Bah, humbug. Despite the cold and the decorations and the non-stop Christmas Pandora stations, I'm having trouble getting myself in the holiday spirit. I'm hoping Sunday's premiere of "Christmas Cupid" on the ABC Family Channel, a modern remake of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," starring the legendary Chad Michael Murray will kick start my joy. I fear I'm not alone in this. As we grow older and the stresses of daily life become more and more consuming, the magic of Christmas is harder and harder to grasp. So let us all come together here, young and old, white and black, Christians and Jews for Jesus, to reflect upon the true meaning of Christmas: Non-Stop Awkward Moments.
Like small-talking with long-lost family members you see but once a year. And caroling. And listening, really listening, to the lyrics for 'Baby It's Cold Outside.' Like opening an atrociously bad gift in front of the giver, and trying to hold your 'I really, really love it!' grin for just the right amount of time that it registers as genuine, without becoming insane. Like drunk, oversharing relatives. Or being the drunk, oversharing relative. Or the increased need to interact with mall salespeople, all wearing holiday vests. Or picking your boss in the office secret santa where, in front of the whole company she tears open her Starbucks gift card, expertly smiles the 'I really, really love it!' grin mentioned above, looks right at you and says "Thank you, Carol!" which is not your name, but the name of your boss's former assistant whom you'd replaced over 6 months prior. (I mean, no big deal, that was like 4 Christmases ago, I'm sure you're over it.) Like bumbling, shame faced, past the tirelessly cheerful Salvation Army Santas. You're a really good person, you are! Everyone trusts you used all your change doing laundry. No need to yell it out loud every time you walk past a ringer. Please stay calm.
Like getting Tampax as a stocking stuffer. Or running into old classmates while visiting home. Like throwing a temper tantrum on Christmas morning because your sister got the gift you wanted. Also you're 19 and it's a copy of "The Lovely Bones." Like lying to your priest, on the eve of Jesus's birth. "Yes I know you only see me on Christmas Eve, Father, but I assure you I attend weekly mass at a different parish. Oh, you've never heard of "St. JonHamm's Holy Name Thorn of God Bonanza? Yeahhhh, it's pretty new."
And, of course, Christmas commercials. I'll end this post with a link to my current fave. An instant classic, which reminds us all: no matter how long your Awkward Christmas List, there's always room for some incestuous sexual tension.