The grinch that stole Christmas

I don’t know about anyone else here, but for me, Christmas lost its magic a long time ago. The problem was that it went from being a family holiday to being another occasion to argue over too much spending on unnecessary things, not just for yourself, but way too often for other people. The damned thing has become too commercialized. I am already bombarded with advertisements about “Black Friday” and even “The day before Black Friday” sales and deals, Christmas music on the radio, and a barrage of Christmas movies on TV, and Thanks Giving hasn’t even come and gone. I was not surprised to find out that quite a few people share similar sentiments as mine, that this holiday carries way too much wallet pain. I hold hope this number of like minded people climbs faster, and when a majority finally has had enough, there will be some positive changes to this whole commercialized holidays thing. Maybe I am bitter, who knows, but this year I am opting out.

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  1. Thrill

    I had a Dave D moment as I was reading this and had to scroll back up to say, “Did I write this?”

    Agree with the spirit and letter of this post entirely. Christmas was great until our entire retail-based economy started depending on it.

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  2. Hal_10000

    I’m with you guys. It’s not just the popular culture. It’s the wish lists and the constant scrounging.

    I think Gregg Easterbrook had a great idea: separate the secular and the religious holidays. No one knows when Christ was born (sheep in the fields, though, unlikely to happen in winter). So why not make Christmas the 28th or something and make the 25th a secular holiday called “Spendmas”.

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  3. richtaylor365

    Christmas post, so soon? {sigh}

    I was in Target the day after Halloween and I noticed the Christmas stuff going up, all the while Christmas carols were playing in the background, a bit premature if you ask me.

    The original Charlie Brown Christmas special first aired almost 50 years ago, he was lamenting the commercialization of it even back then.

    Some of my best memories in life revolve around this holiday so I can never get too jaded. And for those that do not lose sight of the real reason for the season, the “peace of earth, good will toward men” aspect of the celebration remains intact.

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  4. Poosh

    True stuff! But there is always a magical, strange air to every christmas day, and I think that will be hard to lose, at least for another decade. I think, or was hopping, given the recessions all over the world, we’d get back to what Christmas really is about, and not the commercial side.

    Yeah I noticed that too Thrill, despite being generic comments, I sensed a silent troll aboot before.

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  5. Dave D

    I LIKE the span from Thanksgiving to Christmas. It is the “holiday season” for me and I SLOWLY get geared up as December arrives and passes. I used to wait until about the 10th to put up lights, but might do it this weekend this year due to nice weather and an extra day off. The Black Friday thing sickens me, but I do get the entire house to myself as the rest of the family goes “shopping” (if that is what you call this). I intentionally don’t buy gifts until about a week before Christmas, as I like to poll my kids and wife as to what they want and be as accurate as possible.

    Also, I also had to look to see who wrote this one. Hal and Alex are easy to spot when they are taking their “normal” tacts through an argument. This one had NO “big government/liberalism is bad” which is preaching to the choir for me) or “Obama really isn’t that bad” (which INFURIATES me) tone to it, so I could easily have believed it was from Thrill or Rich.

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  6. Thrill

    I’m the opposite. The only holiday I like is Halloween. Pretty much everything else annoys and inconveniences me, forcing me to spend money I don’t have.

    Pretty much from November 1st until my anniversary in mid-March, I’m totally unbearable except when I get completely blitzed on New Year’s Eve. Everything from March until the end of October is cool, even though I hate July 4th and Daylight Savings TIme.

    Yeah, I’m a prick.

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  7. AlexInCT *

    I’m the opposite. The only holiday I like is Halloween. Pretty much everything else annoys and inconveniences me, forcing me to spend money I don’t have.

    That’s what it has felt like for me for the last decade for me Thrill. It went from one of the holidays I looked forward to the most to being jaded about it at least a month in advance because of the crass commercialism and the presure to particpate. I hate shopping. I have always believed Christmas was supposed to be about the people, not the gifts, and I discovered in a rude manner that some people take this shopping and gift giving nonsense as serious as a contact sport. It has left me more jaded than I have ever been.

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  8. Thrill

    See, I really didn’t care about Christmas one way or the other until I met my wife. Then the hate began.

    Before that, I was either in the Army (and couldn’t leave for the exodus since I was a MP and somebody had to stay at the post) or preferred to work as much as possible and avoid it all.

    My wife’s family turns it up to 11 though. They love Christmas and go for the Norman Rockwell ideal with fanatical zeal. Al Qaeda operatives would look at the insane devotion of it and go, “Wow, you guys are really obsessed! Relax, already.”

