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If This is the Most Wonderful Time, I’d Hate to See the Rest of the Year [California Seething]

You probably think I hate the holidays. That I hide myself in my room like Scrooge with a cold bowl of gruel emerging only to scoff at the goodly hearted, sneer at the holly-jolly and pee out the window on orphans. You know, like Scrooge did. Or maybe you’re not familiar with the German version of the story- Das Scrooge Ist Ein Orphanpisher! which also explains why Tiny Tim walks funny “Stop it Mr Scrooge! You’re hurting me! Only Jesus can touch me there.” (Jesus was their gardener). So, sure I know you all think I’m some kind of Christmas hating “Scrooge” or “Grinch” or “Jew” but the fact is I love Christmas! I plan my company’s Christmas party, organize the local Christmas tree lighting, work on a production of A Christmas Carol, buy a Christmas tree, hang Christmas lights, listen to Christmas music, watch Christmas shows and buy Christmas gifts- I’m Rudolph the Hook Nosed Reindeer, I’m Santa Kike, I’m Captain Motherfucking Christmas and I defy you to say otherwise! BTW- on behalf of the Jews of the world, as discussed at last night’s meeting of the International Zionist Banking Conspiracy (I brought cookies! Candy Cane Jo-Jo’s- always a hit) I’d just like to let all the Goyim (Yiddish word meaning “Walmart shoppers”) officially off the hook – you don’t have to say “Holidays” when you mean “Christmas” any more. Seriously, the 90’s are over, Political Correctness is dead (only Bill O’Reilly still thinks that’s a thing) and most of us just don’t care any more. Look, you want to put up a big old decorated tree in the middle of town, that’s fine, just have the balls to call it what it is- a Christmas Tree, not a “Holiday Tree”. Cause Jews don’t have any “holiday” tradition that involves shoving a dead pine tree into our house and smothering it with all the cheap lights and festive holiday crap we can find on Amazon Prime. We only have one holiday even remotely related to trees- it takes place in February and you’ve never fucking heard of it- so keep it real and call it a Christmas Tree. After all, if we were in charge, I wouldn’t want to have to call a Dreidel a “Holiday Top” and a Menorah a “Holiday Tiki Torch” but we’re not in charge. Your guy won by throwing all the rules out the window and hugging everybody (like Obama) so take your stinkin’ victory lap and celebrate his birthday with a fucking tree. And, by all means, feel free to wish me a Merry Christmas. For the most part, the only Jews who get offended when you wish them a Merry Christmas are those who never do anything actually Jewish so they relish the opportunity to be Jewish by Persecution. It’s like “How dare that Wendy’s cashier wish me a Merry Christmas when she gave me my Baconator! I’m going to change my Profile picture to the Israeli flag in protest!” Honestly, in this day and age, if someone of a different faith wishes you a “Merry” anything instead shouting or throwing rocks or telling you to go fuck yourself, then just smile and take it as a gesture of goodwill, and wish them a Merry Christmas right back. Otherwise, you’re kind of a d-bag.

Plus, let’s face it, it’s not really Christmas that we celebrate in this country. It’s Kitschmas- the glorious celebration of Consumerism and all things Shiny, Cheesy, Corny, Oversized and Syrupy Sweet. And I love that stuff! There’s nothing I like more at this time of year than Consuming a Shiny Oversized tub of Cheesy, Syrupy Sweet Pop Corn.  It was worth putting up with all the mishigas that Christianity spawned (mishigas is a Yiddish word meaning either “The Crusades”, “Westboro Baptist Church”  or “that kid from Two and a Half Men who used to be sort of cute before he lost his fucking mind”) just so we could live in a world where stuff like that exists. I mean, do you really think that Jews could have ever come up with a gift as awesome as a giant shiny tub of multi-flavored popcorn? Or Hillshire Farm Yard-O-Beef? Or Processed Cheese? Or Candy Canes? Or PROCESSED CHEESE PRESSED IN THE SHAPE OF A CANDY CANE? Hell No. You know what a great Jewish gift idea is? Israel Bonds. Waxy chocolate coins. Charitable donations made in the recipient’s name which is, BTW, the WORST GIFT EVER. “Oh boy- you bought me a present- thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I can’t wait to see what it is!” (opens envelope) “Huh. It’s….a tax deduction. For you. Wow. Happy fucking Hanukkah to me.”

