Bah Hambug: Why I hate Christmas - Fuck All Of Your Collective Cheer
Ah Christmas, that sacred time when Christ Beliebers return home so they can spend quality time with the ones they love; and then instantly remember why they moved so far away from them in the first place. (Not me, mom, obviously every second with my family is a gift) I’m aware that what I’m about to write will not be popular, but here goes: I Ioathe Christmas.
I know what you may be thinking: Zoe you horrible Grinch, take your Bah Humbugs and shove them up your Menorah. I love Christmas! It’s a beautiful Holy night where a blue eyed Wonder bread colored baby was born in the Middle East (yeah right) to a Virgin, (yeah right) so I have to buy sweater sets and foot hot tubs for everyone in my family. Life is scary and confusing and not at all what I thought it would be, and this is the one time that feels safe and controlled where I can remember my childhood through rose colored glasses. What exactly is your problem anyway?
So off the bat, Jesus was born sometime in spring and he wasn’t white, so the whole holiday is mute, But the main reason I look like grumpy cat during this time is because if you’re broke, heartbroken, don’t believe in Christianity, cannot be with your family or simply don’t have any; Christmas is simply the most terrible time of the year. On top of that, we all have to tolerate the insipid repetitive songs, the endless commercials, the weird fat hairy pedofile Santas lurking behind every corner, and crowds of moon faced tourists full of forced holiday cheer. It feels like I’m in a continuous Groundhog Day loop and like Bill Murray, I’m ready to do about anything to make it stop, including dropping a toaster in my bathtub.
“But Zoe, you have Chaunkkah! Isn't that fun? Instead of one night of presents don’t you get 8 crazy nights?” says my drunk, carroll-lovin, tree-killin, eggnog-snorting Christian friends.
NO. No it’s not, it is never fun and here’s why: Chanukah is a holiday Jews made up to try to compete with Christmas and you NEVER get good presents. Yes we have 8 boring nights but our parents usually give cruel jokes instead of presents, like a rock of Pyrite (thanks dad) or a half eaten sack of stale chocolate coins (thanks mom). Do you know how mean it is to give a small Jew child a sack of pretend money that doesn’t even taste good?! Or the most dreaded gift of all, a tree planted in your honor in Israel. I used to imagine this genius Jew who made up this fake company compiling all of what could have been our gift money into some tree you could never prove was plated in Israel. Whoever you are, Mordichai the Madoff of trees, Mazel Tov. I don’t like you, but I respect your hustle.
When I was little, all of this made me very upset. I wondered why my God hated me, and only me and wanted me to be so unhappy. But now as the medium grown-up that I am, I wonder, how did this time period get lumped up with presents? How have we all bought into this hooey with such ferocity, so much so that my childhood was permeated with a feeling of missing out and misery because I wasn’t waking up to a pile of soon to be garbage under a dead tree? It’s Looney Tunes.
“Hold on, what about that fun spinny top thing you play? You know when you get to win money and I know you Jews like that,” your happy golden retriever colored, LL Bean catalog lookin’ Christmas card making friends may say. Listen Lassie, Dreidel makes no sense and is no fun. Here are the rules: Each “player” puts fake gold coins in a circle, and then you spin a stupid weird shaped Hebrew covered toy, and then one of four things happens, 1. Nothing 2. You lose everything. 3. You get one coin. 4. You get all the coins.
I’m pretty sure dreidel was created to train young Jews to be investment bankers. It’s bullshit. It’s weird. Chanukah sucks and that’s the end of it.
But for the rest of you out there who still may think Christmas is about the birth of Christ I have sad news (or at least a reminder because you must know this); this entire holiday has been created by corporations and mother Capitalism to make you feel like a pile of poo so large you could be a part of the set on Jurassic Park. All so you can buy heaps of sweatshop made crap, probably at the hands of beautiful children that ultimately ends up in the garbage. It’s all just a proxy instead of doing the hard work of finding ways of non-commercial connection with the ones you love. Because nothing can fill up the landfill that’s inside our hearts.
The only thing a family needs is, drum roll please: to spend time together and love each other….despite knowing each other so well. The presents are just another way for us to deflect the deep unresolved issues of jealousy and blame that are pointed like little invisible passive aggressive atomic missiles family members have pointed at one another.
We’ve been tricked into thinking that a tree carcass full of shiny squares will diffuse all our radioactive family issues. Mommy and daddy don’t love each other anymore and mommy has an online shopping addiction because daddy has been sleeping with your male social studies teacher and your brother is addicted to the Oxy’s that he’s been stealing out Grandma's medicine cabinet, but here’s a tickle me Elmo, (shit this dates me, what’s the new present, like a Play Station 14?) that oughta fix it.
The only way I have found to deal with Christmas is to take the time as a way to step up my charity game. Helping others during the holidays, is in my humble opinion, the best way to stop yourself from drinking so much that you could tell the woeful tales of the repercussions at an AA meeting and even the most fucked-up carnie with two caramel apple colored Chiclet teeth would shake his head out of respect for how far you’ve fallen from Eden.
Here’s the good news! You don’t need anything this Holiday season to be happy. Even if you only have forty-seven shekels in your bank account. If you’re reading this, you have access to internet, and probably have clean water, a warm bed to sleep in and yummy things to fill up your belly. Even if your family makes Charles Manson's cult look like a healthy working family system, at least you have a family! Even if your body has changed so much people sometimes confuse you for a vat of Crisco and then try to rub you on pans so things don’t stick, at least you’re eating well! Even if you’ve broken every single New Years resolution you’ve ever had; at least you still believe that you can change! More importantly, if you can take big breaths of air, dance and most importantly laugh, that my virtual friend, is enough. As for me, I will be spending Christmas with friends, taking advantage of the main benefit of Christmas, which is watching movies in empty theatres while eating Lo Mein, counting down the hours until for whom jingle bell tolls, is over.... as is tradition.