Archive for christmas

Black Friday: Why is this even a thing?

Posted in Advent Calendar Entry 2010, Non-Advent with tags , , , , on November 27, 2010 by K-Mo

Today is Black Friday, which means it’s the official start of the Christmas Season, which means it’s officially time to start complaining.  However, the Cynical Advent Calendar is a real Advent Calendar and therefore we are not starting officially until the 1st of December.

That being said, since Black Friday has become it’s own thing in later years, it’s perfectly safe to just rip on this day for what it is without having to tie it to any sort of countdown.  So, as the kids say, let’s rap.

First of all, the name itself should be an indicator as to what kind of fucked up holiday this is. Black Friday sounds like the day Jesus died (which instead is called Good Friday for some reason) but in this case ‘black’ means that its the day of the year where most retailers make back enough money to stay out of the red.

Does that not sound INSANE to anyone else?

Hedging the entire livelihood of a company on one day of media driven consumer insanity is pretty fucked up, but in a way it’s also the American Dream. After all, it’s not like a doctor can decide he’s only going to really save lives one day out of the year.

I am just so tired of hearing about this non-holiday already. I’m tired of being bombarded with sale prices and bullshit every which way.  I don’t care that some fuck store is selling high-def TVs for $1.00 because if I have to risk my life or actually interact with Black Friday shoppers in any way, I’d rather pay 200% mark up.

But Black Friday has given birth to a concept I really like– Cyber Monday. First of all, the name sounds a little dirty to someone who grew up in the days of AOL chat rooms. But the concept is pretty awesome; everybody stay the fuck in your homes and stop being so crazy.

Well it’s here everyone.  See you back here in a couple of days so we can start counting down until the end of Christmas, when the world finally regains it’s sanity and normal life resumes.  If you absolutely need help to get through these dark times, you can always nuzzle up with your vice of choice and plop down in front of the 2009 Cynical Advent Calendar.

December 25th – Santa

Posted in Advent Calendar Entry 2009 with tags , , , , on December 25, 2009 by K-Mo

Merry Christmas, Fuckers!

So the presents have been shredded, the food has been devoured and the family has gone apeshit insane — must be Christmas Day, huh?

To celebrate the end of one of the most miserable Christmas seasons ever (thank you, economy!) I’d like to spend today taking a shot at the biggest Christmas icon of all time — no, not Jesus Christ, I’m talking about the other guy with the facial hair, Santa Claus.

First of all, why are we keeping the whole Santa tradition going anymore? Who are these psychopaths who are filling their kids heads with flat-out lies only to turn around and take it all back once puberty hits? Sure you want little Susie-Face to fit in with her classmates and friends and participate in a long-lasting tradition, but at the cost of what? Teaching your kids to be deceptive?

Santa is the representation of a primarily Christian holiday (with Pagan roots, but shh everyone decided to ignore that awhile ago) and is really the first lesson kids get about faith. They’re asked to believe in a magical man who knows if they’ve been bad or good and will reward them once a year for having clean souls.  So when the kids are good (or even when they’re not) and there are toys under the tree come Christmas, they’ve learned to put their faith in something and are rewarded with a material object. It’s not hard to then move them up to the big leagues and make them be good for their whole lives and be rewarded in the afterlife by this Jesus fellow, who is a lot like Santa in many ways.

So okay, great, you taught your kids about faith, how nice for them. But then! Once they start to get too old for Santa Claus,  you pull the rug out from under them, that the whole thing was just a ruse based on years of tradition and that it was really mom and dad supplying the rewards. Okay, so how hard is it for a kid to jump to the conclusion that there’s no God either? That in the end, they’ll die and it’ll be mom and dad just yanking their chains all over again. Fool me once, shame on you and so on.

Santa is basically corporate Jesus. Since it’d be tacky and offensive to use Jesus to hock merchandise and to teach kids how to be good little consumers, it’s this similar-yet-different guy who sweeps in and does the job. At the end of the day, when you find out Santa isn’t real, it doesn’t mean the presents stop coming because it’s money, not Christmas magic, that is bringing them.

People love to joke that Santa is a communist because he wears red and gives presents to all the children of the world. That’d be funny if it were true because he doesn’t exactly give presents to everyone now, does he? Certainly anyone who doesn’t follow Christianity in any way shape or form isn’t getting a present, so that actually rules out entire countries.

