It is that time of year again, where my friends prove how little they know me by giving me a present that I immediately shove into a drawer or re-gift to someone I don’t like, like my mail man or the pizza guy. In the interest of helping out everyone, here are some things that you can throw away instead of giving them to me.
Pictures of your children.
I hate to be a dick about this (well, not really) but why the fuck would I want pictures of children that aren’t mine? Maybe I might get it if they were a close relations or something, like nieces and nephews, but I don’t have any of those. Most of the time, I’m getting the photos from people I haven’t seen since high school.
Look, people who feel the need to do this, I need to share something with you. I know you think your kids are cute, but you are the only one. Know that little Jimmy’s face is currently acting as a coaster for my beer.
Inspirational plaques, picture frames, etc.
To date, I have only received one inspirational plaque that I like. It came from my mother, and it is inscribed with the wise words;
“Why the hell has no one hit you in the face with a hammer yet!?!”
To me, that’s all the inspiration I need to live by. In this world, there are two kinds of people. There are the people who deserve to get hit in the face with hammers, and those who do the hitting.
People who give out inspirational plaques for Christmas fall into the first group.
There’s always one out there who has to be the edgy chick (or creepy guy) handing out dildos, specialty lube, edible undies, or worse. Look, ladies, this isn’t a shitty bachelorette party. It’s Jesus’ birthday for fucks sake. Save that shit for if I ever get drunk enough to get married.
These people always do this with one goal in mind, to embarrass the recipient. Luckily, I am immune from embarrassment, having both taken group showers, and given birth in front of an entire student nursing staff.
The last time some bitch did this to me, I paid her back by giving her a bong for her birthday. I don’t know what was funnier; the look of horror on her face as she opened the box, or the desperation in her voice as she tried to convince her parents it was a lamp.
Yes, I know I work from home, so it seems like it’s a good idea. Here’s the thing, my office environment is entirely virtual. I don’t use paper, I don’t use pens and I don’t need a poster of a cat dangling off a tree branch, telling me to ‘hang in there.’
I have a desk, a computer and a kick ass fancy office chair that swivels (courtesy of mom and brother from last x-mas). This is all I need to get my work done…so please return that gift card to Office Depot. I haven’t even been in one of those since 1998.
Look, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, and the thing is, I’m actually trying not to be. I’m trying to save you money. I don’t need gifts at all. Give me a call, stop by for a drink, or just leave me the hell alone, but don’t feel obligated to give a gift to me because we went to grade school together.
If you absolutely must, must get me a gift this holiday season, here is my wish list;
Essa’s Wish List
- Money to buy booze
Happy holidays people. May you get everything you dreamed of…or nothing at all.
Earlier today, I was wondering why all the Christmas shows always seem to talk about the ‘true meaning’ of Christmas. About how it’s about love, and togetherness, and all that other hokey bullshit.
For once, I would like to see a Christmas story that actually talks about the benefits of Christmas commercialism. Of course, I couldn’t find one. So I did what I always do. I wrote one. …in poem form. Enjoy.
A Supply Side Christmas
It was the night before Christmas
and all through the mall
the isles were empty
with no one spending at all
the stores were deserted
and the tills were all bare
due to a self-righteous statement
that deemed commercialism unfair
‘Stop all your spending’
all the liberal hippies screamed
“the holiday season
isn’t about getting what you dreamed
it’s about love and togetherness
about sharing and hope
and those who don’t agree with us
can go piss up a rope’
So people stopped spending
they put their credit cards away
they ignored gift giving
and hoarded their pay
With no one a spending
all through the town
all of the stores
were quick to close down
when the money stopper flowing
from consumer to store
and all the employees
were soon shown the door
Mass layoffs were seen
in the land of the free
and soon the whole land
was immersed in poverty
People were starving
on streets across the country
and many were quick to realize
the best things aren’t always free
Like food and clothing
and shelter from the cold
Plus all this Christmas kindness
was starting to get old
But it was too late to return
to the way things had been
and riots and mass panic
were quick to set in
People fought in the streets
for even crumb they could get
and borrowed money from loan sharks
increasing their debt
The house were all foreclosed
the streets lined with dung
the people resorted to cannibalism
and started eating their young
In all of the chaos
A simple lesson could be found
money and not idealism
makes the world go round
While being a Christmas idealist
might seem like fun
You need to consider
people spend money
and improve the economy
because eventually that money
returns to you and me
So let me remind you
as your idealistic haze lifts
Christmas isn’t about love
it’s about fucking gifts
Every year around this time, I have a holiday tradition that I like to take part in. I like to wait until the last minute to go Christmas shopping because I am both cheap and disorganized. So every year,with only days left until Christmas, I take my son and I go shopping for my mother.
For those who don’t know, she’s a New Hampshire/Florida snowbird and for six months out of the year, she lives with me. She is the reason that I get mail from AARP and the scooter store. She and my dog have a lot in common. They’re both little, they both fall asleep several times a day, and they’re both fascinated with squirrels.
Anywho, I never know what to get her. She always asks for the crappiest presents.
Mom: Oh, you know what I need? Some more Borax.
Me: Mom, Borax isn’t a present.
Mom: You sure?
Mom: Ok, I’ll think of another one then. (Tilts her head.) You know we’re running low on milk.
