I love Christmas. It's not my favorite holiday (that's the Super Bowl) but it is pretty high up there. One of the most awesome things about Christmas is that it happens to fall on my birthday, which was one of many factoids I used to help convince all my 1st grade friends that I was Jesus Christ's third cousin once removed. I was a messed up kid.

Anywho-diddle (that's right, I wrote anywho-diddle—fucking deal) I have decided to dedicate this column to ranking ten Christmas experiences from most awesome to least awesome. Why am I doing this? Because fuck you that's why. Oh, and merry Christmas.

1. Food

Christmas family dinnerFood is the best part about Christmas. Every year my parents cook hams, turkeys, a beef loin, steaks, salmon, eggs, bacon, and just about every kind of meat and meat byproduct available in greater North America (but no head cheese because head cheese is sick). And on top of that, my mother is a baker extraordinaire so not only are freshly baked, ridiculously sweet, and tasty goodies strategically placed on every hard surface in a fucking six bedroom house but the house always smells like someone just baked desserts because someone always just finished baking desserts. Around Christmas time my parents' house looks, smells, and feels like one of Santa's orgasms. And you think I'm kidding.

You know those assholes who win awards for their over-involved, electricity-wasting holiday decorations? They're my family.Now, food wasn't always my favorite thing about Christmas. Back when material possessions were the only things that could fill the vast hole in my soul (I use alcohol, drugs and sex now), presents were my favorite thing about Christmas.

2. Presents

Don't get me wrong, presents are awesome and receiving stuff is nice and all that but I can honestly say that giving a gift to a needy person or a child actually makes me feel better than getting a wallet or a watch or something. That being said, I have three favorite gifts to receive with a fourth option.

Here are my favorite gifts in order of awesomeness:

  • 1. Alcohol and/or drugs (if it gets you wasted, it's number one)
  • 2. Cash
  • 3. Porn
  • 4. Championship memorabilia (when your team wins the championship and the next Christmas you basically just say that every gift you get better commemorate that championship).

When you get to be my age presents are kind of lame. I would much rather have a porterhouse steak followed by apple pie à la mode followed by a smile on my niece's face followed by a good beer buzz than any iGadget any asshole could think of anyway. But presents are still awesome. Even more awesome than decorations.

3. Decorations

House Christmas decorations and lightsYou know those assholes who win all sorts of awards for their over-involved, electricity wasting holiday decorations? Yeah, well they're my family. My mom and stepdad win awards for their Christmas decorations with regularity. Every year my mom gets four Christmas trees for inside the house. Four! And that doesn't even count the pines that get decorated in the yard. And I'm still leaving out two nativity sets, twenty moving reindeer, a Santa, some elves, and god knows what else I forgot.

I guess the best way to put it is this: when I was in high school, I would always catch hippies tripping LSD in my front yard around Christmas time. And I had a hell of a time getting them to leave.

So yeah, decorations are kind of cool. They're even cooler than football.

4. Christmas Break Bowl Games

The teams always suck, effort never seems to be put forth, and none of that matters because these games provide us with an excuse to avoid explaining to our parents why, if we seem to have no problem meeting girls, we cannot keep girls.

5. The Christmas NBA Games

Yawn. Ditto here. Go Celtics (or anything else that can get me out of any conversation with my uncles about tax brackets)!

6. Little Kids

Little kids are, for the most part, annoying high-maintenance little life suckers who provide almost nothing of value to society as a whole. Except on Christmas.

When I left home for college the youngest person in my nuclear family was fourteen, and Christmas pretty much died as a result. A bunch of people ages fifteen to forty-eight standing around exchanging gifts seems like a piss poor allocation of resources. It also seems vain and greedy and unnecessary. Three months after I graduated college, my niece was born and every Christmas since has kicked ass.

Kids get wrapped up in Christmas. Their eyes light up like drug addicts finding free heroin. They love the decorations and the television specials and even the stupid wrapping paper. Kids make Christmas a day to look back at what it means to be a child, to a time when one fucking present can pretty much take all your cares away. Even a non-alcoholic one.

7. Relatives

Ugh, you people again.

No, I'm kidding. I enjoy my family very much because none of them are me and I am impossible to put up with. I imagine that my family would put me much lower on this list.

(Note: When you're the biggest asshole in your family, your Christmas is more stress-free than your relatives because you don't have to deal with you. Pretty sweet.)

8. Shopping

This used to be the least awesome thing about Christmas but now that shopping online is an option, well, with the exception of two local Tampa purchases, I didn't hardly have to go anywhere to get people gifts. Making people happy with gifts I didn't have to personally hunt down is awesome. It's like the most gratifying kind of laziness I can think of anyway.

9. Gaining Weight

I have no trouble gaining ten pounds in five days over Christmas break. Truly awful. I don't see how people who live in cold weather places ever stay thin. I know I wouldn't bother working out the five months of a year nobody could see my gut.

10. Holiday Travel

Holiday travel just keeps getting worse and worse. I used to have a job that required a lot of business travel and I had about ten business trips starting one week after 9/11. Back then, we had National Guardsman with machine guns strapped to their backs in every airport in America. And holiday travel sucks so bad now that I actually miss those halcyon terrorist freak-out days.

A lot of people get depressed over the holidays. A lot of people were not born on Christmas. I enjoy pretty much everything about Christmas and so I wrote you a list about it.

You can say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.

Anyhohoho (why not), I hope all of you enjoy Christmas. And remember, if you find yourself getting down or distraught about the holidays and searching for something to make you smile, just remember who was born on this holiest of holy days.

That's right: Ricky Henderson.