And what he doles out ain’t exactly equal either. Kids from high-income families come to school after Christmas break with new iPods and Playstation 3’s while lower income kids get less flashy stuff, or sometimes nothing at all depending on the financial situation that the family is in.  So why is it that Santa seems to distribute presents unevenly to kids in different economic households?

Doesn’t it seem cruel to anyone else for a kid to have to come to school and find his classmate got all these lavish gifts from Santa Clause while he barely got anything? I mean, Santa is supposed to be this all-knowing magical genie or whatever, he’s supposed to make every little kid’s dreams come true, not just the rich ones.

Do we even need Santa (besides to sell Coke bottles) anymore ? Do kids even play with toys and do they really believe some elf out there is building him a goddamn iPhone for Christmas? You see all these specials and movies with elves making wooden trains and rag dolls and then you wake up to Christmas morning to pre-packaged consumer goods that are still a little sticky from where Santa apparently scratched off the price tag when he picked the gift up from Target on his way over.

Want to know how I found out there was no Santa? I was digging around for gum in my mom’s purse and found a receipt with all of the presents Santa had supposedly brought. Well okay, actually it was Easter and it ruined the Easter Bunny for me, but it only took me about 30 seconds to draw my own conclusions about Santa based on that event.  Maybe discovering that holidays were just thinly-veiled consumer events at an early age is what has made me so cynical towards Christmas all of these years.

Or maybe this time of year just really, truly does suck.

Either way, I blame Santa.

Well… that’s it folks! Another holiday in the can and only 365-or-so days of freedom until we get to do it all again.

Don’t Forget! I’ll be back on Monday to countdown to 2010 with my 5-Day I Hate New Years special! See ya then!

December 24th – Christmas Eve

Posted in Advent Calendar Entry 2009 with tags , , , on December 24, 2009 by K-Mo
OMG Christmas Eve WTF!

Let's all lose our minds for Christmas!

So here it is, Christmas Eve is upon us which means that if we all just shut our eyes and hold out for a few more days, all of this insanity will be behind us.

I’m updating this one super early because I have to head up north to my grandparent’s place in only a few short hours from now.  This is because Christmas Eve has somehow fooled us all into being its own holiday.

What is the deal with Christmas Eve anyways? Why do no other holidays get an Eve before them? I guess Halloween does have Devil’s Night, but that’s not really a good holiday. On Christmas Eve you might get to open some presents early. You don’t get candy on Devil’s Night, only arson.

It’s like we put so much goddamn energy and time into the Christmas season that we have to spread it over two days. This is to ensure that the day before Christmas is the most hectic thing it can ever be. A great deal of people don’t even get the day off of work, which makes the time crunch even more dismal. Any last minute shopping or wrapping or preparations you need to make will end up being the most insane experience of the whole month.

You can’t go anywhere or do anything on Christmas Eve without running into insane people. There are just bodies and flesh everywhere, all jammed into impossible lines at the store, the aisles overflowing with last-minute shoppers and their nightmarish seeping dirt children. Even if you just need to run in and grab something you’re going to have to schedule about fourty-five minutes to an hour  to actually park, wait in line and all that jazz.

If you’re like me, Christmas Eve is a day you spend with extended family to exchange gifts, eat dinner, do all the same shit you’d do on Christmas, just a day earlier.  I ask you though, where does it stop? Will future generations be celebrating the entire week run-up to Christmas? Will the 12 Days of Christmas song actually have relevance again?

Anywho, here’s hoping your Christmas Eve is light on the insanity this year. If you have time to check us out tomorrow, we’ll be toasting to the end of the holidays with the big Christmas Day post!

Also, don’t forget the 5-day “I Hate New Years” countdown is coming soon, so stick around!

December 23rd – Snow

Posted in Advent Calendar Entry 2009 with tags , , , on December 23, 2009 by K-Mo

I hate snow.

Kind of a stupid thing to say when you continue to choose to live in Michigan of all places, but I hate snow. From fall on till spring, every day that I wake up I hope that it hasn’t snowed. Nothing can kill a good mood like a few inches of this white bullshit.

My hatred of snow is not put on hold for Christmas. Why is it that on this one day of the year, people actually hope for snow? “Oh please! Let us have frozen precipitate this year for Christmas! It’ll be a goddamn miracle!”

