Sometimes the holidays can get to you: The crowds, the pressure to buy gifts, the fruitcake. If you think you've become sour as you've grown older, maybe the problem is seeing decorations up in October, inescapable carols for weeks, and the heartwarming and cute Disney It's a Small World-like drumbeat march of ads that find you wherever you go, in the real world or online.
Take heart, because technology is here to lend you a hand. Here are some games and apps that will help you shut out the mania and support your inner Scrooge.
The Krampus gameFor those who haven't yet heard, in the Alpine realms there is a counterpart to the Saint Nicholas story: His evil sidekick, Krampus. St. Nick brought the presents and cheer; Krampus had the lumps of coal and the fear.
According to the legend, Krampus, who looked demonic, would punish children that had misbehaved. The really bad kids would find themselves tossed into a bag and dragged off to the lair of Krampus.
That should reduce the candy cane sugar shock.
Block out the carols
One of the most insistent and ubiquitous aspects of the season is the presence of holiday music. Whether Jingle Bells or Deck the Halls, these familiar and tunes that are pleasant and fun in moderation have become the harbingers of earwig madness. You've heard them creeping up for weeks. Now they've surrounded you.
Not to worry, there are things you can do. One is to make your protest known with the Little Drummer Boy Challenge. The idea is to go for as long as possible -- up to 12:00 AM the morning of Christmas Eve -- without hearing the song. If you do hear it, you fall to the wayside,
And to help avoid the diminutive percussion player, keep some headphones connected to your smartphone and listen to something else. If you're bored with your collection, use streaming media like Pandora or Spotify or Rdio. And if you're feeling really oppressed, you can crank up some early punk. Maybe listen to the Ramones on Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight).
Indulge some Christmas cruelty
If you're so far over the edge that only some childish acting out will save your sanity, here's a thought: Use a parking space app to nail down a spot near a busy mall. Sit in the car until you see someone starting to drive up. Turn on your car, put it into reverse, as if you were about to leave, and then change your mind, nicely shrug your shoulders to the auto-bound consumer, and wave them on with a smile.
Or you could just go online and send orders of bad fruitcake to people you particularly dislike.