Me: (physically painful eyeroll) Gift card it is.
I mean Jesus. So every year, I drag my son to the mall and we do some seriously disorganized, half-hearted shopping. It’s hard to shop for the kind of person who thinks a grocery list qualifies as a present list. Logan and I always focus on two things. We get her a box of chocolates (that we are sure to eat on her behalf a few days after she opens them) and we get her lotion. We go to the Bath & Body works store where I drop $50 on some candles that say things like “Fresh Cotton”, but really smell like “Hippy Van”.
And I get some stripper glitter.
That’s a yearly tradition too. See, my white trash roots refuse me to turn down anything with glitter. So, for the month of January, 2013, I will be covered in a layer of stripper glitter that will be blinding to look at. No joke, I will be visible from space. It won’t fade until I stop caring about my looks again. That happens several times during the year. I fade into a haggard, sweatpants wearing beast of a thing. I consider it my cocoon period. I’m only resting until its time to burst out of my shell as a beautiful butterfly.
Covered in stripper glitter.
I’m looking forward to January. Not just because New Years Eve will be a place to wear my new stripper glitter, but because I know 2013 is going to be a good year. It’s the make it or break it period for me and I’m pretty sure I’m going to make it.
If so, you’re all invited to my strippers and coke party. Dress as your favorite literary figure for $5 off the cover. Date TBD. I’ll be the girl covered in stripper glitter.
I inserted the above definition to remind any journalists or newscasters out there that the news is supposed to be delivered in the exact manner of the above listed word. The word is verbatim, aka, word for word, unbiased, without inserting your own personal slant. Ver – god – damn- ba – tim.
The news is not an opinion piece. It’s the news. Share the facts, and not your opinion of the facts.
I’m bringing this up tonight because I’m seeing a familiar news story pop up. It comes around every year at this time, and the headline is always something along the lines of “those evil atheists are trying to ruin Christmas again.”
I dealt with in when the news was complaining that all the atheists had gotten together and demanded that Christmas become ‘Festivus’, despite the fact that the story was complete bullshit and a source could never be found. I dealt with it when the news jumped in and said the evil atheists wanted to cancel government holidays related to Christmas, because they were religious. Again, no source located and ridiculous premise. Who the hell demands they NOT be given a day off?
This year it’s a nativity scene that is at the center of that controversy. Apparently, a bunch of evil atheists got together and demanded that nativity scenes in a local Santa Monica park be taken down, because they shouldn’t be forced to look at them. The nativity scenes would apparently offend their delicate sensibilities. At least, that was what my newscaster alleged.
Unfortunately, he was unable to separate how he felt from the actual FACTS of the news story. Let me tell you what really happened.
Let’s start with the history. Back in the day, a collection of Christian Santa Monica churches used to take up all 21 available slots in Palisades Park to stage their own nativity scene. A couple years back, a few more groups jumped in. They said, ‘hey, we would like to stage our own Christmas scene too.’ In the interest of fairness, the city of decided to hold a raffle, so everyone would get a fair chance at setting their own Christmas scene. There were 21 spots available.
Atheists won 18 of those spots, a Jewish group won another. The final two were allocated to the Christian churches that entered. So the Christian churches sued. Today they lost.
And the atheists ruined Christmas.
There is no guarantee that the Atheists wouldn’t have done anything, just because it was for Christmas. In fact, several of the groups were planning traditional ‘Santa Clause and Reindeer” displays. Also, the ‘atheist’ spots were actually ‘secular’ spots. But don’t bother a newscaster with actual fucking facts. Their too busy reporting their opinions.
Of course, in answer to the controversy, the city banned ALL private displays. So now nobody wins. And it’s all the atheists fault.
Here’s the thing. I, like many American’s, am not an Atheist. But I am also not religious. I like to consider myself an Agnostic Apathist. (Which is a religion I made up entirely). Mainly, the philosophy of an Agnostic Apathist is that the only people who know what happens when you die are dead people. So, I’ll go ahead and worry about what happens after I’m dead WHEN I’M DEAD.
Agnostic Apathy in a nutshell. I try not to hurt anyone, I make decisions based on my own moral compass, and I leave other people the hell alone unless their asking for my help. I don’t have to go to meetings once a week. I don’t make fun of what other people believe in. I don’t pray to a father figure, because I don’t need to. If I really feel like I’m doing something wrong, I don’t do it. If not, I do. I don’t act like I know how we got here or how it all ends, because in all honesty, nobody does! Maybe there’s something, maybe there’s nothing, but to date, no one has given me any definitive proof either way.
At the same time, I feel like atheists get a bad rap. Most of the atheists I meet are a lot like me. They agree that their might be something, but at the same time, their afraid of admitting it lest some over eager zealot try to shove religion down their throat. They’re not bad people, they’re not good people. They’re just people and their not trying to ruin Christmas.
I will admit there are some snarky atheists out there, with the condescending attitudes who think they know it all. And for every one atheist like that, I could probably introduce you to a religious counterpart who is just as bad.
So news, stop trying to create a bad guy every year around this time. Stop pinning it on the atheists because their easy targets. Instead, report the damn facts of any given situation and stop adjusting them to meet your own ends.
I’ll go back to getting wasted on eggnog and watching Rudolph. All is as it should be, just like on the first Christmas.