Okay, I’ll bite and admit that the winter landscape sans snow looks like some burned out post-apocalyptic wasteland, but that doesn’t mean I want it to snow either.  The lesser of two evils is still evil.

Snow is only fun for about three minutes. It looks pretty and it’s all gentle and soothing until you’re forced to go shovel it out of your driveway. And really, that’s the way snow is always regarded as, just this nuisance that you push out of the way. Once it starts to melt it doesn’t even look pretty anymore,  just  gray decaying tumors  on the side of the road.

So why the big deal for snow on Christmas? Why do people WANT the driving conditions to be all fucked up? Obviously nobody is going to go out and plow or salt roads on Christmas. The next time you wish for a white Christmas, realize you’re wishing for more fatal car crashes. Yeah you get to look at the nice white pretty snow from inside your safe little house, but somewhere out there that snow is taking lives, maybe even the lives of little Susie-Joe and Bobby-Face buckled up in the backseat on the way to Grandma’s.

Ultimately, there’s no such thing as a white Christmas because snow is always stained red with the blood of innocents.

The Ghost of Cynical Advents Past

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 22, 2009 by K-Mo

Today’s bonus entry is yet another list! Yay! Hooray for you, the lovely reader, who gets to read it.

Some of you may know that I used to run the Cynical Advent Calendar on my personal livejournal before starting this blog. Some of you may not, but are learning this fact for the first time. I thought it’d be fun to take a stroll down memory lane and recant my ten favorite entries from years past!

Icicle Lights: December 08, 2004
I hate improper use of icicle lights. You know, those dangling lights that every one of your neighbors (and probably you) has? They’re nice when USED CORRECTLY. My mom had some on our old house, mind you this was before everyone else had them since my mom is constantly on the cutting edge of Christmas trends. Anyways our old house was a tiny bungalow with a pointed roof, so they looked nice on that house and really did resemble iciles. I can’t stand how haphazardly people just throw them onto whatever stands still and call it a Christmas Miracle. Your lights look shitty dude. Take them down and hang yourself with them.

Little Drummer Boy: December 10, 2004

I hate the song “Little Drummer Boy.” It has to be the only song in existance that doesn’t really grow or crescendo or anything. It starts to build and then, just no resolution. Just the same crap all over again with the fucking “pa rum pa pum pum” shit. This song is also 90 minutes long. It also makes no sense at all! “Oh look, the baby Jesus. Damn, I have nothing to give him so I’ll just BANG ON MY FUCKING DRUM. FOR A FUCKING NEWBORN. THAT’S TRYING TO SLEEP!”

Giant Candy Canes: December 03, 2005

Those giant fucking candy cane sticks. You know, the ones that are the size and general shape of a candy-striped phallis. I don’t know what I hate more, the gluttonous aspect of it or the image of little Cindy Lou with the damn thing stick out of her mouth boasting to daddy about how she “got her whole mouth around it.” We do not need food items that double as weapons. And for the most part these things go to waste.I’ve gotten them before and never finished a single one, and with good reason… nobody needs that much fucking peppermint.

Giant Inflatable Lawn Decorations: December 13, 2004

Nothing says the holidays like a big fucking inflatable fuck apparently. No matter if it’s Santa going down your chimney or Rudolph adoring your lawn like a fucking jackass, the neighbors will all say “Look, the Smiths dropped $30 on a fucking inflatable Christmas balloon. We need to waste money like that.” I’m convinced that’s all it is, “Who can waste more money.” If you don’t have one of these tacky things, it means you’re too poor to afford one. Rich people are required to have a minimum of ten. I mean, come the fuck on… does anyone really need an eight foot tall Spongebob in a Santa hat RAPING their Christmas display?

Non-Rudolph Rankin Bass Christmas Specials: December 12, 2004

I hate any of those Rankin-Bass Christmas specials that AREN’T Rudolph or Frosty. For me, Rudolph starts the holidays. I haven’t seen it this year, so this year will have no Christmas. But the others are Johnny-come-lately’s, riding on the coattails of their more successful brothers. Santa Claus is Coming to Town? Fuck it. Little Drummer Boy? Fuck it. Rudolph and Frosty’s Merry Winter New Year’s Jubilee featuring Jack Frost? Fuck it. They don’t have abominable snowmen, they ain’t worth shit. Yukon Cornelius for Life!

