Have we confirmed or denied the existence of Santa Claus? Because if he’s really out there somewhere, I’d like to smash his face.
Christmas. What a pain in my ass. Isn’t it ironic that the ultimate "goodwill and happy times" holiday does nothing but turn us all into miserable, desperate wretches? Isn’t it ironic that instead of wanting to put an angel on the top of a tree, I want to stick a tree up an angel’s ass? No, that's not irony? No gifts for you.
But hold on a minute. I’m no Scrooge. I actually like Christmas. Okay, maybe I liked it. Once upon a time. In a galaxy far, far away. Now I mostly like drinking. (And not just on holidays!) Luckily for me, the two aren’t entirely incompatible. I hope Santy brings me a funnel.
Back in the good old days, when I was a kid, Christmas was about fun! It was getting gifts and getting presents and getting toys and getting money. Now it’s getting gifts for other people and getting headaches and getting drunk and getting hung over and getting the fuck out of here.
Last Christmas, my car got stranded on the Mass Pike on the way back up to Boston. A few years earlier I got so drunk on the night before that I had to sleep through Christmas dinner. One year I didn’t get the toy I wanted. As you now see, it’s practically been a cavalcade of misery for me over the years.
This year I’m determined to make it different. I’m going to do my shopping before Christmas Eve, I’m going to do my drinking during Christmas dinner and I’m going to make sure I give detailed and specific lists of my must-haves to my family and friends. I even have a few holiday accoutrements to help me through the season.
First, the tunes. For some unknown reason, my brother Rob worships Christmas. Maybe it’s because he has especially fond memories of Christmasses past, but I doubt it; I was there, and nothing great went down. Maybe it’s because he likes natural disasters and sometimes watching my father eat dinner fills that bill pretty well. I think it’s because he loves Die Hard. Regardless, his favorite part of the holiday is the music that comes along with it. He even worships the commercials for the music that come along with it.
You know the ads. With the medleys that go something like: “Have a holly jolly Christmas, what a wonderful time of….I’m dreaming of a White Christmas, just like the ones we used to… Hot-blooded! Check it and see…I feel like makin’ love…American Woman! Stay away from me...,” you know the ones. Starting about Thanksgiving night, they are ubiquitous throughout the weeks preceding the big day of Cheebus' birth.
Well, my brother made his own Christmas CD last year, courtesy of Napster and the Internet, and he owes me a copy. He takes pride in his mix, which includes songs by everyone from Bing Crosby and the Vienna Boys Choir to Jewel and her horse. I'm not a huge fan of holiday music, but I think it might come in handy for me this year. I figure I’ll use it to pump myself up into a holly-jolly lather.
I am also going to spend most of the month under the influence of mistletoe. On one hand, it gives me the greenlight to mouthrape any chick that comes near me. Plus, it’s green and leafy and puts me in a nice mellow mood so I can do my shopping with a smile on my face. It also gets me craving candy canes and chocolate bars…I think that wigger in that van in the alley with the blacklight and the Snoop Dogg posters said it was mistletoe.
Thanks to those special accessories, I’ve got my mood covered. But I still need to tackle the big issue: finding suitable gifts for my loved ones. I can’t get stuff that’s devoid of thought and I can’t get anything too chintzy, but I can't afford anything too expensive. Thankfully, everyone in my family ceased harboring delusions about happiness a long time ago, so nobody puts much stock in the effectiveness of gifts. The way we see it, there’s nothing we need, and there’s no gift good enough to make a dent in our nihilism. It’s not like that cat shaped bird feeder I got my mom last year healed her arthritis. And that gun-shaped lighter I got my dad certainly isn't hastening his retirement, is it? Shouldn’t we stop being so selfish about our damn holidays and start giving shit to people that really need it? At least use the money left over from my new Tivo to euthanize those captive pandas at the zoo.
We can’t, however, stop being good Americans, especially not in 2002. We need to buy buy buy for our loved ones this holiday season, and since I fully intend on dodging any and all potential drafts, I'll do my part by dumping some money into the economy. Too bad I still have no clue what anyone wants. The easiest way to solve that problem is to ask them, but, unfortunately, most people aren’t too forthcoming. A recent conversation with my father went like this:
“Hey Dad. What do you want for Christmas?”
“Peace of mind.”
“I can’t afford that.”
“Alright, you and your brothers to get along.”
Needless to say, he’s getting nothing. (He's a Communist anyway.)
Maybe I’m missing the point. Maybe it’s not about presents. Maybe it’s not about happiness either. At the very least, I’m pretty sure it's not about me. You wanna know who it's about? It’s about Jesus, and how He’s the light of the world. And that's why there's eggnog!
