There are so many reasons why I hate the start of the Christmas season, at least the commercial version of it. I’m not sure when it started but I was ecstatic in college when I was given an Advent calendar that included the Christmas Octave.
My cousin says it’s because I know too much, that may be the case now, but back then I think it was just an annoyance.
I hate having to buy Halloween decorations in early September, that Christmas movies run 24/7 on some TV stations from October 1st through New Year’s, and the supposed “war on Christmas, among other things.
I look for anything for an escape, at least until Gaudete Sunday, so imagine how I felt when my coach told the group about the “12 sets of Christmas” challenge.
I’ve heard stories about swim practices during holiday breaks, “Grinch week” or “hell week” are common terms, although mostly in younger groups. Usually time around the holidays is devoted to fun games that happen to double as technique work or some sort of cross training, so I thought the sets would be like that.
It was going to be unpleasant, to the point where I would probably hate it.
I tried making the argument that it was Advent and not Christmas, at least at the time. I threw out the “Catholic card,” knowing it wouldn’t get very far but it was worth a try. It wasn’t totally bailing on the challenge, just putting it off. Anything that would buy me a few more days without time trials makes for a better practice.
However, the “12 Sets of Christmas” was to be completed in December. Thus, covering both the Advent and Christmas seasons, more or less. So even if my argument had held up it wouldn’t have been for long.
It did get me to focus less on Christmas and more on what I was actually doing, which is a good thing, and an essential for a 400-yard Individual Medley, for time, among other things associated with swimming well, or at least well-ish.
I survived Advent and Christmas, and the associated swim sets, actually, I think the swim sets helped take the edge off the intensity of the holiday season.
Although I think it’s weird that the Valentines paraphernalia made an appearance during Advent.