Electric Candles: December 02, 2006

Candles. No, not those kind you burn with the wick and everything, but the electronic variety. They suck ass. I hate them so much. Like, it’s always really creepy when people put them in their windows. Just a few eerily glowing candles on a seemingly empty home. That’s just creepy.

I just never got them. They’re not for Hanakkhua(sp?) are they? No, case they come in the “single candle” and “tri-candle” varieties. They’re just like… wastes. They’re the decorations for people who don’t want to put their entire ass into it. Old people.

Pre-stocked stockings: December 05, 2006

Nothing says “There’s No Such Thing as Santa” than a plastic stocking filled with misc. crap that would never sell on its own. You’ve seen this abominations, haven’t you? I’m sure every year you prayed to Santa you wouldn’t get one. They are always filled with the most useless garbage and toys that no kid would want. Shit like fake spiders left over from Halloween, generic “Fun Days” coloring books, crazy straws, just anything you would find at the dollar store, really.

Nothing says “I don’t love you all that much” than one of these fuckers. Nothing says “Oh shit I forgot it’s Christmas! I spent all the family’s money on Crystal Meth” than this bullshit.

Caroling: December 14, 2004

Caroling. What is up with that? Who does this anymore? I mean, we always see commercials of young, Dickens-esque carolers going from house to house with big, ancient tomes that supposidly have music notes inside. The truth is, nobody does this. Why the fuck would anyone want to just go around and sing at people’s houses. If someone caroled at my house, I’d have no way of responding. I’d just feel awkward and like wonder when it would be safe to close my door. Or fuck it, if I heard them coming, I’d shut the lights off and hide. Goddamn, it’s creepy. It’s like the gestapo are coming for you.

Fruitcake: December 08, 2005

Fruitcake. No, not the actual cake, for I’ve never really seen fruitcake in it’s natural habitat. I’m talking about the use of fruitcake as a holiday joke. Every comedian, talk show host, sitcom star and public official dusts off their crappy fruitcake jokes right around this time of year. And they are LAME. The percentage of people actually giving and recieving fruitcake are about 5% and that’s all over the world. That’s because the comedians told them how disgusting it was and so now they’re not buying the stuff. And seriously, is it THAT hard to get rid of? It’s called a trash can.

Coal Candy: December 12th, 2005

Coal Candy. There’s about 52 different varieties of coal “gag” candy to put into a child’s stocking. At first they think “OH NOES! I WAS BAD!” but then they look closely and see it’s only candy and their fears disappear. But then they actually eat the candy and taste the sweet flavor of irony, as the candy is so retched that they know now they WERE being punished, all along. Look, just cause a candy only comes out once a year, and as a gag too, doesn’t mean it has to be revolting. Coal Candy, lumps of sugar, sometimes gum, tastes exactly like what they’re made of, sugar, black food coloring and sin. And the blackness they leave sticking to your teeth and gums will haunt you until New Years Eve.

December 22nd – Christmas Cards

Posted in Advent Calendar Entry 2009 with tags , , , , on December 22, 2009 by K-Mo

I understand the concept of Christmas Cards quite clearly and I can see how they could have been a convenient way to keep in touch with people during the holidays– in 1953.

Anything involving an actual stamp and paper these days is an out-dated practice. Yet Christmas Cards continue to be this phenominon that, much like the rest of this holiday, people have yet to see as the antiquated process that they really are.

Christmas Cards come in two varieties. The first is just your standard greeting card fare, nothing more and nothing less. Just some generic seasonal sentiment or maybe a big “Happy Holidays” scribed in gold cursive across the front with a signature and equally generic greeting inside. “Hope your holidays are the best!” or “From our family to yours, Merry Christmas” or “No more holiday suicide attempts, Grandma, we’re having you put in a home!”

The other version is some sort of long-form epic poem detailing the life of you and your family for the last 365 days like someone actually gives a shit.

“Oh things are just peachy here. Bobby graduated from high school last June and is doing well as a Freshman at State. James was laid off and I think he’s been sleeping with another woman when he’s supposed to be filing for food stamps. The twins are no longer trying to have sex with each other, but they’re still wearing ladies underwear. The dog is still a dog!”

