My reputation in the family is that I'm a total Grinch. I don't know why they say that. It could be my habitual eye rolling when they put on holiday music, the fact I don't own a holiday sweater, or my funny little nervous tic of blurting, "I hate this holiday!" It's a mystery to me.
It's not that I don't enjoy giving gifts to people I care about, or that I dislike tasteful holiday lights, decorated trees, etc. What I detest is the rampant commercialism. Like the current fad of putting those ridiculous blow-up decorations in front of houses, especially when they cover the whole damn yard. When I see those I have the urge to get out a big pin and run screaming through the neighborhood, poking holes in every, single one of them.That'll teach people to expend $ 80 a pop to have an effing waving Frosty in front of their house. If you want Frosty in your yard why not, hmm, let's see, BUILD HIM YOURSELF, YOU LAZY BUM.
It's all such a waste of effort, such a whorish use of electricity. What's the point, just showing off to the neighbors that you're so much more festive than they are, the tightwads who must not love their kids enough? Some will say, oh, it's to entertain the kids, to lift their little hearts up with anticipation of the upcoming holiday. No it's not, douche. It's what they call "compensating for something small by waving around something comparatively huge."
Back in my day we got entertained and excited by making things like paper chains. Hand the ankle biters a pair of scissors, a roll of tape and some construction paper. It's called "fun for under $5" that'll keep them busy an entire afternoon. Catch the fever. And if they're missing huge chunks of their hair afterward? Call it a FAD, much like filling your effing yard with blow up characters.
Having said all that, in a voice some may see as a little on the caustic side, there is one thing about the holidays I can't help but love.
Mr. North Pole himself, the Clauster. The Dude who, like Walmart, capitalizes on the low wage demands of elves and looks like a great guy by giving stuff away once a year. Oh no, wait. That's actually better than Walmart, the store that's so paranoid it checks your receipts against the plastic crap in your cart before they'll let you leave.
See, the Clauster rules.
My affection for the chubby dude in red has resulted in my collecting Santas, ideally those of the hand-carved wooden variety. But since I let the extended family know of my
sickness hobby, though apparently not my chosen material, I've been inundated with everything from resin:
And, sometimes, when they get it right, even wood:
Of all the Santas I own, I have two favorites. Both of them I happen to have bought for myself. Now there's a concept.
First is "Nervous Condition Santa:"
Okay, he's ceramic, but dude has springs connecting his arms, legs and head to his body. The slightest touch sets him off, and he shakes like a heroin addict.
Second, my eBay Santa purchase, the vintage bobble head:
He looks like a child's school project, something they'd make for art class and bring home to an adoring mother who has to love it, no matter how ugly it is. And hopefully she loves the kid just as much.
I love him despite his giraffe neck, his scraggly beard and his rope arms with no actual hands. And, best of all, he's WOODEN.
My collection continues to grow every year. I'll never stop collecting Santas. If I don't get one at the holidays I buy one for myself at the after-Christmas sales.
Still, there's one particular white whale I haven't managed to catch - my own personal Moby Dick. It's a tiny, carved Santa - a wee, wooden version of the chubby man in red. I mean tiny, like thimble sized. Maybe a little bigger, but still wee. So far, no luck, but the search goes on.
One of these days, Moby. One of these days.