I guess it was a good thing that my sister and I were greedy kids that didn’t feel the slightest shred of guilt over a tiny infant delivering presents on his own late at night on Christmas Eve. Because I’d love to go back in time and ask my parents all 345 questions I owe them.
BTW, yup, in our tradition we open presents on Christmas Eve, right after our festive Christmas dinner. It’s rooted in…well, I have no clue.
That’s exactly what happens when you grow up in a predominantly atheist country where the majority celebrates Christmas and baby Jesus. Christmas is special and magical, but there really isn’t much of a backstory.
In all fairness, I’m not much wiser now that I’m a lot older. I know more about Mary’s lamb than God or a virgin girl betrothed to some guy.
So the family tradition of tiptoeing around a winter fictitious character continues with my own two kids here in the U.S. But the confusion grows. For me, that is.
Somehow the kids don’t mind. And, this is their view of things, not mine.
So far they’ve managed to morph the two together without the slightest problem. But I don’t push the lies myself, and if they ask any more questions, I swear I’m coming clean.
I love the idea of Christmas and family togetherness. I’m not a monster.
But – to be honest – I would totally boycott Christmas if it weren’t for my kids.
#1 The humility of Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ.
Every late December we’re celebrating the goodness of a human being, the purity of the soul and the meaning of modesty. Nothing says humility and modesty like a national retail spending orgy, antsy crowds, and festive lights and projections and illuminated inflatable decorations the size of a house that can be seen from space.
Every late December we’re celebrating the birthday of a Holy Man that was really born some day, some year, who knows, but maybe September. Thanks, Pope Julius I for doing the eeny, meeny, miny, moe and picking the date of the not-the-day-of-Jesus’-birth.
#2 Christmas carolers.
A bunch of jolly carolers fa-la-la-ling behind your closed door is kinda cute. In a movie. Probably in California.
I live in a Chicago suburb though.
If someone knocks on my door at night a-singing, the first thing that pops into my head isn’t “oh goody, a gang of complete strangers to sing with on a dark sub-zero night!” Nope. That’s when I turn the porch light off and pre-dial 911. ‘Tis the season.
#3 Mall Santa.
If there is one thing I resent as much as overfilled parking lots and waiting in line cornered by a furious pre-Christmas mob, it’s the old guy with a beard that’s inviting all children to sit on his lap for an overpriced commemorative picture.
Look, I’m not saying that all men underneath the polyester suits are dressed up pedophiles or pervs, that would be wrong. But it feels just as strange as standing my kids next to the other weirdo Easter Bunny (which we also do not do).
Luckily, Santa fascinates but also terrifies my kids because he supposedly knows everything about them, including their darkest secrets that may or may not involve hidden stashes of candy in their bedrooms.
Let’s just say they don’t really want to get too personal with Santa other than a quick wave of a hand from safe distance. Works for me.
#4 Christmas cookies.
You know who’s really happy about the crapload of empty calories you’ve stuffed your face with this season and your newly expanded waist? Your dentist, your jealous friends, and the retail world. In the name of Jesus, of course.
#5 The ugly sweater dress code.
The booming ugly sweater retail means business!
Each year some time before Christmas, retailers deliver brand new collections of the tackiest holiday apparel ever – the ugliest of all ugly sweaters.
The only thing more unattractive than an ugly sweater I can think of is an ugly sweater’s price tag. Yeah, I know, everybody’s doing it. Just for that reason alone, if you have one, please throw it in the fireplace this Christmas.
UNLESS you have one of these:
In the name of disclosure, I have to mention that the following links are affiliate links. Should you be
crazyadventurous enough to buy any of these ugly sweaters, I might make a few pennies from your social misfortune that will go right back to this blog. As always, your contributions are greatly appreciated. TY!
Who wouldn’t want to own this Beer Pong sweater?! It might come at a hefty price, but it does come with detachable washable cups and real beer pong balls. Which absolutely justifies the cost in my opinion.
This green Gaudy Garland piece is a bit cheaper and guaranteed to “probably make a lot of people cry.“ It just sold out on Amazon the day before yesterday, so I’m expecting a whole lot of tears this Christmas season for paying this much for a sweater that two dozen other people will be wearing at the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.
OK, come on now, this blue Reindeer Climax sweater that’s on sale just now? That’s a steal y’all! Not only is this sweater one of the least expensive ugly options, it’s also subtle enough to extend its use and wear the threaded orgy to a business meeting. You’re welcome.
Then there is the Excited Snowman sweater which is almost cute. Almost.
Before I forget… If you happen to be an avid trend follower and you’ve just picked out the perfect ugly sweater for this season, I may have disturbing news: #ChristmasTreeEyebrows. Good luck.
#6 The Christmas tree.
We celebrate love and life by helping kill a tree and watching its slow demise. Or we celebrate love and life by using a fake plastic tree and killing the environment some more.
There’s more people, less trees, and more trash on this planet than ever before, right? Shall we do the math?
#7 All that fancy wrapping paper and matching ribbons and bows.
Congratulations, we’ve killed more trees (and also the marine environment) and helped fill our landfills with several more tons of waste for a half-hour of fun. Ho-ho-horrible!
#8 Christmas cards and family newsletters.
Spoiler alert: people may throw your pictures in the trash. Also, more dead trees.
I actually don’t do Christmas cards. It started with not having enough time and progressed to I don’t really wanna, and that’s pretty much where the time has stopped.
How do I sleep at night? I’ll tell you how. One less thing to worry about + one less fake picture of perfection to take (or find) = many great nights of sleep.
But they know I’ll hug them real tight the next time I see them. And it will be genuine and not a chore.
#9 The Elf On The Shelf.
He’s a total creep. Though I’ve been seeing a lot less of him this year…?
May your Christmas be merry and bright and filled with much love, this year and all the next!
Be it simple or extravagant, loud and crazy or mellow, in a city or on a mountain top. After all, it is what we make it, right? (I need to remember this.)