Christmas part II 

Every year it seems that the old Christmas circle gets a little bit larger. My brother has a girlfriend. My mother has a boyfriend. Nobody died. Thank God I’m single.

Then one of my good friends, recently married and playing the grownup, actually had the nerve to send out Christmas cards last year. I thought we had a mutual understanding that life is short and that writing cards is something we don’t want to get into. Now, no thanks to him, everybody’s sending cards. I don’t want to be a jerk about it so I suppose I have to send cards too.

I’m not a Scrooge, I swear! I’ve never once uttered the word Humbug – I don’t even know what it means. The root words are meaningless.

It just happens that I’m very busy these days and I haven’t had the time or the energy to spare on Christmas shopping! I’ll get around to it, I promise I will, and after it’s done, I’ll probably have to spend four more hours that I don’t have wrapping and two hours after that in a lineup at the post-office.

But then I got to thinking: is a handwritten card any more special than a typed one? Is a present any less thoughtful, or less selflessly given, if it’s wrapped in packing tape and covered in postage stickers. Is the Christmas spirit any less luminous because you have to sign for your presents before you can put them under the tree? Hell no!

The Internet is definitely the answer to my problems. I will shop online for tickets to a musical for my mother and her boyfriend, buy my brother a couple of CDs, and treat his girlfriend to a warm pair of mittens. I will ship my grandmother a basket of England’s best marmalade and tickets to the Nutcracker. I will enlist the services of an online card store to send Christmas missives to each and every one of my friends, with the fonts carefully chosen and my signature etched in gold. And I shall do it all in half an hour, more or less.

No lineups, no greeters to say hello to, and no salespeople on a commission to straitarm my way past. Once I’ve been shopping, I will waste no time whatsoever making a mess of the Christmas wrapping – when you think about it, the Internet is almost a more environmentally friendly way to spread the joy, providing that I don’t send anything that requires bubble wrap or Styrofoam packing.

I can feel the crushing responsibility and stress of Christmas lifting from my chest as I write this. Like Scrooge throwing open the window on Christmas Day, I have seen the light and turned over a new leaf! From now on I resolve to celebrate holidays in the quickest, easiest and often, cheapest way imaginable. And I will be happier for it, and spread that joy around! Fa la la!

I’ve probably referenced this site about three different times in the past year, but honestly when you’re looking for something, even if you don’t know what that something is, you can find it here. Books, games, toys, electronics, furniture, music, art – you name it, they’ve got it.

I hate billionaire plutocrat Paul Allen as much as anyone, but if you want tickets to an event in North America, you’re going to have to swallow your pride and use TicketMaster. Try to go around them if you can by locating the event in the local entertainment listings and contacting their box office. There’s no need to pad Allen’s pockets any more than they already are, or pay his ridiculous service charges if you don’t have to.

Say what you want about Hallmark holidays – it doesn’t matter who got us into this mess, all that matters now is getting out. There’ll be time to settle scores later. At Hallmark, you can pick from thousands of cards (real cards, not e-mail cards), write in your own message, give Hallmark the address, and presto – you’re officially off the hook for 365 beautiful days.

What could be easier than CDs? Everybody likes getting music for Christmas, as long as you’ve done a bit of research and know your target and their own CD collection well enough. If not, there’s always jazz. Everybody at least pretends to like it if they don’t want to seem uncultured.

Santa Claus has been spying on the kids all year, and has a better idea of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice than you do. If you have to buy for a little person, and have no idea what’s big this year, Toys R Us will make recommendations. Shopping online for toys also downplays the possibility that you will be trampled in the crush for this year’s Tickle Me Elmo.


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