Dear Youngster,

It's a common conception that Hell is filled with perpetually burning fire. If burning in the fires of Hell for eternity isn’t enough of a reason to live a good and saintly life, here’s one that may be. It turns out that Hell is actually not a good old evergreen bonfire. No, it’s much worse than that. In Hell, it’s always January.

That’s right. Hell is filled with dead Christmas trees and hungover souls bearing an extra fifteen post-holiday pounds. Instead of the light fluffy snow falling that you can watch from the warmth of your Norman Rockwell-esque living room, in Hell there is only the brown slushy stuff—the day-after snow with dirt, sand, and salt intertwined just waiting to ruin your new suede boots.

Every driveway in Hell has been blockaded by a pile of frozen snow, created by a snowplow, and finished off with frozen rain and a drop in temperature to really make it impossible to drive over. Every car in Hell has a thick layer of ice frozen to the windshield, and every soul is given a dull plastic ice scraper to remove it.

There are no sports on to watch in Hell, which in the human realm is the only saving grace to it being January. Christmas clearance items have already been picked through, so the only things left are Advent calendars with days missing, the mint-flavored breakfast cereal no one wanted, and elf costumes for your unamused cat.

Those gift cards you got for Christmas? A hacker already stole the money. Those returns you need to make? Turns out, you didn’t read the return policy fine print. Now you’re stuck with four sets of coasters and a t-shirt saying “I survived 2020,” except you didn’t, and also doesn’t fit because of your extra post-holiday gluttony padding. Who can resist another piece of Costco cheesecake? In Hell though, it’s moldy.

Every time January 31st rolls around and everyone hopes for spring to start soon, it’s Groundhog Day all over again…except you’ll never see if the groundhog sees his shadow or not because the days just roll back to January 1st.

When this happens, everyone is forced to create a New Year’s Resolution that will be broken by the second week in February. Yet, we never reach February so we’re all just padding along the icy pavement in our sweat suits, cursing how out of shape we are, while we embark on our new exercise programs that will never get us anywhere.

So take this as a warning, naïve one. Behave yourself in the human realm because Hell isn’t about roasting marshmallows like I thought. Instead, I’m stuck for all eternity in the worst month of the year. Had I known, I wouldn't have taken that Snickers from your baby niece.

Stay well,

Uncle Steve

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