends, our family, and the neighbors. When I wake up on the first day of winter break and the kids are fighting with each other and whining for television and food. We try to decorate the tree, but their “help” just creates more fighting and stress, because they’re moving so slowly and I just want it to be done already. We never bake, because none of us can make a cookie that anyone would want to eat. Adolpha and I can work in the craft room for hours, but Gomer always finishes his projects in fifteen minutes and then complains he’s bored. And the Hubs refuses to join in on any of the memory making, choosing instead to take a nap.
- Moving the Elf on the Shelf. Obviously.
This is just a sampling of the hilarity in the book! You must read it for yourself!
Here is my review:
Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Yuletide Yahoos, Ho-Ho-Humblebraggers, and Other Seasonal Scourges by Jen Mann
For fans of Laurie Notaro and Jenny Lawson comes an uproarious and oddly endearing essay collection for anyone trying to survive the holidays in one piece.
When it comes to time-honored holiday traditions, Jen Mann pulls no punches
In this hilariously irreverent collection of essays, Jen Mann, nationally bestselling author of People I Want to Punch in the Throat, turns her mordant wit on the holidays. On Mann’s naughty list: mothers who go way overboard with their Elf on the Shelf, overzealous carolers who can’t take a hint, and people who write their Christmas cards in the third person (“Joyce is enjoying Bunko. Yeah, Joyce, we know you wrote this letter.”). And on her nice list . . . well, she’s working on that one. Here, no celebration is off-limits. The essays include:
• You Can Keep Your Cookies, I’m Just Here for the Booze
• Nice Halloween Costume. Was Skank Sold Out?
• Why You Won’t Be Invited to Our Chinese New Year Party
From hosting an ill-fated Chinese New Year party, to receiving horrible gifts from her husband on Mother’s Day, to reluctantly telling her son the truth about the Easter Bunny, Mann knows the challenge of navigating the holidays while keeping her sanity intact. And even if she can’t get out of attending another Christmas cookie exchange, at least she can try again next year.
Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Ballantine Books
Four stars: A hilarious and realistic look at the holidays.
For all you who are tried of all the mayhem, greed and keeping up with the Joneses when it comes to the holiday season, this is a must read book. It is a laugh out loud, realistic and funny book at the holidays and all the good, bad and ugly. If you are like me, and are tired of the rat race here are some reasons why you need to read this book.
- The title: Seriously, how can you resist a book with a title like that?
- You secretly want to punch all those over achievers that you know in the throat, but can't, so now you can relate with someone who gets it by reading this book.
- You want validation for your feelings regarding the holidays.
- You need tips on how to handle that awkward moment when you open the door and find a gaggle of enthusiastic Christmas Carolers.
- How to handle holiday lights.
- What to do when it comes to the dreaded Cookie Exchange.
- You need tips on writing that annual Christmas letter.
- How to not be an overachiever when it comes to the Elf on the Shelf.
- How to survive the holiday season, and the other holidays in general without punching people in the throat.
- How not to act on Christmas day when you don't get what you really want, like a pretend Mcdonald's.
- You want to laugh at the holidays instead of stressing out!
Reasons Not to Read This Book
- You love everything about the holiday season, and you can't stand the thought of others treating it sacrilegiously.
- You are a total holiday overachiever. You completely deck out your house inside and out.
- You love to bake dozens and dozens of cookies and exchange them.
- You love writing the holiday letter.
- You excel at doing the Elf on the Shelf and you are totally on board with the tips on this blog.
- You absolutely love it when carolers come to your door.
- You live to hear Christmas music.
- You live, breath and love the holiday season, no matter what.
Seriously, this book is a must read for anyone who needs to know they aren't alone when it comes to the hassle of the holidays. I could totally relate to Ms. Mann's humorous posts. I admit, I hate opening the door and standing there while people sing Christmas carols, talk about awkward. Not to mention, I totally fail when it comes to the Elf on the Shelf, I forget to move him around. I am glad I am not the only one.
If you want a wickedly funny read, grab this one. If you are a holiday enthusiast, this is not the book for you, and you will likely be on many people's list of people they want to punch in the throat. I had a great time, and I recommend this book for anyone with a edgy sense of humor.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.
Whether you are a holiday overachiever or a slacker, I truly hope that you all enjoy the season!
Finally, Thanks to the wonderful folks over at Penguin Random House Publishing, I am able to offer a chance to win a copy of Spending Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat.
a Rafflecopter giveaway