Way way way too easy to be super-cynical about Christmas, which is inherently, explicitly, marshmallowy sentimental and as such just deeply embarrassing for those of us who aren’t the worst, and “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is mos def about what we used to call “gray rape,” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” is just a really sad meditation on divorce from the perspective of an innocent, stupid child. Or is it? I don’t remember but I won’t be listening to it for you; what are we, friends?
No. Our understanding of the spirit of Christmas is more to the effect of enjoying this secular shopping and disordered eating holiday for what it is, and for which we are grateful.
Nota bene: I do get a sense that Jewish girls are conflicted about whether or not to have a tree and do presents in the all-at-once binge-style of Christmas, but it so completely doesn’t matter and also fuck you a little bit because I’m bummed about not being Jewish every other week of the year.
The soundtrack to this column is “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” the Mariah version (which is about betrayal and abandonment).
A theorem about why nobody hears that much about guy-on-guy office relationships, while the guy-girl ones always come out, is that dudes are more discreet and less committed to telling everyone about their sex life and more into just having a sex life. A Christmas party, timed just-so with end-of-the-year giving-up (suuurely I’ll meet every deadline in 2012, with days to spare and not submitting articles as I’m slithering off my bed and out of two-day pajamas, orbited by empty coffee cups and candy wrappers and the previous two-day pajamas, wanting to cry so much but being unable to produce adequate fluid because of how much skunk weed I smoked), plus all that sanctioned drinking, is when the social relationships so rope-bound the rest of the time get a little loose, and a little low, and the odds of doing a line with your boss or conceiving of doing a line with someone who knows your boss, at least, increase significantly. Inasmuch as Christmas is a mommy-holiday (mine is currently panic-attacking because two of the eleventy hundred snacks she planned have onions, which I don’t eat, as if I’d touch anything other than handfuls of soft cheeses anyway), it’s also anarchic and frightening.
Except: is mistletoe gross or fun?
I wish that text messages came on my computer with the “Uh oh!” ICQ sound (look it up), and that iPads floated, and that my laptop had a touch screen and also a keyboard, and that I was less sexually compelled by dick, that all my revenge fantasies came true, and that it would snow.
When I consulted Wikipedia to confirm that the dumb game my family plays on Christmas Eve is actually called “White Elephant” (incidentally, I have come to conceive of Wikipedia as the ugly personal website of a coolly arrogant middle-class white guy who knows a few facts about every single thing; NO THANKS to the Wikipedia co-founders’ photos), it said, “This game is sometimes called a Yankee Swap, Black Santa, Chinese Gift Exchange, Dirty Santa, Thieving Secret Santa, Parcel Pass, Christmas Swamp Thing, or Pollyanna.” HA, AHHHH WHAT? Anyway, I bought a twenty-five dollar bottle of lingerie soap just to be a cunt to my dad and brother about it.
AN EIGHT-DAY REPRIEVE FROM THINKING
Suck on a ring-pop like it’s your thumb and you’re a baby and digest for a week on someone else’s couch instead of being a human with decisions to make.
YEAR IN REVIEW
Coooool, every boy has sorted his iTunes based on year of release and decides which ten of those albums will constitute an appropriately highbrow-slash-lowbrow-slash-whatever communicates his tortured sense of self-slash-party jams combo, with two girls stuck in for fun (NOTE: “Girls” doesn’t count, sillies!). I hate “Year in Review.”
Here’s my “Girl Year In Review,” though: what every post, tweet, article and thing has missed in their pouch-lickings of Bridesmaids/Whitney/Mindy Kaling/Tina Fey/Diablo Cody/revolutionary-I-guess idea that women can be supportive of each other and co-exist professionally, et cetera, is that sometimes, women fucking hate each other, not because we are just as conflicted and terrible and hateful about women and the feminine as men are (how could anyone not be? Have you met AMERICA?), but for the eternal and simple reason that people hate other people, and women are people. Drink up that chocolate-flavored DOY MILK. When I’m privately breathing to myself “That girl is a fucking cunt,” it’s usually because I do not like that fucking cunt, because she’s a fucking cunt, not because she is a girl. Think about it in dude-terms (Is “He’s a dick” about his dick? Nope.). And that’s the way it is, she typed in a Walter Cronkite voice.
Here’s what goes in a girl’s stocking: Ferrero Rocher, because girls love some Ferreros (Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales calls them a “spherical chocolate treat”); a candy cane; awesome, dessert-flavor gum; toothbrush; novelty socks for fun and white cotton ankle socks for sex; a folded envelope with a treat-of-the-week inside, like Valium or Percocet (oh wait, does your family not base their economy on pills? Too bad, so sad); sparkle nail polish; batteries (you know why); generic Body Shop/Bath and Body Works/B-something-else toiletries like hand sanitizer or scrubby gloves, but nothing like face cream or perfume which are the WORST of the wee presents because you seriously need a girl to pick those things out for herself and let her pay for them and then take her out for dinner 100 times to make up for it; Lipsmackers; something small and spendy like a rolled-up Petit Bateau shirt; a purposeful variety of magazines, like the New Yorker and the Economist and Juicy and Butt.
Don’t include toothpaste (bad volume : value ratio); airplane-sized liquor bottles (cheap; what’s the point?); pens, sticky notes (steal these); unexciting gum.
Obviously this part of Christmas is why everyone who hates it hates it. Even if you are on the up with your family it’s still a days-long feelings rumble, with too-convenient avenues for emotional eating and buried-alive amounts of useless television. Or, it is actually too good and you spend most of the holidays wondering which left turns were the wrong ones, because you’re clearly the family loser who can’t keep even your laundry pile somewhat dignified.
Your mom is going to cook and bake so much shit for you! If that doesn’t sound like your mom, maybe you can share a joint with your dad in the garage. “Just this once.”
TIP: A guy who wears a Santa hat is most likely a child rapist, not because Santa is the kind of guy who whispers bon mots to the kids sitting on his lap, but because Santa hats make you look like a fucking turd and not knowing that is proof positive that his brain exists outside of acceptable society.
Follow Kate on Twitter @KateCarraway