Friday, December 24, 2010

Grog some 'nog and sleep until New Year's

Like any kid, I used to spend the whole year waiting for Christmas.  On Christmas Eve I would wake up around 3AM and, unable to control the adrenaline flowing through my diminutive person, re-enact the prison cell-workout scene from Cape Fear again and again.  After three hours of chin-ups on my Barbie coat rack, my parents would collect my sweaty, lifeless corpus from the floor and lay me gently under the tree.  When my hummingbird of a heart regained its rhythm, I would awake to a forest of rocking horse wrapping paper, pine needles, and presents.  Christmas was here again.

Within the past eight years however, that trend has reversed.  My mom now imposes a mandatory wake up for 11AM, at which point my sister and I tromp to the living room to open gifts.  Although I never intended to experience Christmastime with the lifeless cynicism of a Target cashier, I now realize that the shift is inevitable.  For the first time, I can sympathize with Lewis Black's aimless rage.  I can almost understand why Jewish families wouldn't want to eat Chinese food for the umpteenth time...almost.  Still, in an effort to combat those forces which atrophy the holiday spirit--aging, crowds, spending, the sound of my boss's voice--this year I sent out greeting cards.  I encourage you to do the same, and offer the following excerpts as suggestions.

For the atheist on your list
"Seasonal Tidings to the atheist who’s more self-righteous than Christians could ever be."

For our Jewish friends
"Happy Hanukkah!  Please enjoy the relatively minor holiday foisted upon you by our guilty consciences.  At least we only absconded with the month of December."

For the person who condones "satirical racism"
"Even Roald Dahl was an anti-Semite, and he was whimsical as fuck!  Happy Holiday."

For the coworker who insists on reminding you that yours isn't the only religion, you know
"Hey, asshole, you’re welcome for the days off work.  Congrats on reaping the benefits of Christianity while denouncing everything it represents."

For your pan-spiritual aunt and uncle

"I bought these cards from an animal rescue league.  What the fuck have you done to celebrate mankind?"

For the grandparent who had a recent stroke

"To the Golden Girl who smells like frankincense and myrrh-murs inaudibly at dinner.  God Jul!*"

For Christopher Hitchens
I bet you've been miserable for the past month and a half.  You probably haven't even left your home for fear that someone would express contentment or do something in an obscenely joyful manner.  Yet in the spirit of the season, I'd love nothing more than for you to enjoy a very merry holiday and a most blessed and spiritually fulfilling New Year.  If you think I'm being passive aggressive, I can assure you that I'm not.  How would a feeble mind like mine even grasp the concept?

P.S. I'm sure you're wondering how this greeting card came to fruition.  I happened to dictate this letter to my husband, albeit in jolting starts and stops.  [Contractions and word choice his.]

*It means "Merry Christmas" in Swedish.  If you've ever eaten lutefisk you can understand why a person would be glad to see the only member of the family who can make it is now unable.  Threat neutralized, so to speak.  Sorry, world.

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