You’ll be getting this on Jesus’ Birthday, so I won’t eat up too much of your time, which I hope is devoted to enjoyable things like wrapping or unwrapping presents or stealing bits of the Christmas feast out of the fridge or just loafing on what for most of us is a rare day off. (I managed, by hauling ass and filling the larder with copy, to get the whole week off from the God Damn Job, and am enjoying the opportunity to fantasize what life would be if the accursed shithole didn’t exist. Better, it would seem!)
I asked a friend recently if he celebrated Christmas and he said he was indifferent and his wife was “actively hostile” to it. And I have to say, I found that refreshing. Not that I’m against Christmas; most years I have at least tried to get in the spirit, and when I’ve had people in my life who loved Christmas it was nice to join them in the festivities.
But I can go the other way, too. I have a checkered history with the holiday; I had some very gloomy ones as a kid, and as an adult — the first Christmas I had to work, for instance; I was waiting tables in a shitty Upper East Side restaurant and not only did I miss my friends and family, I actually ripped the butt-seam of my pants and had to drape an apron over it, plus which they sent me to our sister restaurant to get some more turkey and when I got there they thought I was some bum trying to steal food. Then I got back to my slum apartment and my landlord was being stingy with the heat again, and I had to turn on the oven to keep warm. Not a holly jolly Christmas, that.
This year I don’t have those specific issues, but still I find myself short on Christmas spirit. I’m not gloomy; I just don’t watch enough regular TV to get the customary infusions of Yule-infused ads and Hallmark crap, and I don’t hang with Christmasy people, so there are not many extrinsic forces guiding me into alignment with the holiday.
And you know what? That’s cool. I don’t feel deprived. I’m happy for the people who genuinely revel in Christmas and seek to spread the cheer. And I’m happy that I get some extra free time with people I love. Everybody wins.
And then there are the assholes who have convinced themselves that Merry Christmas is something they were somehow kept from saying until Trump gave them permission, and now say it archly, as if it were a stunning comeback to an imagined insult. These schnooks don’t even remember how ancient, hoary, and tired their War on Christmas shtick is — and what’s worse, they no longer even feel compelled to pretend they’re defending Christmas because they revere the message of baby Jesus:
Anyone who spends Christmas Eve Day wondering why Jill Biden isn’t feeding white people instead of the YOU-know can shove a Festivus pole up his ass.
So if you celebrate, if you don’t celebrate, if you’re allergic or agnostic, I say unto you: Merry Wednesday!