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If I hear “O Holy Night” one more time, I’m going to scream…

December 8, 2008, 11:06 PM

I am officially designating my apartment a “Christmas-Free Zone”, because in going out anywhere, I’m bombarded with Christmas cheer, and it’s already gotten on my nerves. After all, it’s basically a holiday that celebrates capitalism at its worst, as people go to all this trouble to show how materialistic they are. After having worked four Christmases at Wal-Mart, I’ve found that the season really brings out the worst in people, as people buy their children’s presents right in front of them, and then turn around and lie to their children, telling them that it’s from “Santa Claus”. Give me a break.

I can’t even go to Chipotle without getting blasted with Christmas music, either. Aspen Hill Shopping Center, which is where my local Chipotle is located, is piping Christmas music into their outdoor shopping center – loudly. It’s enough to really get on one’s nerves.

The best example of what’s wrong with this season of rampant materialism is what happened at the Wal-Mart store on Long Island, where a worker was trampled to death while guarding the door. That’s just sad, really. It’s sad for the family of the employee for their loss, and it’s a sad commentary on our society that people value a person’s safety less than saving a few extra bucks on cheap Chinese-made crap. And the fact that Wal-Mart put this person – a temporary worker, no less – in that position primarily because he was larger in stature, makes me all the more annoyed. It demonstrates what I’ve known for some time – Wal-Mart doesn’t give a crap about their employees, and they will stop at nothing, and step on as many toes as necessary, to get to people’s wallets. That death was absolutely preventable, and I hope that the family of the trampled worker comes out well in court. I’d love to see Wal-Mart try to defend themselves on this one.

It makes me glad that I worked in a 24-hour store. There, the situation that happened in Long Island wouldn’t happen because the store never closed, and thus people were already in the store at the time the sale started. Still, it amazes me what people would do. People literally would camp out next to their selections, and wait for the sale to begin. I remember one year, it was so crowded along the back aisle of the store that those of us who were cashiers couldn’t even get through. We had to form a human chain to get through, and even then, the crowds wouldn’t part for us until I gave a not-so-subtle reminder: “You can’t get your stuff until we get through!” After all, they can’t leave with their stuff until they check out, and if they won’t let the checkers through, then they can’t get their stuff.

2006 in particular was a rough Christmas for me. I was thoroughly disenchanted with the whole process, and was really annoyed with the way these parents continued to perpetuate the Santa myth as they bought the presents allegedly from “Santa” right in front of their children. I even started fantasizing about randomly telling children that Santa Claus didn’t exist, just to make them cry. And I’m honestly not that kind of person. But the whole season really brought out the worst in me, too, though I thankfully never acted on that fantasy. Tis better for Wal-Mart to fire you over something that didn’t happen rather than be fired for something that’s obviously your doing, after all.

And let’s also not forget that people don’t even care what holiday you’re citing. I remember one year at Wal-Mart, I would ask people, “Are you all ready for Decemberween?” and people would indicate that they were, or were almost there. Most of these people didn’t even know what Decemberween was. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a Homestar Runner reference. I found it highly amusing that people just scooped up Decemberween like that, thinking I said “Christmas”. I wonder what kinds of blank media the Thnikkaman was leaving for them, and what discount vacation packages the Thnikkaman had tried to sell them.

Meanwhile, I just love the way the season is working out for me this year. I’m working a half-day on Christmas Eve, and then sleeping in on Christmas Day. I’m excited. I haven’t gotten to sleep in on Christmas Day, well, ever. When I was younger, Sis and I were up early and not letting my parents sleep in. More recently, my parents wouldn’t let me sleep in, despite my saying, “Will the presents still be there at noon?” Trust me when I say I have no problem sleeping until noon or later on Christmas Day. And this year, I get to do it. See, I’m spending December 25 in Silver Spring, wouldn’t you know.

Of course, it’s not like I’m not going down to see the family for Christmas. I’m doing it afterwards. I’m going down the following week, and spending a week down there like I did for Thanksgiving. After convincing Mom that it doesn’t matter what day we open presents so long as we have that moment of togetherness, everyone’s happy, though I think Mom still wishes that it was December 25 that we were having it. I had to remind her that December 25 as Christmas has no real roots in Christianity, but rather was set to coincide with pagan celebrations surrounding the winter solstice, and that there is no way in hell that I’m dealing with that three-hour drive in holiday traffic. The Sunday after Christmas will do just fine for me, thank you. And we still get to spend New Year’s together as a family, as Sis will be in from Chicago, and so we’ll all get to do something as the four of us.

So there you go. I’m just glad I have my Christmas-Free Zone here, where my apartment looks the same now as it did in July. So a big “bah humbug” to Christmas from me…

Web site: About the Santa Claus myth, from 1999

Song: Homestar Presents: Presents from Homestar Runner. If this doesn't sum up the materialism of Christmas, nothing will. I think Strong Bad put it best: "Foolish Homestar. Decemberween is not about getting people presents. It's about getting people good presents! Good presents!"

Quote: So there you go. I generally hate Christmas.

Categories: Christmas