The Cruel Side Of Yuletide

nearly a fortnight later:

the madness! the relentless attention i must distribute to the inane masses just to get through the day! the endless repetition of conversation that i endure to remain on the safe side of sane.

the holidays bring an armada of random insanity exhibited by otherwise normal people going about their day. instead of allowing generosity and the ideal of peace and goodwill to determine their character, a gross, misplaced sense of entitlement burns swaths across the streets, cities and hemisphere. laying selfish waste towards those who must tolerate them, from civil services to dinner servers, to retail clerks to clergymen, the innocent unfortunately must feel the subtle (and sometimes not so) brunt of ill behavior brought about by the holidays. whether trying to escape from family tension or struggling on an economical tightrope, the reasons don’t justify this malfeasance. it may merely be overindulgence or the overwhelming pressure of absurd societal demands, these causes drive some people to act unbearably unbecoming while supposedly enjoying the season.

these misgivings defy the very nature of the holidays and as long as there is unwarranted stress that becomes unwelcome abuse, these particular winter days oughta be tossed into the wilderness, forever to be lost in the bottom of the coal pile. long fuel for the frigid winter instead of tons of gasoline for the silly christmas consumer machine.


Jesus Christmas

Have you ever seen Jesus dressed as Santa? Not like a mockery but more of a combination of ideas, how you know that if, in his day, Jesus would totally be down with being Santa Claus and handing out presents. I’ve been hearing about the guy who has a nativity scene of Jesus shooting (they use the word “murder”) Santa Claus with a shotgun. I have mixed feelings about this. I don’t know whether to laugh out loud or roll on the floor laughing. It’s not like the gun was in the other hand, right?

What I do know is that dragging a tree into the house or hanging lights on the gutters or throwing loose change into a bell-ringer’s bowl doth not a Christmas make. It is part of the egg nog experience, though. Whatever holiday you call it, whatever you do to have it and whatever goodness it brings to those around you, I’m glad to be a part of it. Except for the shopping, the lines, the traffic, the insolent louts who are always in my way and those bell ringing bastards opening store doors for me as if I would then give my nickels to their multinational charity outfit who has ties to organized crime.

I do however, dig the whole jingling, fireplace, warm hearth and good grub going on this time of year.

Post Christmas Partum

Oooh, all that anticipation, seeing all those gifts under the tree sometimes for weeks at a time, juggling all the shopping, cooking, driving, list making, budgeting schedules and money, standing in long lines, swallowing the stress all the while remembering to deliver some laughter where it counts.

Battalions of kids storming doorways and yards, shaking hands with in-laws and hugging everyone else, you get it all during the holidays. Then in a giant yuletide climax replete with singing songs and drinking copious amounts of nog, it’s done. In a flash it’s all finished, nothing left but living room shrapnel and the work week looming.

We should all have to do the month after Christmas, it would be nice to have a few weeks to just relax after that last snifter of cognac is sipped, and the last relative has returned home, it would be nice to rest the ol’ perineum after all that preparation, work, and admittedly, fun.

Merry Christmas, From Payless

It’s this time of year that grips you in the middle of routine moments and shakes the goodness from your bones so you can share it with others. This time of year is when generosity and benevolence labor to overcome the hot-blooded impulse for expensive things that don’t really mean anything.

Even in the farthest reaches of the planet, this time of year is absolutely inescapable.

Obligatory Holiday Post

Taking a page from a blog that I enjoy reading, I’m going to treat holiday posts like most people treat Christmas card lists. The same old card for everyone you know, just sign and seal then drink some nog.

In 366 days this exact post will be reused and its sentiment will not dwindle, it will be more tried and true, like a fine wine or a smokin’ g-milf. That’s right, a “g” for “grandma”. This post will carry more weight and meaning after a year of percolating during everyday life.

While you’re celebrating Boxing Day, Chanukah, Christmas, Diwali, Guy Fawkes Day, Kwanzaa, Lunar New Year, Posadas, Ramadan or if you’re just waiting for March Madness, god bless you and all the best to your friends and family.

Guzzle some nog, wear elastic pants to the table, open some loot, give some happiness, and most of all, remember why you love and enjoy each minute with those close to you. And if you find yourself being extra nice this time of year, maybe try spreading a little of that through spring and summer instead, because life is precarious, a truck full of marshmallows and cotton candy is still a truck if it happens to pop a curb while you’re standing there caroling.

Hey Santa, Got Change For A Dollar?

Too many times I’m in line at the supermarket (they still call it that?) shoulder tapping a case of Bud Dry and listening to the ding of the cash register, wondering which mixed tape I’m going to jam on my new auto-reverse walkman. Too many times.

On the checkout counter there is a box with Jerry Lewis’s face on it giving a look of comic yet perpetual guilt asking me to give money for MS research. Or the March of Dimes. Or a Christian adoption agency or some other charity that props up a cute but unfortunate child to beg for my spare change saying that it only takes a little to make a lot of difference.

Winter seasons are rife with doorways where a bell-ringing santa is waiting for a little cash donation. Let’s not forget that religious organizations (Army of Salvation) are exempt from filing with the Internal Revenue Service. That means my quarter goes into the little metal thing and is quite possibly GONE FOREVER, and whether it makes it into the grubby hands of a hungry homeless child or becomes another drop in the bucket for some leathery rich guy and his thousand-dollar prostitutes, I’ll never know.

I used to give to charities. No more. CEOs for the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association make a combined 130 million dollars a year. That’s making Ma and Pa Lunchbox all over the country run 5K’s until the end of natural time. Makes me want to smoke cigarettes because at least Big Tobacco practically advertises that your pants may be plundered with every box. The former president of UNICEF received over $400,000 a year and I went “Trick or Treating” for UNICEF and ran laps for that sonuvabitch. This guy probably has 3 houses paid for with 3 different denominations and I struggle with my looming mortgage while children starve across the globe. Oh, I’m sure some of the kids get fed but what about the droves of fly-eyed little ones or even the gap-toothed hungry mouths in America? Don’t they deserve something more than just a “My pay is merely a fraction of the cost of operations,” or “What’s money when giving life?” Oh no, you pious holiday bastards, if you say you’re helping children then, by god, you’d better do just that. He knows when you’re good or bad so you better be good.

They have these young ladies in Saigon that walk around and sell chewing gum to pedestrians and tourists. They also carry a baby in one arm and push the sleeping toddler into my face as if to evoke some charitable response. Little do they know that by posing as a callous jerk who thinks that anyone with two legs, two hands and a complete sentence can do something besides beg, I’m actually wishing that there was a better way for the less fortunate. Hear that, Jerry?

I have this discussion with a few people in my life and I always seem to lose. I’m told that most people who adamantly refuse donating to others will lead unhappy and stressful lives. I say they may be right. Moving on to the point:

If you’re going to give, give your time. It’s something no one can take and blow at The Bellagio or use to bankroll ski trips to Aspen with mistresses. That’s what I do. The “give your time,” part. Because you never know what your dollar may change but when you’re physically helping, you know that’s for real and that it makes a difference. It then lets us concentrate on what Christmas is really all about.