Call Me Old Fashioned

One of the best parts about Christmas are the unique traditions that individual families have. Today we’re going to look at holiday traditions that many people take very seriously.

Some put their tree up on Christmas Eve; others opt for Thanksgiving. Whatever day you choose, one constant always remains: some people get seriously offended at people who put their tree up at a time they deem too early. Unless it’s your house, what the hell do you care? If someone wants to start celebrating Christmas around October, let them go nuts. It’s their right. It’s not a personal affront to you and your way of life when somebody put a tree with multi-color lighting up on Labor Day. Until their tree decorating custom involves carrying their tree into your house and knocking over all your stuff with it, just let it happen.

Four years ago I worked at CVS over the holidays. I went back to the pharmacy to help out, and this old guy was getting a prescription filled by one of the pharmacists. The pharmacist said, “Merry Christmas. I always make sure to say Merry Christmas, and not Happy Holidays.” The sentiment being that she was rallying against the politically correct, all-inclusive rejoinder that is “Happy Holidays.”

I think there’s a damn good reason not to say Merry Christmas to everyone you meet or see. You know what that is? There’s a real possibility that any person you meet may not celebrate Christmas. Is saying “Happy Holidays,” that bad of a compromise? Am I metaphorically crapping on the Baby Jesus or something?

It seems a tad anti-Semitic, is all. If you’re going to go all-out and make sure you alienate anyone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas, the next logical step is to besmirch what they’re all about.

Tell your family I said hello, Mr. Simmons. Also, tell them the same thing I like to say to everyone this time of year: Merry Christmas and dreidels are for chodes.

Oh okay, sure, like I’m the only one who does this?

You think you’re better than me?

It’s mentioned in the holiday favorite “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” It’s an absolute holiday treasure. I can’t tell you how many times me and my family would nestle around the fire and dig our spoons into a nice sweet bowl of delicious figgy pudding.

Oh, that’s right, I actually can tell you: never.

I think figgy pudding is English; it might as well be, because I’ve never seen or heard about anyone actually eating it in this country. No, figgy pudding is one of those Christmas traditions that stays alive only through song, and not because anyone’s actually seen or heard about it, much like the elusive boptail.

Going door to door and singing Christmas songs isn’t illegal, but it certainly should be. I can’t imagine what my face would look like if a bunch of people dressed in goofy winter shit came to my door and sang Silent Night. Am I supposed to smile the whole time? Can I go inside and leave the door cracked so I can listen? Are you singing a song or two, or are we talking about a Springsteen set here?

I have a proposition for any prospective carolers in my hood – if you come to my house expecting to sing, and you don’t do it, you’re welcome to half of whatever’s in my fridge. Deal?

The classic debate: what should sit atop the Christmas tree – a star, or an angel? Let’s break it down: the star represents the birth Jesus, or something like that. And the angel stands for all that is good and holy during the season. Both sound kind of lame. On the other hand, angels are the agents of God, and if there’s ever a knock-down dragout between God and Satan, angels would do battle with demons. Not to be outdone, stars are burning orbs of gas that could swallow and burn whole planets.

What we have here is a stalemate.

To answer this age-old query, I say we compromise. Someone make a tree-topping ornament of an angel punching a demon while sitting on top of a shooting star. That sounds like it would be good for a tree or a tattoo.


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