>>> The Hard Way
By staff writer Mike Faerber
December 26, 2004

For the past month your family, your pastor, and the American corporate machine has been hyping you up for the moment you wake up on Christmas Day. You've weathered an ascending fever pitch of nostalgic traditions, ritual preparation, and not buying crap for others while still expecting gifts from them. And now all the excitement has culminated into one spectacular, joyful day of mouth-agapeness.

That was yesterday.

So following one of the most anticipated days of the year, comes one of the most disappointing, if only by comparison. There's no more paper to tear into. The rosy air of Christmas cheer is gone. And the snow that fell at exactly 12 midnight on December 24 has finally melted. Actually I live in Texas, there was never any snow to begin with.

But here's where it all went wrong.

Nice Package!

That's what everyone won't be saying, because you don't have any. You opened them all yesterday. Besides, it's a really trite T-shirt slogan. Speaking of crappy shirts, you got a lot of those yesterday. On the day after X-mas it becomes painfully clear just how much you don't really need all that crap you made people buy, especially the stuff you didn't really ask for to begin with and now don't know how to get rid of. The problem lies in that when you were a kid, “Santa” knew exactly what you wanted even when you didn't. Every box you opened was an awesome gift and it was a mystery as to how whoever gave it to you knew you would love it. You can tell because on Christmas morning kids always say “Mom, how'd you KNOW?!”

These days Christmas is just the opposite. You know most of your gifts beforehand, yet you're not nearly as enthusiastic about them. And because writing up a list of what you want is a little beneath you, usually the one thing you were really hoping for doesn't make it into a box.

But I guess it is a little hard to gift-wrap boobs.

Quit Messing Around

On December 25 there is a flurry of wrapping paper, boxes, and general holiday mess. Later in the day you have a big feasty meal, and thus dishes pile in the sink while mom is all merry on Christmas champagne…non-alcoholic, but nobody needs to tell her that. Needless to say she's not real concerned with clutter at the moment.

On December 26 the story changes. Mom's all on her non-hangover and demands that you start cleaning up stuff. Suddenly you see your house in new light. All the decorations that were so cute the day before sit as reminders that you will soon be spending hours taking them down. And not in the Hardass TV Cop way, more in like the teenager doing chores way. But if you want to act cool you can say stuff like “You're going down, Lights” and then break one. But don't be surprised when you get yelled at.

Or laughed at, because seriously, they're just Christmas bulbs.

Clichés Older than Santa

Now other Holiday columns may feature funny lil' X-masy jokes like “He was queerer than my grandma's fruitcake,” or “I dropped a Yule log into a box and wrapped it up for my ex.” However The Hard Way has more class than that…


Shut up I'm serious. Anyways, since it is the day after Christmas I'm officially putting to sleep all the holiday jokes that need to be retired…kinda like that puppy you didn't want, but mom forgot to put holes in the box anyway so it all worked out.

– Mistletoe (especially relating to above the crotch)
– Riding the Candy Cane
– Riding the Yule Log
– Riding the North Pole

Yeah, let's put an end to sexual holiday jokes altogether. Something tells me my priest wouldn't be too fond of that.

Mike's Priest: Stop making suggestive jokes.
Mike: Gotcha, Father.

Okay, so it turns out that something was…my priest.

Anyways, I hope your holidays were full of cheer and glee. As for right now, well I hope you are able to get out of as much work as possible. Maybe go build a snowman or something…. Oh right, I'm from Texas. Damn.