For years, Fox News has bleated about the "War on Christmas," suggesting the phrase "Happy Holidays" and some complaints about nativity scenes on public property amount to an all-out assault on a sacred tradition. Meanwhile, Christmas has overflowed its traditional borders, annexed Thanksgiving and begun laying siege to Halloween.
You know what? Let's do it. Let's declare war on Christmas. Let's take up arms against this bloated, exhausting, consumerist nightmare. The end of the year is starting to look like the last thirty minutes of Akira. Christmas is the aggressor here, and Christmas must be stopped.
Look, I love Christmas. If you live in the Northern hemisphere, you need something to mark the winter solstice. Megalithic humans devoted years and years to building structures like Newgrange (and shit, winter isn't even that bad in Ireland). Modern Americans celebrate by taking a couple days off work and gorging themselves on peppermint bark. Same basic impulse: to mark the blessed return of precious, life-giving sunshine. Even knowing there are icy, miserable months of winter remaining, it's worth throwing a party to celebrate the fact it's no longer dark by 4 pm.
And as random sacks of tradition go, Christmas itself is pretty great! You've got the fragrant trees, the candles, the red and green motif, the crinkly wrapping paper, the knock-you-down-drunk varieties of eggnog, the cinnamon, Otis Redding's cover of "White Christmas." I have no quarrel with a Christmas that keeps to its appointed place in the calendar. It's an emboldened, aggressive Christmas that's the problem.
You see, two straight months of this holiday is the very definition of too much of a good thing. If you just keep stuffing your face with sugar cookies, eventually you WILL barf half-digested sugar cookies everywhere. If you're dogged by carols and jingle bells and fucking sparkly red decor everywhere you go for eight straight weeks, eventually you will grow sick and tired of this goddamn holiday.
And yet that's where we are now. The minute we cleared Halloween, the trailer for Grumpy Cat's Christmas movie dropped. Elf was already showing on cable this weekend. Dunkin' Donuts just announced its artery-hardening, teeth-rotting lineup of Christmas beverages. (Including a snickerdoodle and sugar cookie latte!) They were beaten to the punch by Starbucks, who announced the advent of their chestnut praline latte the week before Halloween. Around the country, the New York Times reports, radio stations devoted to 24/7 Christmas are activating like ill-natured seasonal cyborgs.
Even as Halloween revelers are slinking back home in batter costumes on the first morning of November, stores are busting out bells and bows and boughs. Photographic evidence available here! The switch is carefully documented by local news outlets, thereby feeding the frenzy. (Of course the Neiman Marcus holiday catalog arrives in early October, because you gotta get your orders in early if you want a $65,000 floral peacock sculpture.) And make no mistake—retailers are already trying to start the party in September. By 2020, Christmas will likely start sometime in August. Thanksgiving has been swallowed up entirely. It's a damn goner. More and more retailers are kicking off Black Friday sometime Thursday evening.
At this rate, everyone's gonna be sick of the holiday season by December 15. America's strategic reserve of good cheer is showing dangerous signs of strain. Might as well cancel New Year's Eve because really, who's got the energy?
If this calendrical takeover were about, say, cramming as many parties into the holiday season as possible, I'd be knocking on your door in my most festive crushed velour, toting a bottle of Andre and some gingerbread cookies. But it's literally all about raking in that Q4 dough! Yes, I know that complaint was old hat sometime around 1955, but this is just getting fucking ridiculous. Presents are supposed to be fun! Whatever happened to Laura Ingalls Wilder and her goddamn oranges?
This cannot be allowed to continue. We must take action against this swollen monstrosity. And so I urge you to take action immediately. Here's how you can help:
- Leave that rotting jack-o-lantern on your stoop until the week of Thanksgiving. Don't even look at a box containing Christmas ornaments until the second week of December.
- Complete boycott of Mariah Carey, known Christmas enthusiast.
- Delay any shopping until December 22. Ditto purchase of seasonal beverages, tinsel, festive sweatshirts, even peppermint chocolate treats. If something sells out, it sells out.
- Support Thanksgiving as an independent holiday and a bulwark against Christmas. Spend November loudly planning your menu and discussing the merits of canned versus homemade cranberry sauce. Paint your nails to look like a kindergardener's hand turkey art. Decorate your cubicle with gourds.
- Do not watch Love Actually, Elf, Home Alone, White Christmas, or even that one X-Files episode. Fight the temptation by opting for Botched, The Walking Dead, or American Horror Story instead.
- If someone says "Happy Holidays" before Thanksgiving, do not respond. Stare them straight in the face for 15 seconds, then shake your head, then turn and leave. They know what they did.
These measures are extreme and I understand this will be difficult, but you must stand firm. This is the only way to rescue this holiday from itself. Together, we can save Christmas.
Image via MNStudio/Shutterstock.