Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Some Things I Actually Enjoy About The Christmas Season

Some Things I Actually Enjoy About The Christmas Season
by Rob Cottignies


I used to have a blog that exposed the hideous truths behind classic Christmas-related songs. I enjoyed writing it because it got everyone all bummed out. It was really good: well-researched and humorous with purpose. Well, it was mediocre at best, but there were occasionally favorable moments.
Instead of posting it again, I’m writing this blog to counter that one. It’s fairly known that I dislike Christmas and its entire wretched season, which somehow grows longer each year. I think it’s completely phony and full of uncomfortable obligations that ultimately don’t matter. But enough humbug (for now). As the title spoiled, this blog shall list five things related to the horribly obnoxious season which I actually enjoy. Yule love it!

Snow


I love cold weather, especially when snow joins the party. I love looking at snow, playing in it, and even shoveling it, though I most certainly will not shovel your stupid driveway. Everything gets so gloriously white, the big flakes make for great pictures, and sometimes you can witness a little kid or ancient fart slipping and getting hurt. Everyone wins when it snows!
It also makes me feel really good when people whine and complain about the snow. To know that I enjoy the hell out of something that makes people unhappy really lights a fire under my Yule log.
Another enjoyable factor about snow is when people freak out and buy gallons of water and loaves of bread because we’re supposed to get three inches and clearly they’ll be trapped inside for weeks.
Unfortunately, people lately like to say that they’ve “outgrown” snow because now they have to shovel it instead of playing in it. I say do both! Go jump off a porch into a fresh pile of snow! It’s so nice!

Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)


Many people know this song by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, a side project for members of Savatage, who released the original version in 1995 on their album Dead Winter Dead. It got an even bigger boost when a popular video featuring holiday lights on a house that awesomely blinks in rhythm to this song came out. Aside from being a great tune, it was inspired by something equally awesome, though sad. A cellist (guy who plays the cello; nothing to do with an iPhone) who had left Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, returned years later to find his native city in ruins. Amid the fighting and bombing, he climbed what was left of a fountain and began playing his cello. He did this to show that not all beauty was lost to destruction. He posited that both sides could have just enjoyed the music had they bothered to stop fighting for a moment. This idea is represented in the song by the orchestra and heavy guitars “doing battle” with each other.
His hope for ending the fighting had failed but his story was told when a local reporter tracked him down to ask why he did such a wonderful thing in such a dangerous area. His answers were simple and fairly obvious.
His name is Vedran Smailović.

Krampus


             You know how you’ve always heard that this Santa Claus has lists labeling nice and naughty children? The nice ones supposedly get gifts but what about the naughty ones? You may think they receive coal in their stockings, which is still a gift and can actually be quite useful. Instead (or in addition) they get to deal with Krampus. In Germanic folklore, Saint Nicholas brings good children gifts every December. To contrast, Krampus, a demonic-looking hellbeast, is in charge of the bad children. He arrives with a whip and chains, stuffs bad kids into his bag, and brings them to his lair, which is similar to a more-familiar fiery place that’s below ground. It is said that Krampus stepped in once bratty kids were no longer afraid of a jolly man bringing them coal. In real life, on Krampusnacht, the eve of Saint Nicholas Day, chain- and whip-wielding drunks dress up as insane goat-men and terrorize children into behaving properly. In case you couldn't figure it out, I generally enjoy things that frighten children...

Bad Santa


            As you could probably guess, I enjoyed the likes of the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge while growing up; but what bothered me about their stories was the end. Sure, people can change, but the 180s these characters pulled never struck me as believable. I would watch about two-thirds of the stories and imagine my own ending, where Christmas was ruined and everyone was not necessarily miserable, but more aware of their own selfishness. I thought I would never again watch an entire Christmas movie. Then stepped in a drunken Billy Bob Thornton. I watched with glee as his Santa would get drunk, vomit, get drunk, steal things, get drunk, pick up gross women, and get drunk, all while saving some time to get drunk. I laughed and loved it, then was saddened by the thought that his tale was probably going to end like my other heroes. It sort of did, but in a perfectly negative manner. I don’t like kids but how could anyone not change after hanging with Thurman Merman for a few weeks?
            Home Alone is great too.

Christmas Date Rape


My last favorite thing about the Christmas season is a song which is apparently not called 'Christmas Date Rape', but ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’. It was written by Frank Loesser, who wrote songs for Guys And Dolls, among other popular plays. He performed it with his wife, who referred to it as “our song”. Then, in typical Gene Autry-esque Yuletide fashion, Loesser made his wife very sad by selling the song's rights for personal profit.
Have you ever really listened to the lyrics? The song is about a woman who is over a man’s house. She tries to leave but he keeps convincing her to stay with the same rebuttal that gets more aggressive and just creepier. I’ve called the song ‘Christmas Date Rape’ around people who thought I was being a big jerk only to hear actual lines like ‘Say, what’s in this drink?’ While I am no fan of date rape, the idea of it being so overt in a popular noel amuses me greatly. Take another listen and enjoy!

DMX Owning Rudolph


We all know that DMX- the heavy metal of rap- can make any situation better. But could he possibly improve a beloved decades-old holiday tune? Well, see for yourself.

...

Lest you forget my old blog and its curmudgeonly mis-cheer, I now present this lovely summary of it:
-‘Jingle Bells’ has nothing to do with Christmas but a whole lot to do with alcoholism, adultery, and ignorance. And it was written by a Confederate soldier.
-‘The Twelve Days Of Christmas’ was written as a drinking game in the Middle Ages. This song is misogynistic, I could never figure out why lords leap; and they are Colley birds- not 'calling'. Thankfully, there is (for now) only one day of Christmas, which I think is still too many.
-Grandma got run over by a reindeer, huh? At least Grandpa is getting drunk and gambling. In fact, once word arrives that Grandma has been brutally killed, nobody cares other than to wonder if they should return the gifts they got for her. Nice, real nice.
-The creator of the storybook ‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’ received no royalties when it was made into a song and movie. He died broke and alone. And try not to overlook the moral of the story- it's fine to make fun of someone for being different so long as you’re nice if they selflessly get you out of a jam.
-The disobedient brat who saw his mommy kissing Santa Claus will be scarred for life and grow up to think adultery is acceptable and/or that his parents are weird perverts.
-The Christmas Shoes. I mean, come on.

To close, Christmas is awful and I’m going to start gut-punching people for every commercial that uses the melody of a carol but changes its words to something like ‘Tis the season to buy a Honda’ or whatever happens. Cars, jewelry, over-priced toys. Save your time and money and just enjoy the company of those around you, if possible. If you feel like getting these people gifts, do it randomly instead of when you’re ‘supposed to’. And if the thought is really what counts, put some actual thought into these gifts.
Try to make the world a better place. You know, for Jesus.