It’s November 29th, which means it might as well be December 24th for the next three and a half weeks. Things are already in a frenzy. Commercialism. Traffic. Silly candy cane-colored outfits. E-cards and parties. People dressing their animals like reindeers. Christmas is kind of a whore.
I know people get butt hurt when I act sour about the holidays. I’m not poo-pooing the entire thing. I do like peppermint lattes, popcorn tins nd the smell of pine trees. (See my first rant, “Stupid Christmas.”) But here’s what I hate about it all.
- The evil sound of jingle bells. It triggers me. When I hear it I feel pressure to shop or wrap or just be cheery. I’m convinced there’s a psychology behind it, like the cha-ching of slot machines, which is also evil. Not that I don’t love wasting money in slot machines, because I most certainly do.
- Life-sized figures from The Nutcracker Suite. Their faces look like John Wayne Gacy.
- Christmas carols. I’ve never roasted chestnuts on an open fire, I have no idea what a turtle dove is and I grew up in L.A. which means I’ve never been in weather that was less than sunny and gorgeous on Christmas day. What’s a “white Christmas?” Can’t relate. I’ll probably be listening to The Smiths all month.
- The color red. Everyone wears it. Red sweaters, red lipstick. It’s gaudy.
- The sheer, obnoxious force of all the advertising on TV, which usually features jingle bells. I hear you, Target, and I know you have special holiday hand towels and socks and chachkis. It’s Christmas. I fuckin’ get it.
- The Santa thing. Lying to kids, telling them some ledger-keeping big guy from the north pole is going to break into your house and litter the living room with gifts is just weird. And I can’t help but notice most parents (including my own) just let their kids figure out on their own that there is no Santa, with no discussion whatsoever. Way to go.
- All the togetherness. I love my friends, I love my family. But on Thanksgiving my husband and I stayed home and did pretty much nothing. We did cook a little, and we watched like 10 hours of crap on TV. That was it. Having said that, maybe we’ll have a party. I’m a writer. I spend way too much time alone, and at least I won’t have to leave the house.
- It’s wasteful. How many times have you seen this: “The Gift For The Person Who Has Everything!” No one needs crystal napkin holders. People are starving in the world. Come on.
- I feel bad for homeless people. It’s true. I think about how they were once kids, kids who had Christmas and got presents and never thought they’d be homeless. Dammit. I might have to put some clothes and blankets together right now and drop them off somewhere. Everyone deserves a little dignity, no matter what time of year it is.
- It makes me miss my parents. There, I said it. They loved Christmas. They loved decorating. My dad would hang those big multicolored lights, the fire hazard ones that I believe have been outlawed. I’m surprised the house never burned down. My mom would cook a ham (which I’m sorry, but I never liked) and serve it up on fancy plates. I bought a box of Stove Top stuffing the other day, in case we wanted to be lazy and make it on Thanksgiving. I just realized that’s what she would make. No wonder I crave it sometimes, like corned beef hash in a can. When we were all older, my parents would go serve lunch at the police station on Christmas day. I always felt like I grew up in a small town.
The one thing I do love: the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Not gonna lie, it gets me every time. “Merry Christmas, you old building and loan! Merry Christmas, Mr. Potter!” (sniffle.) Other than that, screw it, maybe we should just go ahead and cancel Christmas this year. If not, see ya at my house!