The lovely and talented Simcha Fisher has published a list of things she doesn’t appreciate for Christmas. Well, two can play at that game. There are plenty of things I don’t appreciate at Christmastime, and I was only longing to be asked.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Just what we need to get us in the Christmas spirit: a horrendously depressing film about a child and a slave laborer who run away from home to avoid bullying, ending with the dubious moral that people will come to value your quirks if they find you useful. And while we’re on the subject, I don’t like Nestor the Christmas Donkey either. Or The Little Drummer Boy. I don’t know whose idea it was that Christmas ought to be celebrated by morose stop-motion animated tales of sad children with dead or absent parents.
Honestly, the only Christmas movies I really love for their artistic merit are A Claymation Christmas Celebration, The Snowman and Eyes Wide Shut, the latter two of which are also depressing stories involving bad parents now that I think about it. But Eyes Wide Shut isn’t nearly as cynical as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. At least Bill pays Domino in cash. Rudolph and Herbie don’t get paid at all; their colleagues just agree to stop persecuting them as much. Merry Christmas.
Figgy Pudding. I like plum pudding, but not figgy pudding. It tastes like figs. And I feel rather threatened that if I don’t have any figgy pudding on hand when carolers come to call, I’ll have no way to make them leave. Sounds like a scam to me. Fortunately, people don’t carol very much in this town, so it hasn’t been a problem.
Animatronics. I think that’s what they’re called. Plastic figurines that move their arms and grinning heads slightly in a never-ending pattern while you watch, spellbound. They’re usually made to look like elves, or Mrs. Claus, or happy bears. Most of them make a subtle metallic noise as the joints grind together; some have a distinctive tick-tick-tick in their necks like oscillating fans. All give the impression that at any second, their hands will drop off to reveal gun barrels and they’ll go marching around the shopping mall to enslave us. I could see decorating the mall with them on Halloween, because they’re terrifying, but for Christmas?
Richard Scarry’s Best Christmas Book Ever!This is the children’s book that introduced my daughter to the concept of a pomander, and suddenly every apple in the house was stolen from the kitchen and stuffed with cloves. It contains several heartwarming short stories that make very little sense. Also, the illustrations bemuse me. Take a look at this snapshot, taken in accordance with fair use principles for the purpose of a book review:
Let’s presume that we’ve been delving all of Kubrick’s rich hidden narratives in Eyes Wide Shut for too long and the rabbit is only holding an unfortunately shaped wrapped ham with a long hambone. But… why is the rabbit buying ham for Christmas dinner? Why wasn’t he drawn with a bunch of carrots? Rabbits don’t eat ham. Rabbits get bad kidney problems if they have more than a bite of meat. I’d let Scarry off the hook for this one since he’s populated his world with all kinds of anthropomorphic critters, but the main characters of most of his books are a family of cats, who do enjoy ham. Would the tableau have really been changed if he gave the ham to that cat with the babushka staring in the shop window, and gave Mr. Rabbit a head of lettuce? I don’t know why this is disturbing me so much.
I’m disturbed by how Huckle cat and Jaundice Dog are staring at the audience over those poinsettias, as well. If this were a Kubrick film, those two would finish their moloko, kick over the poinsettas and go beat up Mr. Rabbit for his ham. That’s the exact face they’re making.
Hot Chocolate. Well, I like real hot chocolate. I like to melt a bag of chocolate chips on the stove and add canned evaporated milk until it turns into a rich simmering lava, maybe throw in a shot of bourbon. But nine times out of ten, when people offer you hot chocolate, they give you a scalding hot cup of water with scant traces of cocoa dust from a packet in it. There’s no point. And hot buttered rum is infinitely superior to either one.
Pentatonix, but also people who think it makes them sound very tasteful and highbrow to complain about Pentatonix. Seriously, guys, relax. It’s Christmas. They’re only twee and overblown singers performing twee and overblown Christmas music. We’ll survive.
I’m sure I’ll think of some more later, but that’s a start.
(image via Pixabay)