Death by Festivus

My views on the commercialization of Christmas are more conservative than Charlie Brown's, and that's saying something.

Happy Thanksgiving! In honor of the start of the holiday season, and because I haven’t blogged in almost two months, here are some of my least favorite holiday traditions that I’d like to beat with a Festivus pole over and over again.

  • Christmas commercials starting after the election. We just finished one annoying commercial season, is it so much to ask for a two day break? People who are shopping that early don’t really need decorations while they shop, and everyone else hasn’t even started thinking about Christmas yet.
  • The three-hour Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I started writing this blog post at 11:09 AM on Thanksgiving Day – what do you think is on my TV right now? That’s right, because nothing says “Happy Thanksgiving” like Kanye West! Seriously though, I’m not saying axe the whole parade – just the parts that include angry bitter celebrities. You do that and all of the sudden, you’re down to an hour of enjoyable television that America can watch and then get back to their normal holiday festivities.
  • Lions, Cowboys and Fumbles, oh my! It’s tradition that the Lions and Cowboys each play a game on Thanksgiving every year. Why? Is it so we’re guaranteed to not have a game that distracts us from family or eating massive amounts of pie? Is there something so wrong with saying “look, Lions, you guys had a good run. But you sort of suck. Come back in 10 years, and if you’ve managed to dig up another Manning brother to play quarterback for you, we’ll talk.”
  • “Satan Thursday”, as I’ll henceforth call it. If Black Friday is evil, then leaving your family on Thanksgiving Day to shop is worse than evil, since the fact that you’re doing so means those stores have to open up and thus people who want to be with their families have to work. There is nothing that says “I’m out of touch with the true meaning of this holiday” more than “hey everyone, why wait ’til Friday?”. And speaking of Friday…
  • Black Friday, in it’s traditional format. I understand that the sales are to die for. (See what I did there?) But seriously, it’s not smart to encourage minivan moms who are suffering their first tryptophan hangover in almost a year to wake up after just two or three hours of sleep (or worse, pull an all nighter) just to find a deal. Online stores that offer deals like this? Great idea. No one’s on the road and the only things at risk are credit scores and marriages. But as for the brick-and-mortar stores, people have literally been stampeded and killed. When you’re at that point, and there’s not a car accident involved, drastic action needs to be taken. What about a Black Friday Bus? We simply use the school buses that aren’t in use anyway, they pick everyone up from their houses at whatever time in the morning and shuttle them into the bigger towns where the hop on other buses or trains to get between stores. I don’t care if that’s a terrible idea, I’m just thinking out loud – someone has to.
  • Any jewelers’ commercials. “He went to Jared!” “He went to Jared!” “He went to Jared?” “He went to Jared!” I don’t know about you, but saying what store “he” bought a ring or necklace from is kind of like saying “He got that sweater on sale at Kohl’s! (Ignore the red dot.)” Tactless. And don’t think you’re out of the woods, Kay Jewelers: it’s not that your commercials are as offensive as Jared’s, its that you’ve used them for like 10 years straight now, and that’s an offensive lifespan for any commercial.
  • Nothing says "White Trash" more than inflatable yard decorations.

  • Inflatable yard decorations. I absolutely hate these. Not only because they look trashy when they’re up, but because their typical owners don’t take them down until Memorial Day. Look, there’s no law that says you HAVE to decorate your yard for Christmas, and if you don’t, I guarantee you one of your neighbors will. If you don’t have the time or effort to put up real Christmas decorations, don’t put any up at all.
  • ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas. Not only is their lineup of shows and movies absolutely abysmal, but ABC Family, in the last few years, has insisted on a “Countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas.” First, this implies that ABC Family thinks we enjoy the many Christmas B-movies and TV specials they run in those 25 days and that we actually look forward to it. And second, why can’t we call it what it really is: “ABC Family’s 50 Days of Christmas.” Also, note to ABC Family: the fact that a movie includes a Christmas scene doesn’t make it a Christmas movie. For example, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”. They show this one every year. It’s a reasonable movie, but it’s not a Christmas movie.
  • 24 Hours of “Jingle All The Way”. I get it, FX. I know what you’re trying to do. You saw what TBS did with “24 Hours of A Christmas Story” and you liked those results so much that you had to get in on that action. So you searched your archives for films you had rights for, narrowed it down to Christmas movies, and the best you came up with was…”Jingle All The Way”? And don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally against “Jingle All The Way.” I like to watch that once or twice a holiday season, and I get some chuckles out of it. But it’s not a classic like “A Christmas Story”; not even close. What about “Home Alone”, or “Christmas Vacation”? Although now that I think about it, you can’t get much funnier than the governor of the country’s most populous state saying “It’s Turbo Time!” Get back to me on this one, I need to think about it some more.

Sorry for my long absence from the blogosphere. I’d say it won’t happen again, but it probably will at some point, so I’ll apologize in advance for whenever that happens. And on a more serious and honest note, I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving, a happy holiday season and a Merry Christmas!