I’ve pontificated before (okay, ranted) about the seasonal stupidity that threatens the otherwise festive nature of Christmastime. First, I gave you 10 THINGS ABOUT CHRISTMAS THAT REALLY BUG ME. Then, I penned 10 MORE THINGS ABOUT CHRISTMAS THAT REALLY BUG ME. Now? You’re soaking in it, mes amis.
The Gift Card Haters. Okay, I’ll give you a husband should have more going for him than reducing his marriage to a fifty dollar gift card from Lowe’s. But anyone who gets pissy because a coworker or friend and distant relative thought enough to essentially give them spending money at a place they might like to spend said money should have their egg nogged.
The Colors. Red and Green? Yeah. Not the most inspired. Halloween has black and orange and that makes sense. Green? Okay, the tree thing, yeah, I’ll give you that. And red, the Santa stuff maybe, why not? But together, these complementary colors just sort of leave me lukewarm.
Traffic cops and whistles. Okay, this one’s personal. I was wrapping gifts for a charity at a mall the other day and the mall traffic was so bad that they had to hire some off duty cops to direct traffic (because most of the idiots behind the wheel don’t know what to do at a four-way stop, apparently). Well, I wrapped gifts for four hours to the sounds of this over-zealous traffic cop tweeting on his whistle every ten seconds. Tweet! Tweet tweet! Tweet! Tweeeet! Tweet-a-tweet- tweet! You try listening to that and not want to shove coal up somebody’s stocking.
Naughty or nice as double entendre. Somewhere along the way, some adults thought it would be fun to sexualize Santa Claus. Naughty elves, a hot Mrs. Claus, reindeer games (you know what I mean). And each and every one of these bozos will attempt to co-opt the phrase “naughty or nice” as some kind of speakeasy access to triple Xmas shenanigans. “Have you been naughty or nice?” “I’ve been veeeeery naughty, Santa.” “Ho ho HO!”
Happy Holidays! Every year, you get the diehards who bitch and moan about how people don’t say “Merry Christmas” anymore and how “Happy Holidays” is demeaning the Yuletide spirit. Well, I like to say “Happy Holidays” because there are multiple holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, heck I’ll even throw in Boxing Day. I may only see folks once at year’s end, so by using the salutation “Happy Holidays” I get ‘em all in. Anybody whines about how I’m ruining Christmas because I’m thoughtfully inclusive can bloody well suck it.
Switches in the stocking. What do you get when you cross a festive holiday with the threat of child abuse? Switches in the stocking. Always struck me as some Victorian holdover that deserved Social Services to come a-callin’.
Adults believing in Santa. Why do people think an adult who still believes in Father Christmas is charming? This year, I’ve been treated to a half dozen television series that played with that premise. Usually characters surrounding this person go out of their way to keep this belief alive, calling it childlike and innocent. When in real-life, you know someone over the age of 16 who still thinks Santa comes down the chimney every year and you’re gonna put them on special meds.
The sad trees. The ones that are left at the Christmas tree lots on December 25. You drive by and they’re all just sitting there, unloved. Hey, I got picked last for kickball, I know how it feels!
Bad Santa. Not the Billy Bob Thorton film, the real bad Santas – the ones that are just phoning it in or should never have put on the suit. You find them at malls and department stores and wherever kids need a lap and a hope. Most of these guys are okay. They have real beards and bellies full of jelly and they can manage a passable Ho Ho Ho without embarrassing themselves. But those other guys, the bad Santas. They might as well be punching kids right in the face.
Hermey the Elf. He wanted to be a dentist and everyone gave him $#!& for it. What? Santa’s got a medical plan so damn good he can’t add some dental to it? They don’t need tooth work at the North Pole? You tellin’ me with all those candy canes and gingerbread houses around they don’t get cavities? Wait, some of you are defending this travesty – it’s MAGIC, you say, as if magic, that catch-all for lazy writing, explained anything. Hey, magic doesn’t make the toys. Magic doesn’t train the reindeer. Magic didn’t help Santa get through the fog. Magic doesn’t do diddly squat! Elves need a freakin’ dentist and Hermey was the go-to dude. Instead of razzing the guy, applaud his drive and gumption. Don’t make fun of him for wanting to be a dentist, make fun of him for getting his diploma online from the University of Phoenix!
Sparky MacMillan is the official sentry of the Isle of Misfit toys.