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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, June 09, 2023

Christmas time: A reality check on cheer

Here comes December—a month that (I think unanimously) evokes memories and emotions about one thing in particular: the holidays. 

This is not going to be an article that sucks up to the holiday season, so I’m sorry to all those who get ’nog-buzzed daydreaming about snow angels and sugarplums. No, there won’t be any lords a-leaping either. It’s actually going to be the opposite. 

Now, before preemptively striking Yukon Cornelius’ pick-ax into my apparently-icy heart, hear me out. I’m not a Scrooge, I swear; I love the idea of Christmas, or any holiday in the spirit of celebration, really. (For simplicity’s sake, I’m only going to say Christmas from now on. I know technically it isn’t politically correct or whatever but I’m apologizing for it in advance, so deal.) 

Christmas, like most holidays for which we’re given time off of school, should be about reconnecting with family and loved ones. It isn’t easy being openly cliché with people, so spare me the judgment, but I think it’s about time to take some of the commercialism out of Christmas.

This won’t happen anytime soon. It’s just a bit sad that even the things we convince ourselves to be altruistic, or even holy, ultimately revolve around making money. Can anyone else envision a troll-logic equation that explains Christmas’ step-by-step equivalence to evil?

I wanted to run an article about Thanksgiving last week, but it went down in flames. This little attempt at holiday writing redemption is sort of like microwaving that practically reanimated turkey one last time—bittersweet.

Okay that was gross and unnecessary. But I think there’s actually something important to say here, so don’t abandon me yet.

Usually when I think of innocence, I look back to my childhood. Oh, the days of (relatively more potent) ignorance and bliss, when all was good in the hood because the ’rents said so. I remember what Christmas meant to me as a kid: presents! My favorite person at Christmas time was Santa Claus, and for some reason, Rudolph was my beloved reindeer. I guess time changes a man, because now I think it’s pretty twisted that we manipulate the unspoiled hopes and dreams of little boys and girls all across the U.S. of A. via a fat man with a beard, airborne quadrupeds and a sack of toys.

You think that I’m completely off my rocker. There’s nothing wrong with a little “White Christmas” lie, right? 

Actually, you’re probably wondering why I’m choosing to be so aggressively cynical about Christmas a full three weeks in advance. Well, since the unofficial kickoff to Christmas time—Black Friday—was over a week ago, it seemed appropriate enough. 

We have entered the season of 24/7 Christmas music, gaudy home light displays, black ice and watching where the huskies go (don’t you eat that yellow snow). And while I’m not a huge fan of any of the aforementioned, they aren’t the root of my Christmas qualms. I’m upset with the Xmas attitude.

For some reason a lot of people think the Christmas spirit is defined by giving gifts to friends and family. Listen, you aren’t a saint for buying your boyfriend an Android. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. 

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I hate to bring up memes twice in such a short column, but why don’t we take all this misguided holiday cheer and put it towards something actually constructive? Yeah sure, it’s cool getting someone a gift they really enjoy, but if they can just pick it up anytime at Best Buy, the magic dissipates a bit. 

So here’s my proposal for all of you: This Christmakwanzukkah, don’t buy your parents, siblings or whoever something frivolous that they’re never going to use. Let’s collectively resist the urge to compile more tchotchkes and give to people who are actually in need. 

Think Christmas is actually a time for cheer? Send responses to

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