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Saving My Anti-Zombie Ammo for the War on Christmas

October 31, 2013

Bah, humbug. After tonight, the thin pretense that Ned Stark was right and Winter is Coming will fall away as surely as the leaves on the trees, and we will be invariably thrust into Christmas Season with a vengeance that makes me want to go more Tony in my Stark imitation and don an Iron Man outfit in the hopes of fending off the holly-jolly.

I know we Americans have this little celebration called Thanksgiving in there to properly pay tribute to the Puritans who were too insufferable for England to take, so they decided to come inflict themselves on the Native Americans instead and bring a whole bunch of diseases and other strife in there as well, but it’s been less than two months since Columbus Day, so who wants to think about that depressing shit anymore?!

Basically, however, from here until December 26th (the American version of Boxing Day involves decking other eggnog-rage-fueled shoppers over items that weren’t good enough to gift Great-Aunt Bertha before Christmas, but are totally necessary to one’s household when marked off by 10%), it’s nothin’ but all Christmas, all the time.

And that’s great if you’re into. Which why would people not be? It’s an upcoming excuse to relax with friends and loved ones during the darkest, most depressing days of the year and take a whole two weeks off work to either get shitfaced 24/7 or go on a Caribbean cruise! Or, if you’re not in college anymore, celebrate the birth of one’s Lord and Savior, if you happen to count Jesus Christ as such.

Which would be fine, if it were limited to that. Part of my reason for being a Christmas curmudgeon stems entirely from the fact that it’s not just a day, or a week, or two weeks. It’s two MONTHS of retail venues blasting nothing but smooth-voiced, chirpy singers belting out their love for Santa Claus over a backdrop of sleigh bells (less sleigh bell, MORE COWBELL!); pine-scented everything; and consumers overrunning the stores and roads around them in greater numbers and more of a deadened stare than anything I have ever encountered during all of Denver’s combined Zombie Crawls.

There’s also the idea that everyone must be happy, 24/7. And as someone whose reaction to being told to smile is to give my best death’s-head grin and/or say, “I’ll only smile once you’re tied up in my basement,” I really take issue with the notion of forced cheeriness. The Winter Solstice celebration that none-too-coincidentally takes place right around Christmas is basically a way of blowing off steam from everyone being depressed about the long periods of cold darkness. It acknowledges that this time is depressing. Trying to deny how dismal early winter can be only sends already gloomy souls into a vicious spiral.

And let’s just go ahead and pretend I’m Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair, only this time the chair is taking the name “Bill O’Reilly” rather than “Mr. President.” I absolutely do think there is a War on Christmas. But I don’t happen to think that it’s us devil-worshippin’ atheists (?!) sending more soldiers out to fight. Someday, Mr. O’Reilly, I will tell you straight to your face: I didn’t declare war on Christmas. Christmas declared war on me.

So anyone who refuses to acknowledge that America is actually a wonderfully ethnically, culturally, and, yes, religiously diverse nation made up of many people who celebrate many events in many ways IS going to get a snide “Happy Hanukkah” or sickeningly-sweet “Happy Winter Solstice” in response. And all the rest should be able to piece together that “Happy Holidays” comprises, well, ANY holiday that people might choose to celebrate, whether it’s Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or National Atheist Ski Day, or Drink-’til-You-Puke Day, or whatever floats your boat. As long as you’re celebrating it, enjoying it, and leaving me to my own devices, I wish you the best!

If you can get me to come out of my underground bunker for the next two months. Although the eggnog might be worth the occasional foray into zombie territory.

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