Who cares!? Get a fucking phone and use it every now and then so you don’t need to write “my average family life is average” a million different ways each year!

And again, do we need more wasting in the holiday season? All you’re really doing is creating more garbage when you send these cards because you can be damn sure nobody is treasuring them for years to come.  I’m betting if we cancelled all Christmas cards just once, the government would save billions on the gas and manpower it takes to deliver all of these worthless pieces of paper each year.  Then we could finally have health care reform!

Yes, that’s what I’m saying about Christmas Cards. All you greedy people sending cards out are just taking money away from sick and possibly dying babies.

How about you write that in your card this year?

Bonus Post: A Few of My Favorite Things!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 21, 2009 by K-Mo

Since I missed two days this month, I’ll be making them up tonight and tomorrow with bonus posts.

I’ve been doing some form of the Cynical Advent Calendar for quite a few years now (about the same amount of time I’ve been working in retail…) so I’ve gotten kind of a reputation as somewhat of a Grinch or a Scrooge or some other Christmassy villain. Nothing could be further from the truth! I don’t HATE Christmas, I just hate certain things about Christmas.

So, to be a good sport, I thought I’d make a list of the ten things I like most about the holiday season.

Christmas Crunch!

Fuck yes!

10. Christmas Crunch – I know, I know, it’s just normal Crunchberries with a Christmas theme, but goddamn if I don’t love this cereal to death! Nothing says Christmas to me than that malted corn taste and that sick greenish/pinkish milk that’s left over.

9. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – There’s a small list of Christmas movies I can stomach, but this one is just tops. It’s the kind of movie you wouldn’t mind watching in the middle of the summer (and admit it, you probably have!) It was a hard toss-up between this movie and A Christmas Story but ever since TBS started playing it for 24-hours straight on Christmas Day, it’s gotten kind of played out.

8. The Simpson’s Christmas Special- The episode that started the whole phenominon! It’s a little dated by today’s standards and the Simpson’s characters hadn’t exactly developed completely yet, but I still laugh every time Lisa pokes Bart and he goes “Ow! Quit it!” after getting a tattoo for Christmas and then having it removed with a laser.

7. A Muppet Family Christmas – Not to be confused with any of the other Mupper Christmas specials, this one was from the late 80’s/early 90’s when the Fraggles were in full swing and featured not only the classic Muppets but the Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock gang as well. As a little kid I was completely in heaven whenever this special aired on TV. Unfortunately it’s like impossible to find nowadays.

6. Christmas Cookies – Surprise! Fat kid loves cookies! I’m a glutton for sweets and Christmas is just the best time for these things! My mom always makes a ton of cookies but so does everyone else I know so I’m constantly at cookie maximus each December.

5. Stocking Stuffers – Despite being insanely too old to have a stocking, my mother still stuffs one for my brother and I each year. It’s mostly stuff we need like deodorant, a toothbrush, shower gel, etc  with a healthy dose of candy added in. Every year I tell her I don’t need a stocking anymore, but really I think I’d be lost without one. I always seem to run out of the essentials by this point and its nice to get some freebies.

4. Coca-Cola in Glass Bottles – This is what I imagine the three wise men must have drank on the way to see baby J. I’m a glutton for pop, but pop in a glass bottle is like the elixer of life.  They’re usually gone by the time I go to sleep on Christmas night, but it’s still a treasure to behold each year.

3. X-Entertianment’s Advent CalendarEvery year the only thing to keep me going during the holidays is this website’s annual advent countdown.  Something as simple as showing off the contents of the Playmobile and Lego advent calendars has spun into an annual epic episodic tale of hand energy, the many clones of Mare Winningham, giant coconut crabs and Christmas magic.  You must check it out!

2. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – The best holiday special of all time. Sure, I love the Peanuts, but this has it beat. I used to watch our taped-off-the-TV copy of this movie all the time, despite the season. The Bumble? Amazing. The Island of Misfit Toys? Amazing.  The whole thing is just amazing.

1. New Stuff – What can I say, I like getting new things! What’s the point of Christmas if you can’t restock your inventory a little bit? I know I’m looking forward to not wearing tattered clothing anymore.  Yeah consumerism is ruining the holiday, but that’s not going to stop me from accepting presents. Me love presents.