December 6, 2006

Christmas, Shmistmas

My brother David is an amazing person. He is kinder than I (and anyone who knows my mom will have already heard this), works extremely hard, and is one of the funniest people I know. Unfortunately, my brother David is also naive and impressionable. Every year, David and a large portion of the American population fall into a 25 day trance of "Christmas cheer". As the triggers for this delerium are already blindingly present in grocery stores and shopping malls, I can't help but feel a responsibility to shed some light on the darker side of this wretched holiday.

So, let's first look at our man of the hour, Mr. S. Claus, a.k.a. Kris Kringle, a.k.a. Papa Noel, a.k.a. Father Christmas. These are just the pseudonyms I remembered off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure he has a different name for every country in the world. Anyone with that many names seems a bit suspicious if you ask me. Could it be that he is trying to hide from something? Perhaps the fact that he operates the largest annual house arrest on the planet? Or maybe that he has enslaved hundreds of thousands of child laborers to drive his toy production and likely broken dozens of animal cruelty laws by strapping innocent deer to the front of his get-a-way sleigh. When the front headlight on my car goes out, I go and buy a new one so that I can see clearly through the night. Santa, on the other hand, hijacks bambi and surgically appends a red light to his nose. I won't even fault him for setting a terrible example for children as a highly obese man with a penchant for kissing married mommies under the mistletoe. Smells like a homewrecker to me, and while some make the argument he is jovial, I find him nautiously ignorant and on a fast track towards a triple bypass.

And then there are all the cult hymns playing on too many radio stations from late October to mid-January. I'm convinced that Mariah Carey is in collaboration with the evil minds behind all of this as her rendition of "All I Want for Christmas" is a part of every 60 minute playlist that is repeated every hour of every day in every week for the entirety of the three month season. And who could forget Ms. Barbra Streisand singing her warm rendition of "Christmas Memories". What would you know about Christmas memories Barbra? You are Jewish, and last time I checked, you had your own holiday to sing songs about. And why is everyone fantasizing about having a white Christmas? If people really wanted a white Christmas, they would fly to Alaska in December instead of high tailing it to Florida to plop a squat in front of the sun with a daiquiri in tote. Or maybe the white Christmas thing is just some undertone drug reference that I haven't picked up on.

I was raised Catholic, so I know the backstory. Was Jesus an important enough person to enjoy the longest lasting birthday party celebration of anyone in the world? Sure, he was a decent carpenter and knew a few cute parlor tricks. Can I split seas or mass produce fish to feed crowds of people? No, but I'm more impressed by the skills of David Blaine and Uncle Ben when it comes to that kind of magic. I'm sure he was a decent guy and had fun dinner parties, but I don't know anyone that is deserving of such festivity.

I'll end with these thoughts. If the holidays are really such a wonderful and happy time, they why does everyone seem so stressed, drive so horribly, and manage to get themselves so far into debt with all of the non-stop purchasing? When your normal diet changes to one with 150% more sugar and includes drinks composed of egg, cream, and rum, is it any wonder everyone is gaining weight? And why does this time of year suddenly make it desireable to wake up at 3:00am only to wait in freezing temperatures and mile long lines for 5% off of a DVD that will end up in a February clearance bin?

Go ahead, scoff at me and go back to your holiday hysteria. Hang your lights and deck your halls with boughs of holly and mistletoe (which, by the way, are both poisonous to humans). I'll just be sitting quietly in the corner, counting my pennies and stroking my coat of green fur until December 26th, when I'll have my own private party celebrating the furthest day away from the next Christmas.

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