Christmas is here again, and that means that it’s time for many of us to go into survival mode. Indeed, Christmas can be brutal. It’s just day after day of shopping, fake cheer and relatives telling you all the ways your life sucks and asking when you’re going to settle down and have kids. But fear not, gentle friends, for we here at Guyism are coming to your rescue – as usual. How will we save you? Well, with this little gift: eight ways to survive Christmas without going insane. You’re welcome.
It’s simple and kind of crude, but it’s effective. What better way to pass the holidays than in a booze-fueled haze? Your family and friends will wonder with joy why you’re so happy and sentimental, thinking that you’ve been filled by the Christmas spirit. Of course, what they won’t know is that you’ve actually been filled with a different kind of spirit courtesy of your friends Jack Daniels, Jim Beam and Johnny Walker, or as they’re known this time of year: the Three Wise Men.
Instead of fighting it, you might as well just embrace the madness. Watch all the stupid specials, decorate a tree, sing carols with friends and loved ones, let your significant other dress you in a horrid Christmas sweater. Sure, you’ll look like an asshole and you’ll probably feel like one too, but wouldn’t you rather be the asshole than have to put up with one? Naturally, it will help if you’re drunk, and if you live a state where it’s legal, partaking in a little of the “Christmas Tinsel” always helps make Rudolph, Frosty and the gang seem not only tolerable but amaaaaazing.
It’s not very dignified, but these are tough times, and you’ve got to do whatever it takes. So don’t be afraid to rip a few lights down or take off Frosty’s head with a baseball bat. Pluck needles off of the tree at Grandma’s house. Poop in a box and give it as your Secret Santa gift. Petty? Absolutely. Borderline psychotic? Sure. But just remember that this whole holiday revolves around a fat man dressed like a Blood sneaking down your chimney in the middle of the night. The whole damn thing is borderline psychotic. No one can judge you.
Look, nobody likes to do it and everybody has to. At some point, you will find yourself in a mall or an overcrowded department store and you will have to fight the urge to go get a crowbar out of the trunk of your car and go buck wild on everyone. But rather than committing felonious assault, why not use it as an opportunity to learn to exist in the moment? Be one with the shopping, with the crowds. Smile and say yes when your significant other asks if you want to go to just one more store even though you’ve been shopping already for fourteen hours. Use it to test your resolve, like a tribal child living in the wilderness alone for a week. Sure it’s barbaric, but it will make you a man.
Christmas is expensive, but rather than taking out a second mortgage on your home to buy second rate presents for people you barely care about why not do the sensible thing and re-gift? Sure, it’s not very nice and if you get caught you’ll feel like an asshole, but it’s better than having to sell a kidney, right? This one takes prior planning. You have to set aside gifts from the year before. I mean, everyone gets at least a couple of things they’ll never use, right? Don’t even open them. Just wrap them up the next year and... voila! Instant gift. Just be careful to avoid giving the re-gifted present to the same person who got it for you in the first place. A good filing system is a must. But the headache of a little paperwork will be worth it when you’re able to buy groceries instead of eating old pants because you spent all your money on presents.
When you find yourself getting too stressed out, just remind yourself that on this day, a child was born who would change the world forever. That’s right, Jimmy Buffett. I’m kidding, of course. Everyone knows that I’m talking about Sir Isaac Newton. No, but really, just close your eyes and remember the real reason for the season – people will buy you presents for no reason at all. I feel better already.
Christmas doesn’t have to be about going broke trying to prove to people that you love them, or at least kinda sorta like them anyway. No, why not take the opportunity to make some money instead? Start a tree farm or if that’s a little too ambitious for you, buy up a bunch of the hottest toys and gift ideas and then sell them at a huge mark-up to desperate fools on Christmas Eve. Sure, that would make you kind of a jerk who cares more about profits than people, but come on, that’s the American way. You’re just being a patriot who’s doing his part to help the economy.
No matter how bad it gets, no matter how many times your Aunt Donna smothers you with hugs that smell like mothballs and sadness, no matter how many times you want to strangle a caroler with their own belt or punch a mall Santa in his stupid bearded face, just remember that New Year’s Eve – and with it, copious amounts of booze and, even better, the almighty and holy New Year’s Eve hook-up – is right around the corner. And that, friends, is the greatest Christmas gift of them all.
(Previously published on December 17, 2012.)