By Sean Wilkinson
Ah, Christmas. The gaudiest (God-iest?) of holidays. Sure, we can pretend we all give consideration to the full range of winter holiday celebrations: Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Smoke Cigarettes Until The House Is In A Cloud Day… But only one holiday, Christmas, repeatedly assaults the eyes with such a horrendous affront to good taste — worse, it actually celebrates bad taste.
Every year, beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving, millions of Americans challenge each other in a game of one-upsmanship involving various types of glowing, plastic, home holiday decorations. It’s like a white trash showdown, or trash-off, if you will. And it is not for the kids, so stop lying.
Multi-colored lights are just not enough anymore. Chasing lights that blink and play Christmas carols are not enough anymore. We need a nine-foot Santa tied to the roof with guy lines, hand flapping from the compressed air continuously flowing via an electric pump attached to his foot. We need a complete team of reindeer — either far too big or far too small – fashioned from white lights strung on white wire framing. We need elves with animatronic banging hammers. We need a big “NORTH POLE” sign, even though we’re clearly in the continental United States. We need a plastic snowman or two.
In recent years there has been a craze for inflatable decorations. A message to the guy who thought Christmas needed yard decorations that shake and shimmy and tower up to the second floor of most homes: “You are not helping. Please discover a reason to recall all inflatable yard decorations.”
The other day I actually saw a six-foot inflatable snowglobe on someone’s yard with an inflatable snowman inside it, fake plastic snow a-flying. I would now like to address anyone who has this particular decoration up in the surrounding area.
Dear sir or madam:
You live in Maine, not Arizona. You don’t need a six-foot inflatable snowglobe in your yard. You don’t need an inflatable snowman inside that snowglobe. You do not need fake snow. Wait a week. We get real fucking snow. Hire someone to build you a snowman.
I hate you.
I mean, how is this even a competition anymore? I can see these people shopping at Wal-Mart. They run into each other in the dingy fluorescent aisles, their kids screaming about video games, and glare at the piles of decorations in each others’ carts. “Damn that Thompson,” they think. “I just knew he would go for the big plastic snowglobe this year. Now what in tarnation am I going to put up that can be equally or more offensive?”
It’s a hard life when you spend more money on electricity in December than you do to run your air conditioners all summer. “Kids, I noticed Old Man Thompson picked himself up a giant snowglobe for the yard. We’re gonna be eatin’ a lot of oatmeal this month, cause Daddy’s gonna need all the lights he can get. Ooh – 12-foot reindeer!”
In a bizarre twist, as if all this isn’t one big, glowing, flashing distraction from the religious story behind the celebration, let’s make sure we get a full nativity scene out in that yard — preferably at half-scale, because there’s nothing quite as creepy as three midget Wisemen looking over a football-sized Baby Jesus®. Throw some real hay in the manger for authenticity. And if you can, position this idyllic little scene directly under the giant image of our God, with his long white beard, black boots, red-and-white suit and green-gloved hand flapping from the compressed air fluttering through his nine-foot body.
Merry Christmas, everyone.