To my knowledge, I've always liked Christmas. I say "to my knowledge" because there may have been a time, during my idiot college years, when I rode the "commercialism sucks" train. Don't think there was though. As a child growing up in California, Christmas was fun. As an adult in New Jersey, Christmas is pretty damn cool. It's more Christmasy here. There's snow and sleds and chimneys and hot chocolate. Santa can actually rock his traditional gear here. The last time I spent Christmas in Los Angeles, I walked onto the plane in snow boots and a fur jacket and walked off the plane in a miniskirt and heels. It's just weird.
Which contradicts a thought I had in 1997, that I would enjoy living in a climate that was warm all year. Christmas is just better when it's cold, maybe because it fits the Norman Rockwell theme. Even the commercialism is fun to me now. So car dealerships put reindeers in the window and hire hoey Santa girls to greet the customers. Big fucking deal.
Top 10 Things I Love About Christmas
- Egg Nog -- "It feels so good when it touches your lips." But not so good an hour later, when you remember you're "lactose displeased" (not completely intolerant, more like your stomach is unhappy with all things dairy.) Egg nog has the gas-inducing force of milk, to the power of twelve.
- Christmas Cards -- You can look at it one of two ways. Either be bitter because it's the one time of year that you hear from some people, or be happy that they're still alive and care that you're still alive.
- Christmas Carols -- Sure some of them suck. When I worked in retail, every time they played Madonna's rendition of "Santa Baby" I wanted to stab myself in the ear with a coat hanger. But some of the others are good. My favorites are the Ray Conniff medleys of all the traditional songs, Adeste Fideles, that one Band Aid song and the U2 one.
- Decorated houses -- It's nice to see people who are festive and take pride in their homes. Even ghetto ass Jersey City has some houses where the lights are so plentiful, they almost completely cover the graffiti and barbed wire.
- Thanks to the guilt of being assholes for the entire year, people are inclined to be nicer. Naturally this doesn't count anyone who works in the service industry, anyone who waited until the last day to do their shopping and anyone making returns the day after. Oh and PSE&G. Thieving rat bastards. PSE&G BLOWS during the winter season.
- Christmas Trees -- Real ones, not fake ones like this one made of tampons. When I was a kid, the best part of Christmas wasn't opening presents, it was decorating the tree. Except the year my parents decided to use fake, spray-on snow. The momentary high wasn't worth the headache and nosebleed.
- Christmas sales -- The fact that I no longer have my own income makes these particular events even more important. So those evil corporations can commercialize Christmas all they want, as long as they mark down those prices.
- Presents, both the giving of and the receiving of. There's nothing better than the look on your friend's face when he opens up that pink, cable-knit sweater with the snowflakes on it. Okay not really. I'm a good gift-giver. (Don't forget, what do you get the woman who has EVERYTHING? The Sperm Necklace. No, not *a* sperm necklace. THE sperm necklace.) And for the friends who've been asking what I want this year, I'd like a Swiffer Wet Jet and baking dishes but that's kind of gay. So here.
- Midnight mass -- I haven't been to one of these in awhile, but I always enjoyed them. I think it's because with the dark night sky, one might actually be able to see and avoid the hail of fire and brimstone before it hits. Also, I'm a fan of events that are held out of time, place or season. Which explains why I throw barbeques in February and like eating breakfast at night.
- The random foods that you only see during the holidays. Almond Roca. Egg-nog flavored biscotti. Chestnuts. Tiramisu caramels. Candy canes. Hershey kisses the size of my head. Geo had to wrench a box of chocolate-covered potato chips out of my hands at Costco. I was enraged at his audacity for a solid three seconds, until I remembered my resolution to not make any stupid purchases until after all the Christmas presents are bought.