December 15, 2004

Holiday Cheer

Fucking Christmas, man. Oh, don't get me wrong; I worship at the manger of the baby Jesus and adore the Jolly Old Elf. I love the traditional foods associated with Christmas, I embrace the holiday spirit, I love the crazed mass-consumerism that, November through December, props up the retail economy through the other three-hundred and four days of the year. A good American, all these things warm the cockles of my little dried peach-pit heart. There are, however, a few things about the Holiday season that I just can't abide, but am forced to swallow every year, lest I be called out publicly as the deviant personality that I really am. I will, though, tell you all about it:

1) My fucking relatives. Christ, but if my semi-moronic Boo-Radley cousin humps my leg this year, I'm putting a cap in his brainstem. I shit you not.

2) My fucking relatives. My nonagenarian grandpapa loves nothing better to sit at the Christmas feast and bitch about the "niggers" and the "Jews" in his loudest, Alzheimer's-ward bray. I have children, here. He busts the N-word over the Honey-Baked Ham this year, and I'm wheeling his senile old racist ass out on the porch for the duration, regardless of climactic conditions.

3) The Holiday Effect. Meaning, I can't run in to the Walgreen's for a pack of Depends without waiting in a goddamned twenty-minute line to pay for them. People buying cards. People buying lights. People buying The Santa Clause II on DVD. Like I said above, I am all for consumer frenzy...but the fallout is a bitch.

4) Holiday Television. Do you want to know a secret? I am, quite possibly, the only adult person in the northern hemisphere who has never seen It's A Wonderful Life. I'm not kidding. No, really. I am pushing forty and I've successfully managed to avoid that hoary cinematic chestnut every year. I hate any holiday television that isn't animated - to wit: South Park holiday specials, Charlie Brown, and the Grinch turn my crank, "Not Without My Daughter!"-style "women's television" tearjerkers (A Mom For Christmas, The Christmas Tree) and the Jim Carey Grinch are absolute crap and will not be viewed. Not. Having. Any.

5) Claxton's Fruit Cake. Why, God?

6) "Newsletter" Christmas cards. Look, people - if our relationship is such that you feel the need to create a précis of your family's events and happenings and send it to me once a year, you need to face facts. We aren't very close, and I probably don't give a rat's ass. Quit braggin' and get a blog, man.

7) The words "Prince Matchabelli". It's a fucking earworm. Prince Matchabelli. Prince Matchabelli. Prince Matchabelli.

8) Taking my rug-rats to sit on Santa's lap. It's a seasonal nightmare, but a ritual demanded by both sets of grandparents. I usually block out about four hours to get it done, start to finish, and that's just ridiculous. Do you know what it's like keeping three children in a line for four hours? No? Then, Holy Mother of God, let me enlighten you. It makes me feel like Sisyphus, like a herder of spastic goats who've eaten coffee grounds, like I'd like to blow my brains out. My husband doesn't know it yet, but this is one holiday task that's his this year.

9) Unscheduled Christmas Carolers. It's nine o'clock at night. The chirren are finally asleep, the lights are low, hubby is mixing a cocktail and I'm just about to lay into a juicy bong-hit...and the doorbell rings. Guess who? Hark the Fucking Herald Angels Sing! Now, where's the cocoa, Mrs. MacFarland? Where's our wassail, our mulled wine? Nine times out of ten, you know my cupboard will be bare of such exotica, and I'll end up handing out all of our Diet Cokes, beers, and juice boxes to the assembled. Not satisfying for anybody, and I get another trip to the Publix. I fucking hate that.

10) Holiday decorations that sing. You know the ones I mean - you walk by a tacky ornamental reindeer head in the mall and it begins to twitch and sing Rudolf. Or, the small, revolving Christmas Tree on a motion sensor that starts to belt out O Christmas Tree! every time you get up to have a slash. I see so many of these things on display in retail establishments this time of year, and I always pity the poor cashier stationed four feet from 'em. He or she has to listen to it, all day, every day. Now that's a holiday nightmare, enough to drive a soul bat-crazy. Who buys that shit?

I could go on, and on, and on. Really. Fucking Christmas, man.

Posted by Queenie at December 15, 2004 01:08 PM

I absolutely, positively love your blog.

There's a reason too, I have never seen "It's a Wonderful Life," either (35 here).

Fuck Santa and the mall. Watch, "Bad Santa" instead with the chirren. That'll cure them instantly.

As far as grampa goes...make him a long, continuous tape of "Oprah" for his viewing pleasure.

Posted by: Surfie at December 15, 2004 05:24 PM

My only holiday tradition is to start drinking red liquor heavily starting about 5:30 Christmas morning. That way I'm too trashed to drive up to my in-laws that afternoon. Pouring a little water on the crotch of the pants while sprawled on the sofa is also effective. I don't think I've seen them in seven years.

Posted by: Velociman at December 15, 2004 10:13 PM

I thought I was the only one to have never seen that movie. Now I know that there are at least three of us ( I'm 48 ).e

Posted by: terry at December 15, 2004 10:22 PM

I've never seen the movie. People 'round here watch it religiously. I can find football or NASCAR reruns on the tube almost anytime so 'Jimmy' and the mutants don't interest me. I'd rather freeze my ass off and throw darts in the garage. Propane is your friend.(

Damn that word sounds french... Garage... Oh well, the kids, they'll get older and you'll finally get finished with takin' them for real pictures with "Santa". Your photoshop skills will come around and while you'll spend a couple hours 'fakin' it, you'll avoid the crowds and keepin' the three in line. Lines suck.

