Tuesday, December 13, 2005

It's Pronounced "Ex-muss"

Call me an old Christmas Poo if you like, but every day and in every way I'm becoming more sympathetic to this thing. I'm all for recognizing the passing of the Winter Solstice and I have nothing against the Christly celebrating the birth of their boy (which happened in September, as near as we can tell). But when a huge inflatable mechanical snow-globe, 12 feet tall, North-Pole-themed and costing $150, appeared in a prominent place in my local grocery store this August (I swear to Mithra) I began to experience a nausea that's been building ever since.

Christmas has an obvious powerful pull. It's just one hell of a brand, to borrow a term from the marketing pukes who foist the damned thing on us every year. You can't get much more of a positive association in the mind of your average 18-to-50 with a solid credit rating and a decent job than good ol' Xmas. Its core appeal is Gemütlichkeit, the sense of being warm and safe and cocooned away from the raging elements. Sounds a bit infantile, frankly -- don't you think?

So what better thing to associate with your vibrating crotch-razor/sugar water/gas guzzler/dreadful beer/unreliable cell phone service/pointless electronic device/behemoth home theater/flimsy personal accessory/terribly ill-advised low-rise jeans/crash-prone computer/crappy golf clubs/fraudulent dietary supplement/dubious financial instrument?

(List compiled by me this morning -- each item represents a Christmas-themed advertisement that I saw either online or while out for lunch.)

And how better to measure the health of our retail economy than by carefully gauging with the Dismal Science's finest calipers the exact intensity of Black Friday's orgiastic wallowing in the mudbath of consumption? It doesn't look good, Bob -- I've only sold 85,721 home theaters the size of a fucking Bradley Fighting Vehicle to maxed-out-on-three-credit-card lower-middle-class goobers today, that's down from 85,984 this time last year....

The day we just banish Christmas gift-giving: That will be the day we've grown up, mes amis. That will be the day we throw off the shackles, off the pigs, turn in our badges, resist the temptation, drop the bullet, bite the big one, scrabble the toe, twist the acorn, jimmy corn the crack, bob for the twinkie, addlepate the mooncalf, Jabba the Hutt and remember the Maine.

I was going somewhere with this... Where was I going?

Oh yeah!

So who's gonna tell my kids? Any volunteers?


Anonymous said...

You're such a groovy writer.

XTCfan said...

Dammit, you beat me to the punch line ... I had it all figured out, then, well, there you go again.

jlhoztr (what you keep your shiv in, in case you need it to protect yourself against other prisoners)

Anonymous said...

I did that several years ago with my family. We're all grown up, nobody has kids, I was sick of getting junk that I Goodwilled on December 26.

My sister hasn't spoken to me since I announced and my brother ignores me and sends Christmas gifts anyway.

Some people just can't do without it.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Neddie. I haven't celebrated the "Christ" part of Christmas since I was a child, and I only did that under duress. I'd much rather celebrate the Solstice, that quiet turn of the year, and look forward to the days lengthening by the minutes into spring and summer. And while I'm doing it, being mindful about what I have, rather than what the Great Consumer Society says I should want. This Christmas, I'm helping one minimum-wage daughter who lives in North Dakota get a warm coat, and I'm helping the other daughter, who barely makes more than the minimum wage, pay off a medical bill that's been keeping her up at night. We'll get together with the rest of the family on Christmas Day, and there will be good food and warmth and laughter, but everyone is feeling the financial pinch. So, we all decided that we don't need presents -- we only need each other.
On the other hand, telling your kids about a present-less Christmas? Sweetie, you're on your own.

julia said...

dude, I want that snowglobe. The Winnie the Pooh one, I think.

Sadly, since poverty, hunger and AIDS still exist, I'm wrestling myself down over it.

helmut said...

Have you considered that your kids are ahead of you? That you think you're autonomously creating a masterplan for the rebirth of purified Christmas while your children actually control even your sense of personal free will? It just might go that deep. We're at war, Jingo! A war of the mind led by elfin children!

See here here.

Anonymous said...

So Neddie honey, are you telling me that I should be ignoring all those ex-muss prezzie ideas you've been e-mailing my way? Cause if that's the case...

May your days be merry and bright!

yosuh (what you say to the clerk to get his attention when you need to return all of Neddie's presents)

XTCfan said...

Haha! Hoisted by his own petard...

qmtrp (the noise one makes when one's petard is hoisted)