>>> Casual Misanthropy
By staff writer JD Rebello

November 1, 2006

There are two types of people reading this column right now. People thinking, “A Christmas column? It's barely November!” And then there are those thinking, “A Christmas column? I suppose I can pry myself away from the eggnog and TransSiberian Orchestra long enough to enjoy my favorite writer opine.” For those in the first set, please sit quietly. For those in the latter, I'm getting real sick of your bullshit.

It's November, assholes. Christmas takes place on December 25. Seriously, is there any other day for which you start celebrating 55 days early? Isn't this a little premature? Haven't you ever seen a Christmas special? Christmas is always in jeopardy. It might not come. Things have always turned out well in the past, but wouldn't you say we're pushing our luck and we're long overdue to suddenly skip right to the 26th and have no clue what the fuck happened? Law of averages, people.

So how do we remedy this? You know, besides a massive genocide of all those people who've already made one pilgrimage to the Christmas Tree Shops (which I'm not entirely against)…

Glad you asked.

Home Alone used to be played Thanksgiving night every year. I can't be the only one who remembers that.”

Step 1: Stop global warming.

People love Christmas time because it's the only time we actually enjoy winter. My dad said last year he hopes it snows on Christmas. This is a man who hates snow; he gets rattled watching Cliffhanger. He spends most of his day rooting through basements and attics (he's an HVAC technician), so snow for my dad is like waking up with a live lobster jammed up your asshole.

But on Christmas, all is forgiven. Either that's a Christmas miracle or it's a sign we need change. Especially since global warming picked up recently, December is balmier than a fat guy's armpit. Last year, I didn't bust out my winter coat until late January. Now, living in New England, I'm all in favor of eradicating those penis-burying cold days. But it's unfair that January gets the “black guy in a bank line” treatment. Ask 100,000 what their favorite month is and 99,999 will not say January, and the 100,000th will be foreign and think “January” means “Please don't make me leave USA. I have a nice job at Wal-Mart working for half the wage of an American. This isn't fair. January! January!”

But again, December needs to be cold again. Or at least move everything up so I'm not still freezing my sack off in April. Watch the Al Gore movie again.

Step 2: Christmas needs some competition.

I'm looking at you, Chanukah. Let me tell you a story: I was raised by a Catholic dad and a Jewish mom. When I was born, my parents decided to raise me Catholic because according to the Jewish faith, a strong Jewish male presence is required in raising a child. Since all of the Jewish guys in my family were either not around or way too old, I was raised Catholic. That's what I was told.

That was a lie.

I was raised Catholic because Christmas kicks ass and Chanukah is garbage. Forcing me to celebrate the latter is akin to child abuse in my book. I'll never forget my poor Jewish friends in elementary school, watching jerk Catholics like myself essentially being given full toy stores while they played with some whack top. Jewish kids, so to speak, were Jewed.

So, how do we fix it?

A. Take advantage of the eight days. Put them on an ascending slope in terms of gift value. On the first day, give them the fucking gay driedel. On the eighth, give them a PlayStation 3. (With a game, don't get cheap.)

B. Have a little fun with the holiday. I've heard the story of Chaunkah about 500 times. It was a goddamned Rugrats episode! And yet, I still have no clue how it goes. Know why? Because it's dull. It's like The Great Compromise—I've been taught it dozens of times, but because it's so mind-numbingly boring, I block it out of my subconscious, yet somehow can recite the entire Kenny Rogers chicken episode of Seinfeld. (“Not fast food. Good food quick.”) Make it fun, Jews. And don't look at it as blasphemy or screwing with tradition. I've gone to Christmas Mass every year of my life and never once did the priest read the chapter in the Bible about the fat guy who eats all your cookies.

That's all religion is: marketing. Chanukah is the NHL to Christmas' Super Bowl, and that's not good. How the hell does this happen anyway? I thought Jews controlled Hollywood. So how come every year we get ten crappy Christmas movies (about seven of which star Tim Allen) and the only Chanukah movie I can remember is that horrendous Adam Sandler cartoon? That reminds me…

Step 3: Be careful with fringe Christmas movies.

What is a fringe Christmas movie? That's a movie that involves Christmas but is not an out-and-out Christmas movie like Christmas Carol or A Christmas Story. A movie like Home Alone involves Christmas, but the same story could be told in the summertime. And Home Alone might seem harmless, but I was watching it on TBS on Sunday and sure enough, I started making out a Christmas list. It happens that fast. It's like watching a movie where somebody is drowning and you suddenly have trouble breathing.

My suggestion is for TV to hold off until December, or at least Thanksgiving. Which reminds me, when I was a little kid, Home Alone used to be played Thanksgiving night every year. I can't be the only one who remembers that. Now they play Harry Potter or some gay shit. I hate what's happening to this world.

Step 4: Get department stores in on it.

This isn't all Christmas' fault. As soon as the holidays are over, we're inundated with shit for Valentine's Day. Then that's over and it's time for Easter candy. Then Easter goes away and all this shit for the Fourth comes out. Then that's over and suddenly I can buy a Halloween costume on my birthday (August 16, send presents). It doesn't make any sense to get excited for a holiday more than three weeks before the actual day. In what other frame of life does this occur? Can I start celebrating the Patriots' Super Bowl win? Or The Departed winning the Best Picture Oscar? Should I go invest in “It's a Boy” cigars for my future son?

I'm not a scrooge. I like Christmas. I get to watch A Christmas Story and The Grinch (the cartoon, not that execrable Jim Carrey movie). I get to watch my little cousins open their presents and spend time with my aunts and uncles. I get to infuriate middle-aged women by stealing their parking spaces at the mall (I can't stress enough how fun that is—the best things in life really are free).

So I do love Christmas. But October just ended, let's slow down for a bit. Enjoy Halloween. Enjoy Thanksgiving. Enjoy watching the Giants collapse down the stretch. Enjoy an all-new Prison Break, Monday nights on FOX. And for those of you living in some time vortex that claims it's actually mid-December, enjoy yourselves. You're spreading Christmas cheer even though it's perversely early. You're the ones who understand the true spirit of Christmas.

Fucking morons.

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