Q: My girlfriend insists that we go to visit her parents in Arizona for Christmas. I don’t want to go because I think it needs to be cold to be Christmas. I would much rather get her to stay here and spend the day with my family in New Jersey. How do I do that?
A: My first piece of advice is never move to Australia. My second piece of advice is go to Arizona. And my third piece of advice is Christmas is not that special.
The late November advent of Christmas music arrived this year spiked with the usual grumblings of hate speech and annoyance. I’ve long drawn amusement at watching just how upset people get every time holiday classics roll around. I never really understood why they couldn’t just go with the flow, ya know, “Feed the World,” until this year. This year it finally dawned on me. This shit’s never gonna end. It’s gonna be 2048 and I’m gonna be almost 70 and all I’m gonna want for Christmas is Mariah Carey to shut the fuck up.
You’re gonna visit your family every year for the rest of your life surrounded by red sweaters, green cookies, and white driveways. You’ll have some great ham, you’ll have some shitty ham. One in six years, the frosting in the yule log will be the wrong consistency, further limiting your enjoyment of the holiday. Someone will get married to an asshole and that will begin twenty years of torment. No, Secaucus, Christmas is not that special, just romanticized. I know it’s tough to release the memories of childhood, the associations we’ve made with Christmas being the best possible day of the year. No school, new video games and everyone else in the family pre-occupied with their own gifts.
Christ’s birth truly was a miracle day back then, but as you age it is more likely to take on a new life as a tiresome nightmare. Am I a grinch? No, I’m just someone who speaks the truth, like the kid in second grade who told you Santa Claus wasn’t real. Unless all your current family members die in the following year, you’ll have at least one more traditional Christmas to stack on top of the 30 or so that you already have.
So go, I say, to Arizona. Earn valuable relationship points by not being an annoying jerk about it. Redeem those points for sexual favors in the future and this trip to the Southwest could truly be the Christmas gift that keeps on giving.