Christmas. Feels like just yesterday I was complaining about the insensitivity of atheists and suggesting that you should all go watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
. How fast the year goes by…can’t believe that the holly jolly time of year is upon us again.
I personally have been raised to love Christmas. The traditions, the celebration, family get-togethers, eating, music, presents…everything about it has been indoctrinated into my being. As I grew older, I began to wonder why in the hell anyone would not
love Christmas. I mean, c’mon, it’s so fantastic, right?
Well, not everyone had the family I had. And to be honest, as I grew older I got sicker and sicker of the commercialization of Christmas. Basically what happened was the celebration of the birth of our Savior was immortalized by a 1st Century Saint who secretly gave gifts…and thousands of years later people figured to follow his lead by pepper spraying each other for video game systems.
Yeah that makes sense…wait, what the hell?
Now, I think it’s incredibly easy to give up on this holiday. I mean, do we really need to commercialize this any further? I get the fact that the economy relies on this time of year, but perhaps we can just skip Christmas…but I think not. Relish, my friends, my guide to overcoming the most annoying “holiday” traditions in this month’s column so you can once again enjoy your Christmas for what it is!
Annoyance: Christmas Music Playing in Early November
According to the radio stations, as soon as Halloween is over it’s time to lay it on thick with the Christmas music. It’s disgusting really, we haven’t even reached Thanksgiving yet and we’re hearing Bing Crosby
crooning about a white Christmas. Cripes, it’s November! We’ll have plenty of time for winter later.Solved: Turn Off the Radio Stations that Play Christmas Music
Radio works like television…if they don’t get the ratings, they have to change the format. Hell, I turn off my radio whenever I hear a radio ad for the company I used to work for (bunch of crooked bastards) with the hope that the station will get the hint…yes, I know how insane that sounds. So if you hear a station playing Burl Ives
, shut that sucker off! If anyone you know is listening, tell them to stop it…and if it takes you acquiescing to going caroling come December, I think that’s a sacrifice I’d be willing to make.
Annoyance: Black Friday Idiots
We’ve all seen it: the idiots out on the day after (or even of
Thanksgiving) to go save 80% on merchandise. Now for the most part, people are really just out…perhaps on tradition, maybe just to save some money…and they do not go apeshit. However, you will also see those camping out as early as noon on Thanksgiving Day to get in line to be first in line to buy an IPad
. Seriously? Do we not forget the point of Christmas…as in being together with your family? So to be the first to buy this crap you’re going to sacrifice time with your loved ones to buy
stuff for your loved ones?!?Solved: If You Go Out on Black Friday, Be Intelligent
Personally, I usually avoid the crowds. But if you do go, just do so later in the day. Odds are there will be great deals regardless, plus you don’t have to feel guilty about dragging some poor soul out from their Thanksgiving meal to check you out at their retailing job.
Annoyance: Obnoxious Christmas Programming
I love me some Christmas movies. There are some really great ones, but as I’ve noticed over the years the specials have waned in quality. I get that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
isn’t the pinnacle of stop-motion animation, but it’s charming in its own way. But hell, it’s way better than dealing with these new programs foisted upon us that give us so much hokey cheese we’re bound to become lactose intolerant just by viewing them. I’ve actually become aware of a program (and song) entitled The Christmas Shoes
. I nearly puked…and will not sully this column with the explanation; go look it up yourself. And how many versions of A Christmas Carol
must we view before we can get some relief? Let’s face it: Scrooge McDuck
and George C. Scott
did it best.Solved: Play the Classics, Avoid the Rest
Hey, I’m all for giving a great holiday flick, so that’s why I throw in Die Hard
. If it’s on a “family channel”, just don’t watch. If you have little kids, show them the shows and movies you loved from yesteryear. I’ll touch on those below in my Mantastic Selections
Annoyance: Family Get-Togethers are Strained
Hey, I’m not stupid – not every Christmas is that great for every family. Some relatives are awkward, some annoying, some creepy. How can you manage to power through?Solved: Alcohol
Myself? If I’m in over my head, I reach for the scotch. Pick your poison.
: A Christmas Story
– “Only one thing in the world could've dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.” Classic…the ultimate guy Christmas movie (not counting Bruce Willis
vehicles). We all remember being a little boy, wanting that one thing more than anything. And who comes through for him? Good old Dad. TV Show
: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
– While technically a “movie”, this was actually aired as a Christmas television special in 1966. Brilliant adaptation of the Dr. Seuss
classic, and wonderfully narrated by Frankenstein’s monster himself, Boris Karloff
. Show this to your kids instead of the crap on television. Song
: Let It Snow
- Vaughn Monroe
. While I actually prefer Dean Martin
crooning this Christmas classic, Mr. Monroe
was the gent who sang it over the end of Die Hard
, making one of the greatest action films end on a humorous note. A great way to end your day after killing several terrorists.Book
: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
– C.S. Lewis
. While not technically a “Christmas book”, the Pevensie children do get a visit from Father Christmas when Narnia begins to mend from Jadis’s wickedness. The first book of The Chronicles of Narnia
(though the second chronologically after The Magician’s Nephew
), it is a classic tale for all regardless of age.
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