Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hatred Holidays

Bizarro is brought to you today by Here Come The Holidays.

I'm not one of those people who complain about seeing Santa and hearing Xmas songs before Thanksgiving. I tend to complain that I have to endure these things at all, any time of year, because I truly despise the ugly, crass, festival of insincerity that Xmas has become. This is a holiday that should be celebrated quietly at home, if at all, and those of us who do not celebrate it should not even notice its passing. Like Yom Kippur.

That's the way it was before Washington Irving decided to make up a lot of holiday traditions and promote the idea that Xmas should be a big, noisy, tacky whoop-de-doo. Stores caught onto the idea and helped it along and before you know it, most Americans were celebrating Xmas with gifts and songs and decorations as if it were an ancient tradition.

I'm sure things were more-or-less within reason in those early days, but like everything else modern-day America touches, it is now a ghastly commercial orgy that assaults the eyes and ears of everyone within 500 miles of its borders. I even saw giant Xmas decorations at a department store in a Buddhist country in Asia back in 2000. Apparently you have to go to Iran to escape elves and flying reindeer.

So I say, "Pull that trigger, Mr. Pilgrim, and bury the evidence before it gets out of hand. You have no idea what you're in for."

Yes, I know I'm a huge pain-in-the-ass Grinch/Scrooge about this. All my friends and family gleefully celebrate Xmas while I sit quietly at home without decorations and with the TV mute on, lest I accidentally subject myself to the sound of jingling bells during a Best Buy commercial. (Just typing that made my skin crawl.)

How did I get this way? I have no idea. I enjoyed it as a kid – Santa, toys, the food, the tree, the TV specials, the songs, mom bringing home sailors on holiday leave and making me wait in a box in the basement, the lights and decorations. But as an adult, year by year, I became increasingly uncomfortable with it until I finally snapped like a dry holly branch under the hoof of a plummeting reindeer and declared myself the archenemy of all things Xmas. Self indulgent hypocrisy has always turned my stomach and modern American Xmas is the blaring, screeching, glittering, multi-billion-dollar embodiment of it. To my mind, anyway.

Here's hoping you all have a nice holiday season, please keep the noise down.

11 comments:

Sam said...

I can understand your hatred of commerical Xmas - a lot of people do. The thing I can't understand is why you have to be so miserly and piss on it for everyone else.

"Why do we have to be subjected to all this joy and happiness? All those bright lights and gift-giving? Why are you trying to make me feel good when I just want to suck lemons and root in my own filth?" (Okay, maybe you don't root in your own filth...)

What's wrong with shoving joy down people's throats? It's better than putting up with the unending moaning that is the war on terror or the doldrum economy. Would you rather Xmas be in shades of beige and grey, with no lights, no presents and minimal happiness equally shared amongst the masses?

I think all the Grinches in the world should go away during Xmas (believe me, us cheer-leaders outnumber you, so pack your bags) = You'll have fun on stick-in-the-mud island drinking Blue Lagoons and we'll have fun putting up too much tinsel, guzzling spiked eggnog and choking on fruit cakes.

Fair trade?

Jym said...

=v= The Xmas Resistance season is coming up. Traditionally, it starts the day after Thanksgiving and lasts a year.

Anonymous said...

Finally - someone who shares my sentiments about this holiday! The decorations are already up in my town and I am dreading another month and a half of this crap! I wish people would celebrate the true reason of the season, and make memories instead of buying crap no one needs! I'll be avoiding the retail orgy!

Piraro said...

@ Sam Said...
You make good points, ones I've heard from my own friends and family for years. I don't actually poop on anyone else's holidays, I just resent the horrid music and decor being crammed down my throat everywhere I go. Believe me, if there was a place I could go to be with others who feel similarly about Xmas (and I could afford it), I'd gladly do it for the months of Nov and Dec. :)

txmilady said...

Dan, I have been reading your cartoons for years and I always thought we shared part of a brain. Now I KNOW we do. I am famous around my friends and family for despising the "holiday" season; the commercialism, the stress it puts on people, of that crap. Unfortunately, where I workI have to deal with the public. As the holiday draws nearer, one can actually see people deteriorating emotionally, socially and yes, spiritually.

So, I'm with you on this one. The pilgrim should have shot first, questions later.

Lori said...

this is the main reason why i avoid listening to commercial radio after halloween is over: i am bound to hear a christmas song. i also try to wear my ipod in malls because i do not wish to hear a christmas song when it is not yet december. a certain amount of christmas is okay, but there is such a thing as too much, and i think we have reached the too much stage. there were xmas decorations at macy's two weeks ago, for pete's sake!

to the guy who said "what's wrong with shoving joy down people's throats?" well, what's wrong with shoving misery down people's throats? huh? how about that?

i'll tell you what's wrong with shoving joy down my throat. eventually i just want to puke it all back up on you. that is all.

Steve said...

This time of year, in the Northern hemisphere, can be tough on people who suffer from depression. Lack of sunlight, absent family, failed resolutions, the fakeness of it all, can make it a sad time of year.

By a SAD light, don't drink too much, stay on the meds.

patrick said...

I am right there with you, Dan. I can't stand the "holiday" season. I see it as one big noisy, over-commericalized assault on the senses an sensibility. One of the worst Christmas season's that I experienced was spent in Kauai -- hearing all these crappy songs about winter wonderlands and sleigh bells ringing, while basking in the wonderful tropical tradewinds pretty much ruined the trip.

randomoid said...

I loved xmas when I was a kid too, but then xmas didn't start until December, or even as early as *gasp* late November. When xmas eve is already upon us I'm sick and tired of it and just want to shove down the food, get drunk and open my presents and pretend I like them.

A house in our neighbourhood put up xmas lights and stuff on their house early November. Thanks for ruining xmas.

Now I just say I celebrate Saturnalia.

Jodie said...

I like celebrating on Christmas or maybe putting up a tree the week prior. No holiday songs before mid-December, no holiday-palusa on TV, radio etc. PLEASE it's just a way to sell more STUFF. I've got enough stuff for 5 people already and only 2 people live here. I'm getting more anti-Xmas the older that I get.

katievautour said...

Christmas, and most holidays...most everything, actually, has become a superficial construct of marketing and consumerism. That is, emotions/ideas/feelings are thought to be represented by, if not directly obtainable, through material things.

I figured out that Santa wasn't real at the age of five.
By extension, I think I also ruined my parents' fun around that point.

Anyway, maybe the Grinches among us here will appreciate this image: http://katievautour.wordpress.com/2009/12/09/merry-christmas-santa/