Thursday, December 17, 2015

Crimbo & Celebration Epic Fails

Thanksgiving is long gone and with that are the family celebratory brunches. Brunches because every household in the United States needs to spend the rest of the day thanking their lucky stars they elbowed their way through the line of sight towards that $200 52" flat screen TV. And woe betide anyone who gets in their way will be thankful they avoided a black eye or broken nose. Within three years, I place hard cash that the US will be celebrating Thanksgiving breakfast as mandatory practice so they have more credit card burn time for the rest of the day, night and right through to Cyber Monday. Giving thanks now reverts immediately to store cat fights and survival of the fittest that they blew their savings and are grateful they have a month to rally the cash in order to pay off the credit card debt. What a wonderful nation that can pivot so quickly in priorities, collectively. It takes 'united' States to a whole new level.

With Christmas just a mere 7 days away, the same gorging of food, racing to buy crap gifts for someone who you barely know but have decades of conjoined blood lines running through you both, and gluttony personified, will be the sole objective. Oh, the baby Jesus would be so proud of what you achieved and how you celebrate his life. Not only is our 'happy holidays' caption politically and non religiously correct, but now we don't even know how to celebrate without monetary core focus.

I recently saw a scathing backlash against a British woman who socially posted a photo of her Christmas tree, barely visible due to dozens of presents. The public's double standards of 'we will buy every store out but you can't show your purchases under a tree' is astounding. Her cash, her tree, her family, her choice. Everyone else...back off and focus on your own tree. How do you not know each gift was $1? Why do you care?  

Jews, on the other hand, spend Crimbo day keeping small proprietors in business, the ones of the Chinese restaurant variety. It's our G-d given right and by G-d, we don't disappoint. It's our time of year to venture past the same ole dishes and try something new. Something with a bit of a kick to it like taking the leap to order a whole fish dish, with face intact. But it must be accompanied by typical items so we don't panic our way into unknown territory without a familiar food harness. That fish face is watching our every step.

My sister's niece believed that Jesus was born in a trough just a short distance from a chain supermarket. She'll be eating kosher Chinese come Christmas day and will be none the wiser. When I was a kid, my bank asked for my Christian name (last name) to open a new account. I proudly declared "I'm Jewish, I don't have a Christian name." But every year as a pre 18 year old, I'd help my neighbours decorate their Christmas tree and I loved it. It was warm, comfortable and sparkly. Walking the few yards home, our own house looked bare in comparison. When I was seven years old, I sneakily placed Christmas decorations in my bedroom, hoping no one would notice. It was as discreet as a foghorn in a church during a one minute silence. The decorations were ripped down and I was ordered never to repeat the same glittery antics as long as I lived under my parents roof. I vowed I'd have my own apartment by the time I turned eight.

So this year, Muppet and I will hit up our regular Chinese joint, watch black & white movies, especially the ones with Shirley Maclaine, and hold serious discussions about what 2016 will bring. Muppet's already laid the foundation. "I want more buffalo lung treats each day. Full of goodness and vitamins that I require to stay beautiful. Go forth and grant my wishes." I replied. "We're donating a bag to a pet shelter and if you don't like the pay forward ethics, you'll be eating cold prison style porridge come the 24th with no jam in the middle. Not even half a teaspoon full."

Happy Christmas and for every Jew...happy Hong Kong style noodle purchase.

Finally, if you're looking for every single excuse to get away from the family, my first four "Living Off The Irony volumes are now on Amazon. Just tell the folks you're living through a catastrophe and need to lay low - you'll not be lying once you read my eBooks. All else, if there's someone you know who lives a life of pessimism, buy them all four volumes as a Christmas gift and that'll knock their negativity right on the head.