Tuesday, December 1


** OK, if you are super-sensitive about Christmas, God or retail, please do us both a favor and skip this post.

Well, it’s Christmas again – that special time of year when Santa sells liquor and angels sing ‘half off everything in the store.’ I hate Christmas. I know, I know. I’m probably going to have my Christian card revoked for just verbalizing that, but I’m pretty sure that
I crossed that line
the day I compared Jesus to a zombie (except he didn’t eat people. Think about it). My only saving grace is that God might find that funny because he/she/general life force, has one dark, fucked up sense of humor. If you doubt it, just look around you. It’s called “life.”

Granted I am a cynical person, but I see Christmas as nothing more than a orgy of buying and receiving shit no one needs (except for this year, I’m getting tires for my car, which I really do need). Exhibit A - the insane commercials on your TV. Once, just once, I’d like to meet someone that got a fucking car for Christmas.

All the Christmas hubbub makes me think about Hanukkah, you know, that other holiday and how civilized and practical it seems compared to the carnival-like atmosphere of Christmas. Eight days, eight presents, light some candles and enjoy some dreidel spinning – done and done.

My husband likes to remind me that Christmas is really for kids and now that we have one I’d better buck up and change my attitude. He’s absolutely right, but it doesn’t mean that I have to go quietly into that goodnight. I’ve promised to hide my crankiness as long as he postpones the Christmas kickoff until after Thanksgiving. Novel idea, I know.

By now it’s a cliché to bitch and moan about the commercialism of Christmas. I think that people were probably complaining about it at the second Christmas. The three wise men were all, "you know, myrrh ain't cheap, and frankincense and is just so passe nowadays. Besides, I mean have you ever seen them use this stuff? 'Cause I sure haven't."

Besides, no one is going to ever give a better commentary than Dr. Seuss, so the rest of us should stop trying. However, I don’t even think that the Grinch could have foreseen the complete anarchy that is Black Friday. Five years ago, unless you worked in retail, you had no idea what Black Friday even was. Now, companies tout the day as if it were, well, Christmas. For Christssakes, this year Sears actually had a “Black Friday” sale. I find it highly ironic and hi-larious that we now kick off the celebration of our Lord, the baby Jesus, with something called Black Friday. And I thought comparing Jesus with a zombie was bad (except he didn’t eat people. Think about it).

Ever since I left the wonderful world of retail, I swore that it would be a cold day in hell before I participated in the Black Friday chaos. I absolutely refuse to throw bows to get a HDTV, or to punch some stranger in the throat for an awesome deal on a laptop. I know that I’m giving away my age here, but I remember all too well the insanity that occurred during the Cabbage Patch riots of ’83. By the time Daddy learned to walk again, little Xavier was all but forgotten about. Shame.

However this year, I did it. I laced up my ice skates and I ventured out onto the lake of eternal fire, or as I like to call it, Target. I wasn’t really taking it very seriously as we didn’t get there until 10 a.m. Door busters, we weren’t. Piper and I milled around for a bit and I found a couple of things, but I steered clear of the electronics section, since that’s where the highest concentration of crazy seems to be during the BF sales. Mostly people were civil, but there were a couple of instances of people cutting me off with their carts to get that last $4 copy of Nights in Rodanthe. Then there was the high-school couple that decided to make out in the kid’s movie section, block the isle and apparently the stares of everyone around them. Finally after a couple of minutes of soft-corn porn, I piped up, “really guys? You picked today?” Of course they shot me a dirty “old lady don’t understand our love” look, but they got out of my way.

I decided to take a moment of refuge in the shoe isle, quietly looking at slippers for Piper trying to figure out which one would fit her freakishly wide feet (sadly, I do not see cutesy, strappy sandals in her future). I had just put a fuzzy pink number back when I heard the voice of an angel in the next isle. OK, not really. It was just some crazy lady humming “Silent Night” with all her might. And for the first and probably only time this holiday season, I took pause and delighted in the moment. Because even though this woman had probably been at Old Navy since 3 a.m., she had the will to sing a Christmas carol while browsing shoe carnage on Black Friday. That my friends, is faith.

Her vocal stylings made me think about what carol I might sing in the shoe isle of Target? If I ever felt so inclined, I think that it might go, a little something, like this…

“Siiiiiiiiilent Niiiiight, Hooooooooooly Niiiiiight, round yon virgin, these shoes are too tiiiiiiiiiight. Hoooooooly infant, they are a good priiiiiiiice, maaaaaaybeeeeeeeee they’ll streeeeeetch, maaaaaaybeeeeeeeee they’ll streeeeeetch.