    I personally like my in-laws and we get along well, but Christmas is a fucking ordeal. The pain starts on Christmas Eve. We will usually go visit my father’s family and join in on their party. That’s my favorite place to go because it’s laid back and there a lot of kids for the Thrill-lings to play with and stay out of my hair. However, my mother’s side of the family has this asinine tradition of going to visit as many people as humanly possible on Christmas Eve across the entire blasted Kansas City Metropolitan Area. I did a pretty good job last year of limiting it, but we will probably get dragged to one or two places before getting to my father’s.

    After that, we go to my wife’s parents to spend the night. I ha-ha-hate spending the night at other people’s houses. Period. They might have a dinner or something.

    Then I’ll leave late at night and go attend my old church’s Christmas Eve candlelight service. The choir is awesome. Keep in mind that this is the only….fucking…thing I want to do on Christmas and the only thing I think even represents the good that’s left in the whole wretched holiday.

    Then I go back to my wife’s parents and pass out from sheer fatigue while everyone stages the living room to look like Santa was there. At 6 AM, the kids wake everyone up and it begins anew. We have breakfast and sit around until it’s time to open presents. You would think I’d look forward to the gifts, but you’re wrong! Every person opens their gifts one at a time. You have to guess what is in it AND THEY KEEP SCORE. It takes like four hours just to get through.

    When that’s over, I find a corner to hide in and load up on bloody mary’s. Then there’s dinner. Keep in mind that by now, Christmas has already been going on for over 30 hours and I REALLY just want to go home and get back to normal.

    But no. The wife will sometimes want to stay over for another fucking night which means that either I have to stay too or be an asshole and go home by myself. Well, you know me so I do the latter. Then I go back to work on the 26th whether I’m supposed to or not just to have an excuse to get away. The wife and kids get back sometime in the evening on the 26th.

    Again, I think my in-laws are great people, but they overdo the shit out of Christmas. Somehow, they made me go from merely apathetic to hate for the holidays. I mean, three days? Come on….

    And all I really ever want to do is go to church for a couple of hours and enjoy the peaceful dignity of it all. There’s none of that to be found in any other aspect of Christmas.

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    Im so fucking glad my family doesn’t go in for this carp. I have never been shopping on black friday,and have no intention to , my wife doesn’t care for on friday we are just nursing a hangover from drinking with my folks the night before.
    as for Christmas its self, my side is pretty laid back, show up Christmas eve, eat, unwrap presents , drink….. next morning open gifts at home. and then off to one of my aunts open a few there eat…. and hopefully not off to her side.. ugh i really do like her grand mother her mom and her brother,the rest.. ugh they are anal and obsessive.. though her oldest cousin likes to dress a bit slutty and let her very nice knockers hand out a bit..
    Other wise ill pass,got home with the family relax play with any new toys, and just be happy we are together..
    The buying shit is a bit crazy i know but i tend to go a bit over board on my family and wife. Last year i bought her a nice pistol, and looks like this year i might get her another….. mom a tablet,and dad the 50 years of James Bond Blue rays…. sister… got me.. some rum maybe.

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  10. HARLEY

    One thing i do like about the Christmas holiday time. Every place i have worked at has shut down for the last week of the it pretty much ends as one week long party.. and chance to go get shit faced on weekdays.

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  11. Mississippi Yankee

    Oh, wow. We both got downvoted there. Apparently, The Ghost of Christmas Blogging is among our readership…

    I am the one that ‘down-voted Hal. And not just “because” either. He had the audacity to suggest MY FUCKING BIRTHDAY be moved to Dec. 28th. A POX on his house I say!

    Famous people like Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Mandrell, Sissy Spacek, my cousin Lenna. Brian ! Oh and baby Jesus too. We were all born on Dec. 25th. Go change your own birthday starfucker.

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  12. Mississippi Yankee

    This post, about Christmas no less, may hold the record for being used by almost everyone in the comment section in a grinch-like manner. Is this an attempted diversion to not buy me a present?
    BTW, a used dreidel is not a proper birthday/Christmas gift.

    Y’all really are a bunch of Christ punching godless bastards. But Lee’s probably smiling somewhere… so there’s that…

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  13. Section8

    Here’s why Christmas sucks.

    It’s not the commercialism, that’s always been there in our lifetimes.

    Hell it doesn’t even have to be the shopping. You can do what I do, get Amazon prime, start your shopping at about 5pm on Dec 21, and be done by 6pm. Free shipping.

