I can easily agree with Andy Williams and say, "Yes, this is indeed the most wonderful time of the year." Not just because movie studios dump their award-hopefuls on us, but because family time is wonderfully abound during this time of year, along with a strange general wave of optimism that seems to work its way through most people ... at least for the one day. However, sometimes with great positivity comes bits of great idiocy, as this past holiday season (New Year's counts, but only sort of) has plenty of moments to show for itself. Now that the dust of wrapping paper has settled into its garbage bags and the woes of worrying about nearly everything holiday related has past, it's time to reflect upon a few little things from this time of year that were ... not so great.
I have seen this more than once – if it were a singular example, I could maybe find myself forgiving the poor schmuck who got Christmas conned. But unless the same ugly Ford wannabe tank has been following me everywhere, it seems that it’s fashionable this season to put little antlers on the side of your car, and a red ball over your front grate. Why would you do this to something you take out into the public? As with poor Rudolph, your Hummer probably already gets laughed at, and maybe even called names. I would only support such a car cosmetic attempt if it could somehow improve a person’s driving. But looking at the multitude of overzealous morons dominating the roads with their near impatience, this appears to not be the case.
2. Everyone Magically Sucks More At Driving
Speaking of driving, at least in Massachusetts, I’d give the state a general driving grade of a "B-." During the holidays, especially anywhere that’s at least a mile away from a mall or shopping center or place with cash register, the average goes to down to a depressing D (for “dumb.”) Mr. or Mrs. Truck, did you really have to cut me off when I was stopped at a stop sign? Mr. or Mrs. Honda, was it really necessary to blow through that red light, in front of an elementary school? The Christmas rush gets taken to the streets when multiple cars are dueling for parking spaces, because for everyone, parking in the back of the lot and simply walking is unreasonable.
3. Dumb Chain Letters
I have not received a wacky electronic card from anyone in years, and I'm okay with that, especially if they still equal the lameness of something like this. However, apparently idiotic crap like this still floats around the highways of the internet, as sent by a friend who (very, very likely) was not being sarcastic.
Subject: Fwd: Merry Christmas!
To All My Democrat Friends:
Please accept with no obligation, implied or explicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2011 but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.
To My Republican Friends: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Happy New Year!
4. Anyone Getting Worked Up Over The "Holiday" vs. "Christmas" Fiasco
There are other things to get worked up about, people. Like whether TRON: Legacy is actually as awful as Avatar. Or whether Julian Assange at least deserves room service.
5. Christmas Carol Domination
I’m not talking about how often we may hear the music played in the privacy of our own homes. When it comes to that, I say go nuts. It’s a limited time of year, and as long as the CDs are back on the shelves or in the boxes by January 2nd at the very latest, that works. I’m talking about the songs following you everywhere, lurking into your subconscious so that your dreams are haunted by Sugar Ray's rendition of "Little Saint Nick." Every store (or again, any place with a cash register) feels the need to play Christmas music, usually tuning into generic channels that will play everything and anything. Aaron Carter’s CD? No problem. The list goes on. In fact, it goes on so deeply that it starts to take things personal – Sirius likes to tease me every year by taking away my two favorite channels, “The 40’s” and “Heart” (power ballad central!) and turn them inside out into havens for holiday channels, maintaining their respective generations. Why did you have to pick those two, Sirius? Couldn't you take out "Waterworks" or something only my brother listens to instead? Is it so wrong to at least ask for the option to not hear Christmas songs when out and about? Or rather, would someone actually complain if a store chose not to place Christmas music? "Excuse me, I refuse to support your business because you are not playing Josh Groban's Christmas album?"
6. Holiday Season Car Commercials
The commercially-quirky Pompalosse "videosong" car ads were bearable. Why? While the Youtube band might have loaded a car-load of twee into these thirty second spots, but at least the advertisements didn't have one of the most fantastically cheesy holiday sights - automobiles wrapped up in ribbons. Holiday capitalism doesn't get worse than the barrage of identical commercials that try to sell an automobile as a possible gift for Christmas. And on top of that, they don't share with potential customers any tactics to hiding such a "surprise." And what if the receiver wanted a Honda instead of a Ford? And really, who gets brand new cars for presents, other than bratty 16-year-old girls who are having their "Sweet Sixteen" documented by MTV? People in TV land, that's who.