So, ok, I’m a cynical Jew who loves Kitschmas (or Christmas, whatever). And this year, I decided to put my love to the ultimate test. Now mind you- my love for the holiday has been tested before. I was an Elf at Macy’s in New York City for three years in a row and escorted tens of thousands of parents and their children to see Santa. Along the way, I witnessed some of the most infantile behavior and childish tantrums you can imagine (the children were bad sometimes, too.) I also learned three important lessons:

  1. Being an elf at Santaland is less about childhood innocence and wonder than it is yelling at people and crowd control which was disillusioning to some but fantastic for me! I’m way better at yelling at people and crowd control than I am at all that innocence and wonder crap. Nobody took crowd control more seriously than me. My Elf name was “Warden”. Hell, I made a Phillipino family learn the Thriller dance.
  2. When adults ask “Hey, little elf, tell me the truth, how many Santas you got working here today?” they absolutely HATE IT when you look them square in the eye and say “Now, Sir, you know there’s only one Santa Claus and he comes from the North Pole where he makes all the toys” in an earnest and slightly condescending tone like you’re explaining to a slow kindergartener why he can’t pick his nose til it bleeds.
  3. There is absolutely NOTHING more fun than looking adults square in the eye and lying to them in an earnest and condescending tone when they ask how many Santas are working.  That’s what you get for calling me “little Elf”, fuckwad.

So, yeah, sure, my love for the holiday was tested sorely in Santaland. Hell, we had a fistfight on Christmas eve between two dads (from two different families, mind you. It’s not like Paul Reiser punched out Greg Evigan. My life has never been that wonderful.) Mothers regularly changed their babies in line and handed me the dirty diapers since, clearly, my elf name was “Shit Man”. An adorable little Dominican girl with the cheeks of a cherub and the smile of an angel plopped herself down in her poofy white dress at the entrance of Santaland, right across from the Waterford Crystal display, and peed all over the 8th floor of Macy’s Herald Square while her enormous family looked on with pride like she was taking first communion and the Waterford Crystal people just shook their heads and prayed for New Year’s. A teenager from Pennsylvania grabbed an elf’s tit and gave it a good shake while his enormous parents looked on with pride like he was a little Dominican girl peeing in front of the Waterford Crystal display. Somehow, though, I emerged from my stint as an elf an even bigger fan of Christmas than when I came in. Maybe it was all the exposure to the sweet Christmas spirit. More likely, it was the sweet rush of power I got doing crowd control. “Get in line or get coal, motherfuckers! Santa’s not screwing around this year. He sent me to teach all you ingrates a lesson.” Man, that was fun. I can’t believe they kept hiring me back.

This year, though, I put my fondness for Christmas to the test. Not only did I plan my company’s Christmas party, organize the local Christmas tree lighting, work on a production of A Christmas Carol, buy a Christmas tree, hang Christmas lights, listen to Christmas music, watch Christmas shows (the Very Special Castle Holiday Episode was particularly meaningful. Hi Nathan Filion! I love you!) and buy Christmas gifts – I attended Donny & Marie- Christmas in Los Angeles. Would I emerge from this Ultimate Crucible of Christmas Crapitude with a smile on my face and a song in my heart or would I be screaming “Bah Humbug!” from the rooftops, my heart full of hate, like all of those Waterford Crystal schmos (a Yiddish word meaning “sucker who has to wear a tie and clean up pee and makes half what an elf does. Suckers!”)?

Just in case you were worried that you’d missed a sign of the Apocalypse- don’t worry- I haven’t become a Donnie & Marie fan (enough with this apocalypse crap already. Maybe if the Mayans predicted Global Warming then we’d actually take it seriously). I mean, sure, I suppose Donnie & Marie are #3 on my list of Most Hated Mormons, but that’s not really saying much. It’s pretty much:

  1. Mitt Romney
  2. Every single other Mormon on earth who’s not Mitt Romney.
  3. Donnie & Marie

Ah, Mitt Romney, I’m really gonna miss hating that guy. I think it’s the thing I’ll miss most about 2012. It was even more fun than hating George Bush because Mittens actually lost! Tee Hee Hee. Tee Hee Hee. Wait, I’m not done yet, one more. TEE HEE HEE!!!! OK, I’m done. For now.

Anyhow, like I said, I don’t really give too much of a crap one way or the other about Donny & Marie. I bought the tickets as a half-joking ironic gift for my wife. And, I kind of figured the rest of the world felt the same. I thought this show would be full of aging Gen X’ers out for a smirking kitschy thrill- like a Scorpions tribute band concert or Point Break: Live! or an actual Scorpions concert. Boy was I wrong. You know all those teenage girls that used to lose their shit in the 70’s when 15 year old mop-top Donny would croon out Puppy Love in his Osh Kosh B’Gosh Elvis Junior Rhinestone Jumpsuit with the broken purple heart on the back and signature purple belt?

