Last year I regaled you with 10 Things About Christmas That Really Bug Me. I stand by the list. But it wasn’t complete. Not by far. So here are ten more.
How Much the 12 Days Cost. Every year some joker does his sums to come up with an accurate accounting of how much it would run to buy (or rent) all the things mentioned in the 12 Days Of Christmas tune. Sounds neat and fun in a slow news day kind of way but it’s honestly a total waste of time. Sure, maybe there was a king or a sultan or some kooky Trump type who at one time actually considered buying all these things for his true love, but for the majority of us the practicality of it all just staggers the imagination. Granted, the five gold rings might be a nice present (as might be the eight maids a-milking, if we play our cards right) but who wants to go cleaning up after all those swans and hens and turtle doves?
The War on Christmas. There isn’t one. End of story. So all you Bill O’Reillys can quit your bitchin’ and understand that your paranoia and bluster over nothing more than the rational assertion that maybe, hmm … yeah, church and state really should be separate makes us on what could probably be called “the other side” honestly want to start a freakin’ War on Christmas!
Ads in the style of classic Holiday Specials. Okay, maybe the first one in the style of a Rankin-Bass special was cute but the second one was just derivative. And any one that follows is a pale imitation.
Frosty the Snowman. I always found myself bothered by this guy. He wasn’t alive until a magician’s hat got placed on his head. Then he’s suddenly everyone’s frozen pal! So does that mean that every snowman is a form of life that’s being deprived of being by the mere lack of a hat? That’s creepy. And then he makes his way to the North Pole to hang with Santa. So what? He can’t really help him with his rounds because half the world is in the Southern hemisphere and therefore in summer during Christmastime. “Come on, Frosty! Hop on the sleigh! Time to deliver toys to all the good girls and boys! First stop: Australia!” “Uh … but Santa … I don’t think that’s such a good idea. I’ll just stay here and hang out in the walk-in freezer, okay?” Sure you can say that Santa’s magic keeps Frosty frosty but then why not just say the same magic hat that gives him his pseudo-life also affords him an invulnerability to heat as well? It’s freakin’ magic, people! No need to overthink it.
Office parties. Occasionally, they’re actually fun but more often than not they’re boring drudgeries that are only perfunctorily thrown by people who still lament the positive changes brought about by Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. Plus it’s a party with your co-workers: the people who drive you nuts and have developed backbiting and gossip to a fine art. Dental surgery without anesthetic sounds more pleasurable.
Mistletoe. Never works like it does on TV or in films. There’s always more awkwardness than there is liplocking. Like when you try to nudge past drunken Uncle Stanley at the family get together and he makes some weird comment about how you’re both under the mistletoe, heh heh. You’re not quite sure if he’s trying to get out some weak homophobic slur or actually making a pass at you.
Milk & cookies. They tell you Santa gets hungry on his rounds and so you should leave out some milk & cookies. You do so and then in the morning there’s a bite out of one of the cookies and half the milk is gone! Santa was here! Hallelujah! Of course as a kid you’ll buy anything. And that’s what gets me. It’s like all the adults got together and said, “Okay, we’ll tell the children that this old fat guy goes all around the world in one night and delivers toys to all the good girls and boys. He has flying reindeer and comes down your chimney.” “Ah hell. No way the kids are gonna buy that one.” “Well then we’ll tell them to leave out some kind of snack item and then we’ll eat some it while they’re asleep.” “Brilliant! No child would ever suspect we are lying to them!” See? It’s just overkill.
Santa’s sack. I don’t know when it became dirty, but somehow it’s now something people can’t say without snickering, like it’s a double entendre in a bad porno.
Bells. They just seem more prevalent during the holiday season - and therefore more annoying. Occasionally they can be put to good use as an actual instrument handled by a skilled percussionist. Occasionally. More often, it’s wielded by that yokel in front of the Super K begging for money. Clang clang! Clang-a-clang clang! Clang clang! Clang-a-clang clang! FOR HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS!!!!
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. Cute kiddie song? Hardly. The little brat singing the ditty is all a-titter that mommy’s kissing old St. Nick. He doesn’t know it’s his dad. In fact, he opines, “Oh what a laugh it would have been if Daddy had only seen Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night.” Ya think? Oh yeah. Dad would really have loved to catch his wife making out with another guy. Let’s face it, if the kid is correct and it’s not his pop in a fake beard then mommy is, at best, a flirt and a cheat or, at worst, whoring herself out to get the kid his Christmas presents.