On the one hand, there’s the fact that winter is still kind of a nice novelty. We still have a little bit of reverence for the beauty of the snow and ice, and a feeling of playfulness that makes the cold much more bearable. It’s a small window of appreciation before January hits and we swear we’ll never live another year in this stupid city.
There’s also family. For many of us, the season is a chance to re-unite with our loved ones, in cozy living rooms, sharing old jokes and stories with the familiar faces that we may not get a chance to see as often as we age. Of course, some of us hate our families, and this only makes the holidays more stressful. In that case, hopefully there’s at least some good food kicking around.
Finally, the holidays offer parties – and more to the point, booze. You could almost say that no one is an alcoholic in December, because everyone’s an alcoholic in December!
So, there is some good to the holidays. But then, of course, there’s the down side.
It’s begins with the music: an endless loop of those same inane, insidious songs over and over, sung to the glory of God and Jesus Christ. And every year they start earlier and earlier with it. This year they tried to start playing Christmas music the day after Halloween, those conniving, market-pyschologists. After all, the music is just a Pavlovian mechanism to get your proverbial mouth watering, and your actual wallet opening, in the anticipation of the pagan tradition turned capitalist ritual.
And the closer you get to Christmas, the more it intensifies. People become more and more primal, reverting to an almost savage all-against-all mentality, in a quest to get their shopping done before that dreadful moment when all the stores close. And then it’s over with, and we get to breathe for a few days, and get back to what the holidays should really be about: family, food and alcohol.
But then comes the biggest sham of them all: New Year’s Eve! The supposed biggest party of the year, where all the hope and potential of the new year culminate in a feeling of euphoria and common gregariousness.
The reality is that you over-pay to go to a club where some Dj is playing the same ol’ bullshit, and it’s too crowded to use the washroom, but that doesn’t matter too much since it’s too busy to get a drink anyways. And you couldn’t organize all your friends to go to the same place, so you end up talking to the same people that you went to high-school with that you see once a year, every year, on New Year’s, and you have the same boring conversation that you have with them every time.
And the coat-check loses your parka. And it’s minus 40 outside.
Oh all the unnecessary stress that comes with the holidays! What we need is a way out! We need a way to forget about Jesus, to forget about shopping malls, and forget about New Year’s parties! We need a rap-punk show extravaganza!
We need the Grinch Who Stole Pipmas!