So quit thinking about that new Grand Theft Auto and the latest no-smudge eyeliner and start thanking God and The Rest Of Them for the gifts we take for granted. Like breathing. And the delicious flesh and blood a la Christ that make up the eucharistic ceremony. After all, J to the Chrizzist and the Funky Bunch are the Only Ones who can save your soul.
So sure, be grateful that you got your new slippers and that bitchin' DVD player from your mortal friends if makes them happy. They know that's the best they can do, so let them do it. As for me, well, you know if I could give the gift of eternal salvation I would, but I can't. This column is about the only gift I can muster; my heart has already turned black from hatred and despair.
Let's get real here. You don't want to know about me. You want to know about "me".
ABOUT MIKE JULIANELLE
more about mike julianelle
IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...
12.16.02 @ 12:17a
"...mouthrape any chick that comes near me."
That made me laugh until I pictured it. Then it made me vomit.
12.16.02 @ 12:34a
Mike, someone I used to talk to twice a week for about 8 years would've said "that boy has issues."
Personally, I would suggest you not smoke or do anything else with mistletoe purchased from strange elves in vans in dark alley ways.
Oh yeah, and try to cheer up. You could even bring the Grinch down with your attitude. Think warm happy thoughts, of what happened to the rest of the reindeer herd. You know there were more than 8 or 9.
12.16.02 @ 10:06a
My favorite Christmas t-shirt ever had a picture of Rudolph, sitting in an armchair, smoking a pipe and reading the newspaper. Behind him on the wall are the mounted heads of 8 reindeer, and the caption read, "All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names."
michelle von euw
12.16.02 @ 10:44a
Now I mostly like drinking
Really? I never would have guessed.
12.16.02 @ 12:32p
Hey, there is NOTHING wrong with a little (or a lot) of "holiday spirit." And by spirit, of course, I mean liquor.
I would also like to add that I'm a big proponent of the mistletoe. I insisted on having some at our party so everyone could make out. And what did it get me? Kissed by my gay friend. Damn the luck.
Anyway, Merry, merry, Mike!
12.16.02 @ 12:55p
Robert, I'm less angry than my public persona makes me appear.
I've not had much interaction with mistletoe myself, but I have a few Xmas parties this week, so we'll see.
12.16.02 @ 9:29p
Who is this brother Rob of yours? He sounds like he's got it going on!!! By the way this wasn't written by Mike...
12.16.02 @ 9:58p
This made me cry. Your dad and mine ought to get together, only now mine just shouts "Gift certificates to Barnes and Noble!"
12.17.02 @ 8:55a
Funny that mistletoe kills you if you eat it.
Or, at the very least, makes you very sick.
Yet we kiss underneath it.
I tell my WHOLE FAMILY whenever they ask to give me gift certificates to B&N. What do I get? An insulated gravy boat.
12.17.02 @ 11:17a
I couldn't get more mixed reactions about my liberal use of blue language. It's hilarious. Some people hate it, others love it. Just like real life!
Gift certificates are KEY for Xmas. Love them.
12.17.02 @ 2:36p
I like getting one gift certificate so I can buy whatever people didn't get me. Otherwise, I like getting surprises. Unless they are something like an insulated gravy boat or a pink bathrobe.
12.17.02 @ 2:45p
I love opening presents and discovering the surprise inside. But I'm also admittedly hard to shop for. At least for family members. So gift certificates are always good. "Ahhh... the gift of SHOPPING!!"
12.17.02 @ 2:55p
My mother calls me ahead of time to tell me what I'm getting. "Matt, I got Monsters Inc on DVD on sale for you the other day..."
Oh...um...gee, thanks for telling me. So the only real mystery X-mas morning is which present is wrapped in what.
12.17.02 @ 10:49p
I insisted on having some at our party so everyone could make out. And what did it get me? Kissed by my gay friend. -- Heather Millen
1: Damn, I wish I could say this.
2: You lucky girl, you!
3: You obviously bought the wrong kind of mistletoe. You need the straight kind. Sounds like you got a Bi sprig.
12.18.02 @ 3:29p
I'm a bit of a stinker about gifts. I HATE being asked what I want for Christmas or my birthday. If you know me well enough to want to get me a gift, you know me well enough to know what I like. Or at least you should. If there's something I really can't live without, I'll get it myself or ask my husband to get it for me. In the same vein, I rarely ask people what they want to receive as gifts - I make exceptions of obligatory gift-giving (i.e. to relatives I hate, and yes, there are a few) and get those people whatever is cheapest on their list. I even go so far as to find out sizes sneakily. My feeling is, it's not a gift if I/you asked for it.
12.18.02 @ 4:08p
I do the same thing with friends, but with family, I realize we're a diverse group of people. It's tricky and I don't want them spending money on something that I won't use/wear. And they always seem to do that on their own.