Merry Fucking Christmas, kid

From the author of an upcoming book on Bad Santas:

While sorting through old photographs at my mother's house one Christmas, I came across a photograph that was to haunt me for years. It was a photo taken at a mall of my brother Michael sitting on the lap of Santa Claus. Innocent enough - loads of people have pictures of themselves or thier children sitting on Santa's's a tradition to see Santa every year, tell him what you'd like for Christmas,and get a candy cane. What struck a chord with me about this picture was the Santa himself. Slouched into the chair, one arm clumsily draped around my brother, much in the same way barflys casually hug thier fellow brethren before falling to the floor in a stupor. I looked closer...thick black body hair sprouted from every opening of the ill fitting Santa suit, the too-short trouses- revealing fish white, strangely pocked legs. This Santa boasted one enormous black eyebrow, an 5 o'clock shadow (needless the say the beard was falling off) and the dull gleam of narcotics in the one eye that wasn't drooping and looking far past the camera. This was GREAT! I then turned my attention to my brother who I now realised was not merely smiling on command for the camera but rather was grimacing, rigid in fear on his hobo Santa's lap, fists clenched, eyes silently pleading. Oh how I laughed.

I love Christmas. Oh, wait, no. I mean I hate Christmas. We spend a quarter of the year preparing at vast expense for a single day of the year that we all convinced ourselves everybody else enjoys and looks forward to with magical delight, when in truth it's just another day -- no worse, really, but no better either. The food is offset by the cooking and cleaning, and don't get me started about the presents. The only people who enjoy Christmas are very small children, and that's only because of raw, naked greed: children love getting stuff, just like the rest of us. Only unlike the rest of us, children have no idea of what they don't have: they get everything they want, and more, on Christmas day, so no wonder they love Christmas. I did too, when I was little. The rest of us are pissed off, but pretend we aren't and rationalize the fact that we didn't get what we want, or get for others what they wanted, because "it's the thought that counts", a cliché always trotted out in the vicinity of poor quality presents. Fuck that. It's the present that counts; if you don't think about me the rest of the year, what are you my friend for? The present shows what you think of me. And if I think you're worth a £3.95 "novelty" gift then that's not a good sign for me*.

And also don't give me that bullshit about it being Christ's birthday and a holy holiday and a religious celebration. Christmas officially stopped being a religious holiday with the release of the first Christmas-themed porn DVD, and its credentials had been in doubt for a long time before that, what with all the muslims, hindus, buddhists and satanists getting in on the act for decades now. Christmas is all about the money: getting it, and not spending too much of it. Did you get a net gain at Christmas, financially, including things like "free" food consumed and time spent doing things with people you loathe? Then you win. Otherwise you lose. It's really that simple.

On the other hand, I love Christmas, if only because it's the full-on campest holiday ever devised. The whole world suddenly has my taste in interior design: eclectic, but shiny and bright and colourful. My taste in interior design but not, unfortunately, my taste in music. Oh lord, save me from Christmas music! It's dreadful! Dozens upon dozens of awful, cheerful, meaningless tinkly tunes covered royalty-free by legions of poor singers and "adapted" (read: bastardized) into every genre available**. Ordinarily, the rest of the year, nobody would sit through such drivel. But it's Christmas! Suddenly our taste-glands are suspended! It doesn't matter if it's shit if it's Christmassy shit, and I would make a joke that people would buy real dogshit if you gift-wrapped it but somebody already did that and made millions, off people who didn't catch on that joke was on them.

And finally, there's those who say Christmas is all about family. Well, bullshit to that too. I love my family. You know when I see my family most? That's August (when my parents visit the UK) and Christmas (when we go back to Trinidad and see them). And the only reason I look forward to Christmas more is because I spend Christmas somewhere warm and sunny instead of somewhere cold and wet. The family thing is just the "thought that counts" thing wrapped up differently: I love my family all the time; why would my love-rating suddenly go up a couple notches for a few days in December? The reason I like Christmas is because I see my family, but if I saw them all together on some other day then I would probably love that day instead.

So, merry Christmas to you too. You poor deluded fool.

* Some exceptions made for friends who have no money and/or novelty gifts that have some relevance, like the mini disco-lights set I received for my birthday, which, I wish to make it clear, I was exactly as delighted to receive as it appeared.

** Although punk covers of Christmas carols generally kick ass. "Twelve days of Christmas" sounds much cooler when it's "five... noooooose... riiiiiiiings..... [crashing guitars]".