I Wish Me a Gift-Free Christmas
Meditate for a moment on the meaning of Christmas. Goodwill. Cheer. Family bonds. Love. Generosity. Kinship with all of humankind. Maybe Jesus, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Then watch this:
Doesn’t that make you want to delicately remove your eyeballs with cocktail toothpicks and serve them to your neighbour’s Rottweiler so you never have to see anything like that, ever again?
Ah, Christmas. As one perspicacious commenter on that video put it, “What happened to just treating Christmas like another day but you’re just a little bit happier that day.” Indeed, what!
I legitimately don’t want any gifts for Christmas this year. Or next year, or any future Christmases. My girlfriend and I have practiced gift-abstinence for the last two years, and it has been quite refreshing. This year, however, I’m flying home to stay with my parents for the holidays, and it has always been a challenge to convince them of my sincerity concerning this issue, because they firmly believe I’m still six years old. Also, my dad lives and breathes to spoil people.
Actual Incident that Happened Last Time I Tried to Do This
Me: Dad, I don’t want you to buy me anything for Christmas this year.
Me: Sigh. Fine. I need some brown socks. You can buy me some brown socks. Okay?
Dad: *buys me a 32GB iPod Touch*
I have nothing against gifts per se. And I am by no means anti-Christmas. There are many things I love about Christmas, most of which involve pure hedonism. (Sleeping in. Drinking indulgent specialty liqueurs well before noon. Pyjamas all day. Boxed chocolates for lunch. Christmas cookies, hells yes! Plates and plates of them, everywhere! Sugar cookies, thimble cookies, shortbread, almond crescents, butter cookies rum balls macaroons gingerbread-snowballs-biscotti-amaretti-snickerdoodles-Pfeffernüssen-madeleines-marzipan-peanutbutterchocolatechip-oatmealnutmegcinnamonraisin-maplewalnutpeppermintvanillasprinklescarameltoffeecrunchcustardcream HYPERGLYCEMIC COMA! Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.)
It’s just that I don’t want to spend my two weeks of winter holidays immersed in a frenzied crush of haggard, desperate, phlegmy shoppers who are all on the verge of bitch-slapping each other because they’re all trying to occupy the same few hundred square feet of flood-lit sensory-overloaded space, like factory-farmed chickens with massive credit card debt. I don’t want my loved ones to go through this on my behalf, either.
And no, Martha Winfrey, I am not going to make handmade gifts for everyone. The last time I tried that it ended with tears, a fist-mark through the drywall and blobs of superglue on my favourite sweater (if you’re wondering why I was wearing my favourite sweater, I wasn’t. It was on the other side of the room.) This would be no less stressful for me than spending six hours chained to the front of a Walmart buggy on Christmas Eve.
So I’m hereby starting a one-woman movement to return Christmas to its true glory: gluttony and sloth! Also peace and love and that other stuff. Happy holidays.