This time of year, well, it is what it is. We don't have carollers at the 'Neck Shack(tm) but we have a mall, close, too damned close. I avoid it like the plague. We've just got family drunkards that show up about 3 days before 'cause they don't have jobs cause they're eager to get the party started, and stay till about two days after cause they hate to see it end and don't have jobs. Go Figure. In someways, it's like a cousin Eddie thing on the Griwalds(without the RV and the doberman, I have boxers, dogs, not underwear Vman so quit fantisizing, so far).

If propane is your friend, liquor is your lover. Get my meanin'?

Those automatic "chripin" things, trees, reindeer, Santa's, whatever should be stomped on site. Period. (.) I mean it. I will say this for 'em. I've never heard one of 'em bitch at me. I despise those fuckers. Same goes for the Halloween one's.

I've got one with a birtday in mid december, one with a birthday in early january(claims she gets ripped off with leftover christmas presents)... IMAGINE THAT..., mine in mid january, and the wifes in early february. Ask yourself this Queenie. How much fuckin' fun can one person have. Then, glow in the realization that you could be me. Now, that, just might suck. But, you could pee standin' up... Look on the bright side.

Merry Christmas.

Posted by: RedNeck at December 15, 2004 11:06 PM

I meant Rottweiler, not Doberman. And Griswalds not Griwalds. I'm startin' to feel like my name's Donnnnnieeeee of Larry the Cable Guy Fame.

Posted by: RedNeck at December 15, 2004 11:11 PM

I curse anyone who doesn't simply love my adopted-grandfather, Jimmy Stewart. I honestly thought I'd cry when he passed away. But yeah, that movie really shows why they referred to the director as Frank Capra-corny.

Favorite 'holiday' movie...Scrooged, with Bill Murray.

As for carolers, I seem to remember once, when I was very young, having carolers show up at our door, but I'm not even certain about that. They just don't do that here.

As for the hulabaloo...I'm pretty certain that G-d really doesn't care, one way or the other, whether I put up a tree or not this year.

Posted by: jmflynny at December 16, 2004 02:05 AM

Oh, and ' IS French.

Anything with the age sound, i.e., garage, mirage, barrage...

Posted by: jmflynny at December 16, 2004 02:07 AM

I can't STAND IAWL. My wife gets all weepy and gooey over it, and I've got to double up on the Jagermeister shots.

Although I love "White Christmas," so I'm not averse to a little holiday sappiness (plus Rosemary Clooney looked totally hot in that movie).

But the best Xmas special of all time is the "Married With Children" episode where Santa's chute doesn't open when he skydives with a bag full of mall gift cards and ends up pancaked all over the Bundys'lawn. Truly heartwarming.

Posted by: Ripper at December 16, 2004 09:33 AM

Another non-Wonderlife Life watcher here. (40) The closest I've ever gotten was the animated 30 second version with rabbits. And I got THAT in an email this morning.

What about the evil demonic Christmas tree that has eyes and a mouth and sings? Run away.

Gawd this is a great blog. Thanks Queenie!

Posted by: Ames at December 16, 2004 01:14 PM

It's like if you take me, and subtract the super ego!

Meaning, I'm so there mentally. The Christmas dread, immediately followed by the Christmas guilt for having Christmas dread, compounded by the eager, excited smiling faces of my beautiful chirrens.


Sucking it up for the innocents, as usual. But thank you, thank you for the beautiful rant. I really must head your way. I don't think there's anyone I'd rather "shop" with during this chaotic season, certainly no one else who could bring such levity to the table!

Posted by: Key at December 16, 2004 09:40 PM

You are NOT pushing 40. You don't have to get out and push until you hit 50. Count the blessings.

One of my favorite things during the Iraq war was a brit newsman sayng " a bearraage of missyles"

I hope those goats don't get constipated by the coffee grounds. They shoot hardened pellets at high velocity in that state, and if several lift their tails with synchronicity its Baaaaad news.

Posted by: wes jackson at December 16, 2004 10:57 PM

I couldn't agree with you more, but wait until all of your relatives are dead. Trust me, that is when you will truly understand loneliness. I wanted to put my racist grandfather on the porch several times, but now that he is gone...I miss him. I'd let him sit at the table just for another laugh.

I'm just saying.

Posted by: Sam at December 16, 2004 11:15 PM

Ripper, I know you're talking Christmas with the Bundy's, but for some odd reason it made me think of the best Thanksgiving show ever...

WKRP in Cincinnati.

I laugh just thinking about it, and I just found the audio link too:

Posted by: jmflynny at December 16, 2004 11:21 PM

I've seen it once... that was sufficient.

Posted by: Mike at December 17, 2004 10:06 PM

Add me to the list of people over 40 who've never seen IAWL. I have no idea why. Maybe because I've avoided TV for the last 25 years.

Posted by: Desert Cat at December 18, 2004 09:52 PM

And here's another near-40 who's never seen It's a Wonderful Life, or A Miracle on 34th Street, either. It's good to see that I'm not the only one! Maybe we can start a support group :)

Posted by: Fungus at December 19, 2004 02:32 PM

Ho fucking Ho....I am one of Mamas Blogoffsprings,Love the site,Funny stuff.
Cheers from Sunny Tampa Bay

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