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If you read yesterday’s post, you know that I was deathly ill over the weekend. Thanks for all the well-wishes and home remedies, Jazz Pickles. I am happy to report that the Grim Reaper has been sent on his way with nothing to show for his trouble and I am miraculously well again. Sometimes it is good to have your ass kicked by Mother Nature for a day or two to remind you of what is truly important in life: Mexican food, scotch, cigars, and all of the other things you cannot enjoy when you can’t go more than a few minutes without barfing like a freshman on spring break.
Even better news is that it is CHRISTMAS WEEK IN AMERICA!! This is my second-favorite time of year because it precedes my absolute favorite time of year, which is the week after Xmas when this ugly, noisy, greedy mess of a department-store-created “holiday” is as far away as possible! Ah, the sweet silence of January!
Yes, I’m a Scrooge and I admit it. To settle the minds of all the armchair psychologists trying to diagnose my hatred of such a wonderful season, nothing terrible happened to me to make me this way. Nobody I loved died on or around Xmas, I wasn’t the only Jewish kid in a Catholic school, my father didn’t come home drunk on Xmas Eve dressed as Santa and smelling of whiskey, beating my siblings and me with a holly wreath and shouting, “Who’s merry now, you little shits!?” then pouring gasoline over the tree and all of our presents and burning the house down leaving us to spend Xmas day in a homeless shelter with several other families of drunken Santa dads who were now in jail. Nothing like that ever happened. In fact, I loved Xmas as a kid. I even played it to the hilt with my own daughters when they were children. But now that I’m an adult, I have put away childish things and mostly just want to be left to live in my own, quiet, grown-up world––one in which “Jingle Bells” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” were never written.
Okay, I admit it, my distaste for Xmas is about two things:
1) I don’t like corporate-manufactured happiness under which all decent citizens are required to pay heavily.
2) My first wife was a holiday nut.
For the first 16 years of my adulthood, my starter wife, Kalonopin, would decorate the entire house for every little holiday, the day after the previous holiday was over, and sometimes sooner. While I was out trick-or-treating with the kids, she was at home unpacking Thanksgiving decorations. While I was napping after Thanksgiving dinner, she was unpacking Xmas decorations. Almost year round, the house looked like a photo shoot for one Martha Stewart holiday show or another. The month of December was the worst, of course, as we bundled the kids up after dinner every night and drove around town for hours looking at Xmas lights. If there was a sleigh ride somewhere, we had to go. If there was a Xmas village of some sort, we had to visit and take a million pictures. She bought so many gifts for each of us that we began a tradition of opening one up every night during the month, leaving only a paltry dozen-or-so for Xmas morning. (I am not kidding.) We watched classic Xmas movies every night from TGiving to Xmas and beyond, listened to Bing Crosby’s famous Xmas album every bloody day and night, every room in the house glowed and twinkled with lights. It was a kind of holiday marathon that would leave lesser men dead by their own hands. So when the kids were grown and their mom and I were divorced, I said goodbye to it forever. Except in cartoons.
Even without that absurd background, however, the corporate Xmas machine is plenty enough to make me want it to go away.
Here are a couple of fun ones from the not-too-distant past which I hope you will enjoy. I’ll post a few more in the next couple days. In spite of my satanic hatred of this time of year, I do wish all my JPs a grand and groovy holiday week! I hope your crappy bosses let you off work for more than one day!