    Here’s the deal. When Christmas was cool, back when we were kids, you wake up, get free toys. About the only contribution you had to make was drawing some shitty card for mom and dad that was probably a school project anyhow, so even that was fun as it beats having to do math. Then you become a teen, and you still get stuff, but have to buy a little too so it was more of a tossup. Now you get older, it’s all liability hoping you don’t fuck up and dissapoint when buying gifts for that special someone, and you know that’s never changing and it’s only going to get worse down the road when the grand kids start appearing. It’s not Christmas that sucks, it’s getting old that sucks.

    And as far as family stress and arguments? Ask your folks if it was stressful for them back then. I bet it was. But you were probably like me playing with all the toys to even notice or give a shit. :)

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  14. repmom

    And a Bah, humbug to you all!

    Wow. Such a downer thread.

    Old age brings achy knees, wrinkles, etc., but it also brings fun stuff – like retirement, and the best part of all – Grandkids (have one so far), and they make Christmas fun again.

    And I hate anything Christmas related before Thanksgiving, especially the music on my favorite radio station and the shows on my favorite TV station that normally airs repeats of Frazier, Cheers, etc. at night.

    And Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday as well, Thrill.

    Have a great Thanksgiving all, regardless of who you are having it with!

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  15. Thrill

    TV station that normally airs repeats of Frazier, Cheers, etc. at night.

    Sounds like you’re in league with Mrs. Thrill. She watched Frasier straight through on Netflix over the past few months. That and Murder She Wrote. Can’t believe we’re paying for that…

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  16. Miguelito

    Every person opens their gifts one at a time. You have to guess what is in it AND THEY KEEP SCORE. It takes like four hours just to get through.

    Ok, that would drive me bat-shit insane too.

    My family is pretty laid back. We only get a small present or two per person and don’t go wild, except for the kids, they get plenty of toys and all. Trying to make sure I don’t forget anyone or at least get something with at least some thought involved does get a little old. I know it could be a lot worse though.

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  17. repmom

    We’ve done the one gift at a time in the past, as well. But it’s only four of us – five if my mom is with us – so it goes fairly fast. It’s fun. We have our coffee, in our pjs, fire going in the fireplace.

    This year will include 17 month old granddaughter, so may to adjust, but will be fun however we do it.

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  18. pfluffy

    Sounds like you’re in league with Mrs. Thrill. She watched Frasier straight through on Netflix over the past few months. That and Murder She Wrote. Can’t believe we’re paying for that…

    My brother can go you one better. He is still working through “The Rockford Files”. LOL. Damn.

    I have seasonal affective disorder, which means life sucks pretty much after Halloween (my favorite too!) – BUT, I can fake it through Christmas most years. Due to unseasonably nice weather, Dave put the outside lights up today and we will probably get the tree going this weekend.

    I am with you on Amazon Prime for Christmas shopping, Section8. I will be done in short order and never leave the house. Shove everything in a gift bag and call it good.

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  19. Mississippi Yankee

    My brother can go you one better. He is still working through “The Rockford Files”. LOL. Damn.

    They are on the way but my youngest son will receive for Christmas both “Tales of the Gold Monkey” and the original “Battlestar Galactica” full series. He had expressed an interest in them but is too young (29 yesterday) to have ever seen them on TV.
    I love Amazon

    BTW he got “Lost Girl” season 2 for his birthday. Not a lot of maturity or high-brow in my house I suppose.

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  20. pfluffy

    the original “Battlestar Galactica” full series

    Wow. I do like the remake with Katie Sackhoff as Starbuck. We saw her at Dragon Con signing autographs and she looked like she was having the time of her life. For some reason, she was far away from her BG co-stars, whom all looked bored shitless.

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  21. Mississippi Yankee

    Why isn’t she getting more work? She’s extremely attractive and I think she acts well too. At least Grace Park got some regular work with the Hawaii 5-0 remake. Oh and that Tahmoh Penikett guy got some work on Joss Wheaton’s Dollhouse.

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  22. Biggie G

    Actually, Katee Sackhoff is on the A&E series Longmire. I think that it has been renewed for a second season. I think it’s pretty good. It makes me want to go to Wyoming, if that counts for anything.

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  23. CM

    Love Tahmoh Penikett (as Helo and in Dollhouse but generally too). The wife is an even bigger fan. He was also in Season 2 of The Killing. Hope he gets a lot more work.
    Sackhoff had a prominent role in the last season of 24, although that’s a few years ago now.

    Unrelated, but this is pretty good.

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