It's only November 25, Thanksgiving hasn't even happened yet, and already I'm tired of seeing holiday stuff everywhere. Stores start shoving Christmas down our throats earlier and earlier each year, and I think this year it started even before the Easter Bunny hopped back into his rabbit hole. Well, maybe not that early.... but I was seeing Christmas decorations in stores in September!!!
The holidays are already a lot of pressure. They aren't supposed to be though. No matter what you believe, holidays are supposed to be a time of joy! We're supposed be happy, enjoy and appreciate those close to us, and celebrate what we believe and live for.
Here's the thing though - I'm starting to feel the same way about the Christmas season as I do about a really really mean bully. Here are the reasons:
• Retail retail retail ... seriously, I don't want to be looking at Christmas kitsch while I'm still trying to decide on a Halloween costume! Red and green are NOT fall colors and I am NOT ready to start shopping yet! There are several significant holidays that are starting to get buried under Christmas rubble and most of all, nobody wants the Christmas season to last four months! Cut it out stores. Let me eat my turkey and pumpkin pie in peace.
• The airwaves ... Ok I'm going to say something that will shock many of you. Christmas music isn't that good. That's right.
Let's think about music for a second. Most of what gets produced is pretty disposable - a song is released, it gets airtime, and then it goes away when people get tired of it or the artist releases something else. EXCEPT CHRISTMAS MUSIC. Think of how many times you've heard any single by Mariah Carey compared to how many times you've heard that shitfest "All I Want For Christmas Is You" that she made back in nineteen ninety-something. That's right. If that were a non-holiday song it would have been played for two weeks and people would have been sick of it because it's TERRIBLE. It's a total music double-standard and I'm sick of it year after year. What time of the year can you still hear music by N'Sync played on a regular basis? Christmastime!
sidenote: You know that tearjerker song about the kid who buys his mom those mega expensive shoes because she's dying? Think about it. First of all, what's a dying woman gonna do with Jimmy Choos? How does some little kid know his mom's shoe size? And why can't he read the price tag and realize he doesn't have nearly enough money to pay for them.... well I'll tell you. That kid is running a scam on that dumb guy behind him in line. His mom is not dying and he returned those shoes the next day. Bam. Free money. I bet he went and bought a Wii with it. Tug our heartstrings, get a Wii. Nice. (Thanks Britney)
• Television ... November = time for Christmas movies, apparently. I have a lot of the same criticism for most Christmas movies as I do for Christmas songs, but the difference is a movie is around two hours while a song is only about 3 minutes. Like songs, Christmas movies recycle ideas like crazy. I mean, ANOTHER Christmas Carol was released a couple of weeks ago! How many Christmas Carol movies do we REALLY need? Well I googled it, and there are over 200 versions including a porno! My point is, 3-D or not, we didn't need another one. Seriously, it wasn't even Dickens' best work (that was Great Expectations, my favorite book EVER). Also, who wants to go see a Christmas Movie in the middle of November? Who's brain fart of a release date was that?
Another thing... please please please for your own sanity avoid those made for tv movies starring Kathy Ireland, Valerie Bertinelli Tim Allen or anyone else who can't get work these days (Lindsay Lohan as a cokewhore elf anyone?). Just say no!
There are, however, some really good Christmas movies, so howabout you bypass the sappy made-for tv or straight to video abominations and check out one of these:
• A Christmas Story
• National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (the first one ONLY)
• How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original animated one. If you get the Jim Carrey one I will cut you))
• Miracle on 34th Street (either is fine, but I like the original better)
• A Charlie Brown Christmas
• Die Hard
• Love Actually
• The Nightmare Before Christmas
• Santa Claus: The Movie (not the Tim Allen one. This one is actually good and that whiny, spoiled kid is not in it)
• Scrooged (because it's Bill Murray, that's why)
• Any of the claymation Christmas movies, like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
• The Muppet Christmas Carol (just forward through the parts where anyone but a muppet sings and you'll love it)
• Television part II .... that's right. Commercials!!! Dear GAP, Kay Jewelers, Lexus, Hallmark, Jared The Galleria of Jewelry, Victoria's Secret, Zales and anyone else who will be assaulting my eyes and ears with jingles, dancing, guilt trips and stupid taglines. STOP IT. You aren't doing anything for me but activating my vomit reflex. Seriously, if I hear "every kiss begins with Kay" one more time I'm going to stab myself in the ear with a butter knife.
Ok my last grievance is going to be really hard to express without making me sound like a total ass. I'll preface it by saying I love giving to charities, people in need, etc. I give what time and money I can, in the spirit of helping and in the spirit of the season. But there is so much pressure coming from all sides from organizations and charities for more and more and more - it loses something. Instead of generosity and giving, it becomes obligation and guilt and taking. I recently read in the local paper that the Salvation Army is adding credit card swipers to their buckets!! It's that "give us more" mentality that turns people off to it. I mean, I've always dropped money into every one of those buckets I see throughout the holiday season. If I swipe my card, yeah I'll give more but I'm likely to only do it once. It's almost like greed is replacing charity, and that is dangerous.
So yeah, I think a combination of all this overload of commercialized crap is what is ruining Christmastime these days. We are supposed to celebrate life and giving and love. We are supposed to be thankful for all that we have been given and for the people who mean the most to us. Instead we feel pressure, guilt and stress. Everything around us assaults our senses and irritates us instead of lifting us up. We forget what Christmas is all about. We lose the true meaning of the holiday and never truly celebrate it....
I realize I sound like a total Scrooge, and we all know that there are already too many of those! I can't do anything about the Christmas attack that stores, radio and tv have waged on this country, but I can do something about my attitude. This year, Christmas season starts on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. I'm going to remember what the season truly represents, and I'm going to embrace the joy that comes with that meaning. Until then, I'm going to gorge myself on turkey and cranberry sauce and stuffing. I'm going to watch football on the couch in a delicious overstuffed food coma.