Friday, December 3, 2010

Have Yourself a Very Little Christmas

If you’re like me, your idea of “Working Out” means bringing your briefcase to Tim Horton’s.

If you’re like me, you have found yourself stranded in a blizzard because your Honda Civic, which has power windows, locks, steering, braking, and hundreds of other convenient bits of power, inexplicably lacks any sort of warning chime or buzzer or siren to alert you that you’ve left your headlights on.

But you are most like me if you find the Holiday Season a gauntlet of stressful brainstorming sessions and last-minute shopping excursions, followed by an unsatisfying letdown that results from feeling like maybe your brother-in-law doesn’t appreciate the meat grinder as you thought he would, given that he’s a vegetarian.

Well, this year, you won’t have that problem.

I have devised a perfect three-step system to rescue you from the normal December doldrums.

1.  Give until it feels good. You might have heard the phrase “give until it hurts.” Less popular is the phrase “give until it feels good.”

Abandon all reason in favor of that sweet euphoria that can only come from prioritizing someone else without any consideration for yourself, flinging fistfuls of $20 bills at random strangers until you’re flat broke.

If you don’t choose that third level, you might as well Bah-Humbug yourself back up that mountain above Whoville, or whatever.

But that still begs the question: what to give?

2.  Give something that matters. You know, actually matters.  Notice I didn’t say “matters to the recipient” or “matters to you.” As long as it matters to someone, somewhere on the globe, you can always say, “It’s the thought that counts.”

That relative who seems to have everything, who is impossible to buy for, deserves a $25 donation made in their name to the charity of their choice (even if it is some depraved cause like the Church of Scientology or Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation).

Think about it: if your house is already full of plastic crap imported from China, and you are living comfortably enough to buy whatever would be in a gift-giver’s budget anyway, what would feel better than knowing you inspired someone to help the less fortunate?

You can also go retro by giving something that took time, creativity, or ingenuity to make. This year I’m going to make soap. Nothing sends the perfect message to your filthy relatives than a box of soap on Christmas morning.

I also want to make cinnamon applesauce ornaments decorated with glitter glue and bits of ribbon, which will delight the whole family until your three-year-old niece eats one off the tree and has to be rushed to the hospital to have her stomach pumped.

What epitomizes the spirit of family giving this holiday season more than offering to drive someone to the emergency room?

No need for giant piles of expensive gifts to create cherished holiday memories. Keep it simple, that’s what I say.

   3. Sing modified carols to keep your spirits up. Example:

Have Yourself a Very Little Christmas.

Let Your Cart be Light.

From Now On Your Expenses Won’t be Out of Sight!

Have Yourself a Very Little Christmas.

So Your Nerves Don’t Fray.

From Now On Our Stresses Will Be Miles Away!

Here We Are as in Olden Days,

Crappy Gift Parades, Ignore.

Faithful Friends Who are Dear To Us

Don’t Want Your Wal-Mart Crap Any More.

Through the Years

We All Will Be Together,

If the Streets Are Plowed.

Hang a Homemade Ornament On the Highest Bough!

And Have Yourself a Very Little Christmas Now.


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