Every year, the same damn article gets written about Christmas: some whiny wet blanket starts kvetching about how they’ve “stopped the insanity” in their household and now they don’t buy each other anything, and it’s a quiet time of reflection and homemade crafts and all that crap. This year, Newsweek has a doozy, but it could be the same article any year for the past two decades, so I’d just like to say ENOUGH ALREADY.
I’m sorry to break it to you Luddites-come-lately, but the crass commercialism of Christmas is what makes it so great. The anticipation, the trembling hands, the excited giggles of kids tiptoeing down the stairs on Christmas morning at 5:45am is not for the Christ Child, nor is it so that parents can unfurl their woodcarvings: it is for PLASTIC STUFF, and THINGS WITH BATTERIES, and ELECTRONIC GADGETS and CRAP THAT MAKES NOISE.
listing all the shit I want, 1969
Boy, you anti-Xmas people with your whimpering about the traffic and going on for hours about how crowded the malls are, you should be penalized for cliché. Christmas is Christmas because anything worth doing is occasionally difficult. Now with the internet delivering anything you want to your doorstep, you have nothing to complain about anyway.
When I was a kid, I got lots of presents – we all did – whether it was a flush year for Dad or not. When I was broke during the crazy ’90s, I still got people insane gifts. Now that I have two dimes to rub together, I not only host Christmas, but I’ll even shave the Christmas goose with a Mach 3 if I have to. While the rest of the hoity-toity world tut-tuts when their neighbors put up plastic reindeer and 7-foot-tall candy canes, I think “well at least someone’s TRYING!”
I’ve got news for you, O Blog Readers, we came of age in the Christmases of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s – and that means those football games that vibrate, Cabbage Patch doll mania, Green Machines, and my orange Huffy 10-speed with pistol-grip handlebars. The only “memories of Christmas past” come from various lyrics of the Chestnuts Roasting song and “Sleigh Ride” (which wasn’t supposed to have lyrics anyway). All this pining for some lost meaningful Christmas is a bunch of crap.
Do you know where meaning is? It’s in STUFF. As in getting it, and receiving it. So go ahead and break out the aerosol cans of window frost, and the multicolored lights that blink to music. Get a real tree and wear gloves if you’re scared of sap. Spike your eggnog, get dressed up, and indulge in material things. We live in a society so bereft of ritual that we should be happy to have a day when anything can be bought, including love.
There’s 12 people coming to my house for Christmas, and they all got each other something. That’s 144 presents! Or something like that, I failed calculus. Either way, I get to see a lot of people opening up a lot of crap, and that’s all the spiritual warmth I need.
Editors note: the author’s wife does not agree with this blog entry