Christmas sucks. There, I said it. But how, you may wonder, can any sensible person dislike a season that's devoted to peace on Earth and goodwill toward men? You might be surprised to learn that there's a huge underground of people who all agree that we should just cancel Christmas.
But why?, all you Cindy Lou Whos are asking the Grinch: Why? OK, since you asked -- here are the eight reasons I hate Christmas:
1. Tons of Christmas WasteThe EPA has determined that the amount of household garbage in the U.S. increases by about one million tons between Thanksgiving and New Year's, and most of that is related to Christmas gift packaging, Christmas boxes, Christmas breakage, and countless other Christmas flotsam and jetsam. What becomes of those million-plus tons of garbage? It goes to a landfill to rot. From an environmental perspective, Christmas is an unnatural disaster of titanic proportions.
2. Christmas Music is CrapHow many times can any intelligent person listen to some crypto-conservative like Andy Williams (who swore that Barack Obama is a Marxist) croak out "White Christmas"? How many times in an average day can anyone listen to the same tired carols bleating over the PA system in every department store, grocery store, drug store, shopping mall and hardware store in America? Even contemporary holiday gems like The Pogue's "Fairy Tale of New York" or Joni Mitchell's "River" become stale after 3,892 plays. Enough already. Cancel Christmas music.
3. Christmas Shopping SucksThe grotesque consumer orgy that Christmas has become is mind-bogglingly stupid. And from an economic point-of-view, the degree of consumer debt that accrues between Thanksgiving and Christmas would make Caligula blush. The bleary-eyed hordes that descend on stores and malls like an infestation of locusts, the amount of cheap made-in-China garbage that gets snatched up by frenzied men and women consumers alike, the deaths and injuries that occur from shopping feeding frenzies, and the way retailers feed on holiday madness like crack dealers -- all are reasons enough to cancel Xmas immediately.
4. Christmas Starts Too Damn EarlyIf holidays were diseases, Christmas would be cancer -- a fast-spreading, deadly cancer. It's already taken over Thanksgiving, spread into New Year's, and it's going after Halloween, too. (In fact, as I write this, it's September, and some stores are already displaying Christmas crap.) That's about one-third of the year, devoted to a perverse imitation of what used to be a religious holiday. And the credit-card debt we sink ourselves into, of course, lasts well into summer and beyond. So, like any cancer specialist will tell you, we have to surgically remove the growing tumor of Christmas, and use harsh chemotherapy to keep the Christmas cancer cells from spreading any further.
5. Christmas vs Mental HealthIt's widely accepted that rates of depression and suicide spike during the holidays. Small wonder: A crushing tidal wave of forced gaiety, wretched family and social obligations, frenzied travel plans, dizzying levels of financial debt -- it's a small miracle that more people don't jump off a bridge during the so-called "holiday season." Let's be honest: Christmas is no longer a holiday. Christmas is hell.
6. I Hate Christmas TravelPretend for just a moment that travel is a relaxing, enjoyable experience. (Quit laughing.) If it were relaxing or enjoyable -- and we all know that airport crowds, highway traffic, flight delays and miserable weather make Christmas travel a nightmare -- the environmental impact is impossible to ignore. Since most of our holiday travel depends on staggering amounts of fossil fuels, the planet would be a much better place is everyone just stayed home.
7. Tacky Christmas DecorationsOnce again, it's impossible to ignore the environmental impact -- and the sheer ugliness -- of most holiday decorations. Those cheap plastic balls and tinsel you're decorating your tree, house, yard, car, office and lapel with? All were made by desperately poor people toiling away in Chinese factories using heavy metals and toxic compounds. Even your artificial Christmas tree contains lead. And those Christmas lights twinkling in the darkness (until the house catches fire) are powered by a coal-fired electric plant spewing greenhouse gases into the air.
8. I Once Loved ChristmasLike most cynics, my bitterness is born of a love gone wrong. I once loved the Christmas season -- the lights, the gifts, the food, the socializing. Of course, I was 6 at the time. But I recently spent a Christmas holiday in Montreal, Canada, and was shocked to learn that there are still places where Christmas is a quiet, family-oriented, religious holiday. If I could have just one Christmas wish this year, it wouldn't be for a new big-screen TV, or a trip to Aruba. I just want my Christmas back.
But until we destroy the monster that Christmas has become, I fear we're doomed to repeat it, year after year, life after life, debt after debt, suicide after suicide. And that makes me want to drive a stake through the heart of the evil beast of Xmas. Have the courage to join me. Cancel Christmas now.