LIFE’S WONDERS PRAISED IN SUGGESTIVE, ODDBALL, AND NONSENSE WAYS
As a counterpoint to my usual cynical antics, I’ve committed myself to a weekly, year-long discussion of my life’s joys. But, never one for the more traditional approaches, I intend to keep things a little off side, a tad outlandish, and always one foot outside of polite company.
Christmas is just the best, isn’t it?
I mean, what could beat awkward family gatherings, significant weight gain, and having to feign gratefulness when somebody gives you a gift that’s clearly been purchased at the last minute and with no real thought? Because of course I needed another George Foreman Grill. I have two, sure, but if they can grill as well as that guy boxed …
I’m being rather cynical here, but this time of year that’s an easy thing to be. The popular position to take, after all, is that Christmas just isn’t what it used to be . . . you know, back when we were kids. I mean, you can’t even say “Merry Christmas” anymore, am I right? Add to that all the rampant consumerism and general bad shopping misery, and what we’re left with is a heaping pile of humbug.
Or is it?
Look, I get it. Christmas doesn’t feel quite so magical anymore, does it? But here’s the thing: Christmas hasn’t changed. No, my friend, it’s you who has changed. Hell, we all have.
It’s called growing up. You see, the reason Christmas doesn’t feel magical anymore is because magic doesn’t exist. Only kids believe that nonsense; that’s why Christmas is magical to them. Oh, and it’s also because we lie to them and tell them some jolly fat home invader is going to visit them in the night and sploosh his magic bag of gifts all over their tree.
That’s right: we’re to blame for our own deception.
And yet I’m here to tell you that Christmas is still pretty great. Or at least it can be, if you let it.
It’s all about positive thinking. As a raging pessimist, I know just how tough that can be. For me, though, it’s all a matter of changing my perspective, forcefully if necessary.
To make my point, I’ll use just one example. Instead of getting upset when someone exclaims “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” perhaps take a moment to consider why saying the former isn’t so bad after all. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t say “Happy Holidays” because we’re afraid of offending “the Moslems.” Actually, by wishing someone “Happy Holidays” what we’re really doing is acknowledging that we are not the only goddamn person in the world. We’re saying, “Hey, I know we don’t always see eye to eye, and I know that we don’t share all the same cultural practices, but I guess you’re just as valuable and special a human being as me, and . . . well, I’d just like to pass on the holiday cheer.” It’s about being inclusive of others when it would be easier to just be a dick.
See? It’s a change of perspective. It’s not always easy, but it is worth it.
Because Christmas can still be magical, it just takes a little more effort now that we’re all old and gross.
So, from one curmudgeon to another, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and May the Force Be With You. Live long and prosper, bitches.
Did you miss last week’s entry on MOVIES? Catch up here.
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