Well, I just met 2000 of these formerly teenage girls – and they still get hot and bothered when he sings it, even though they have grandchildren younger than Donny was when they first fell in love with him and, to be fair, they’re probably hot anyways. And if 55 year old Donnie is still a little bit Rock n’ Roll (a VERY little bit) then 53 year old Marie is still a little bit Country- still banterin’ and chattin’ it up and getting’ to know the folks and tellin’ the same cornball jokes she’s been tellin’ for years (after finishing one particularly active number – “I’d like to say hello to my favorite fan” picks up one of the fans at the edge of the stage and directs it to blow right into her face) and the fans, the human fans were lappin’ it up.

So, OK- America still loves Donny & Marie. Who knew? (Every single person at the Pantages) This show was chock full of crap which America loves and I totally ignore- like Danicin’ with the Stars- did you know Donnie won and Marie lost? I sure know now because they only mentioned it like 30,000 times. And Nutrisystem- hey, I hear Marie went on Nutrisystem and lost a bunch of weight- do you know how I know that? BECAUSE SHE WOULDN’T SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT IT. Seriously, it’s a shame you can’t bring liquor into the Pantages, cause I could have done a shot every time she plugged Nutrisystem. Or her new talk show. Or their new album. Or her daughter who designed all the costumes. The whole show was like one giant infomercial for themselves with a Christmas tree in the corner and the occasional medley of Christmas songs squeezed in between product placements. Actually, come to think of it, they even squeezed product placement INTO the Christmas songs (while signing “We Need a Little Christmas” – Marie: “For I’ve grown a little leaner- THANKS TO NUTRISYSTEM!” Are you fucking kidding me? What’s next  “God rest you merry gentlemen- ON A SLEEP NUMBER BED!”? )

So, right, like I was saying, the show was terrific. Unbelievably entertaining. It was just like Christmas itself- corny and hokey and shiny and glitzy and commercial and saccharine and totally superficial and incredibly fun. Because, despite their best efforts to update the material with a Justin Bieber joke or sample from Gangnam Style (which happened only moments after I said: “If he puts in Gangnam Style I’m gonna lose my shit.”  And he did. And I did. And we both shouted Gangnam Style together! It was a goddamn Christmas miracle) there wasn’t anything hip or ironic or cool about this show. It was just good old fashioned family fun, which normally I avoid like the fucking plague but somehow, in December, it makes me want to shove a tree in my house and stick lights all over it. And I don’t know, maybe even be nice to people. Or at least smile at them. Or at least not frown so much. Most of the time. Unless they’re dicks. And isn’t that what Christmas is all about? No, seriously, I’m asking. What the fuck do I know? I’m Jewish. I just know I like this stupid time of year and I had fun at this stupid show and in this crazy, violent, fucked up time we live in, anything that makes people think about not being assholes for a few minutes is worthwhile and important and valuable.

Of course, the show did go on a little too long and included weird random shit that was totally unrelated to Christmas- like Marie squealing out Madame Butterfly with two ballet dancers dancing in the fog in front of her- which I suppose was her tribute to Puccini and the marine layer? More likely she’s got the Three Tenors on her show next week and this was her way of plugging it. But, hey, the holiday season goes on a little too long and includes random shit that doesn’t make sense, too- like all those commercials where Santa does stuff that you would never expect Santa to be doing. Look- it’s Santa driving a Mercedes, Santa on, Santa as a Chevy salesman- isn’t that wacky????? (NO) The thing about these commercials is, no matter what they are actually supposed to be for, they are actually public service announcements for the importance of copyright protection for fictional characters. After all, do you see Mickey Mouse pitching Capital One cards with Alec Baldwin? Hell no! But Donnie and Marie are available! They can do it! They can even add “What’s in Your Wallet?” to the show:

Marie: What’s in your wallet, Donnie?

Donnie: Why it’s a picture of myself winning Dancing with the Stars! What’s in your wallet, Marie?

Marie: My Nutrisystem plan!

Santa Claus: Seriously?? Whores.

And, hey, just so we’re clear- I’m not hating on Hanukkah- I love Hanukkah- candles, sufganiyot and latkes (Yiddish words meaning “Diabetes” and “Heart Disease”), eight presents- what’s not to love about that? I mean just look at this awesome Hanukkah gift my wife gave me:

It’s a giant foam core cut out of my face- WHAT COULD BE BETTER THAN THAT??? Of course, she’s not Jewish, so she knows how to buy awesome gifts- so, hey, that’s the best of both worlds. Eight awesome presents and not an Israel Bond in sight. Merry fucking Chrismukkah to me. (In the last post, I said she’s always right. Well she’s insisting that this is one occassion that’s she’s actually wrong. Maybe if I stopped saying- “Let’s see what Big Face has to say about that!” and sticking it in her face she’d change her mind. Hmm, I don’t know- let’s see what Big Face has to say about that!)

And, of course, a very Merry Kitschmas and, ok, Happy Hanukkah (even though it’s over so it’s a totally gratuitous mention but whatever) to all of you. Try not to be d-bags til 2013.

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