Christmas for Curmudgeons, Or: How I Learned to Stop Complaining and Love the Holidays

A flock of scroogesAnybody who’s been reading this blog at all regularly has picked up on, I’m sure, a certain misanthropic bent running just below its surface like a sewer line, and, for the most part, it’s not an act. Chances are pretty good that if I’m awake, I’m ranting. So you would think that this time of year would be my time to shine (so to speak) with all its factory-made good cheer and it’s nauseatingly first-world problems, but it’s not. The holidays are when the amateurs, the pikers, the poseurs and the part-time grumps come out to let us all know what wrong-headed sheep we are. In the last thirty or forty years, bah-humbugging has become an industry unto itself, and it’s gotten to the point now that the complaints against the holidays have become as raggedly clichéd as the clichés they pretend to combat.

Here is a list for all you bandwagon curmudgeons (and you know who you are) of things that you were about to say, before I interrupted you, that are no longer funny nor insightful, and the rest of us would prefer that you keep them to yourself.
• The malls started piping in the Christmas carols right after Labor Day this year.
• Santa Claus was invented by the Toymakers Guild and the Tinsel Combine, with stylists provided by Coca-Cola.
• Family get-togethers are just previews of what awaits the truly naughty among us when they finally land in the hereafter—only longer.
• Any anecdotes, morality tales, or detailed descriptions of one’s time spent in the mile-long queue waiting to prostrate oneself before the six-dollar an hour power-drunk keeper of this year’s must-have toy.
• The fruitcake that has roamed the earth for generations like a cross between the Ancient Mariner and some perverted game of Six Degrees of Separation.
• And the capo di tutti capi of holiday clichés: Christmas is too commercial. (I don’t know about you, but when I stop to take a look, I can’t say that December 25 is any more commercialized than the other 364 days of the year. GrinchExistence for the average American is one long list of side effects in a pharmaceutical advertisement, interspersed with sleep in which we dream in 30-second spots for the less attainable desires of the post-Freudian subconscious)(Speaking of Post-Freudian, Baudrillard was wrong. The world hasn’t become The Simulacrum, it’s just an unending string of coming attractions trailers for it).

So it is in all seriousness that, by the power vested in me (by me), the once and future King of Curmudgeons, I hereby declare that from this moment forward it is absolutely forbidden to complain, kvetch, bemoan, bewail, bellyache, carp, criticize, decry, denounce, disclaim, disavow, whine, whimper, yammer on about, and/or look askance upon the holiday season—unless of course you come up with something new and really, really funny—then, by all means, go tell it on the mountain.


Tired of "Jingle Bell Rock"? Can't take even one more "pa rum pa pum pum" let alone the four thousand of them it takes to sing the song through? Do you feel the same way about Rudolf as all of the other reindeer did before that fateful foggy Christmas Eve? Well then, try some of these from HCPL's collections.

102 Christmas Songs [downloadable audio]
Aaron Neville’s Soulful Christmas [Soul / R&B CD]
Acoustic Christmas: Spirited Holiday Instrumentals [Classical CD]
Advent and Christmas Gregorian Chants / Capella Gregoriana [Ancient/Devotional CD]
All I Really Want for Christmas / Steven Curtis Chapman [Christian Pop CD]
Babes in Toyland: The Magical Musical Story [Classical / Opera CD]
Bluegrass & White Snow: A Mountain Christmas / Patty Loveless  [Bluegrass CD]
Celtic Christmas Celebration [Celtic/Wyndham Hill CD]
Chipmunks Christmas [Annoying Pop CD]
The Christmas Angel: A Family Story / Mannheim Steamroller & narrated by Olivia Newton-John [CD]
Christmas Around the World [World Music CD]
Christmas at Downton Abbey / CD
A Christmas Celebration / Gladys Knight and the Saints Unified Voices [Gospel CD]
A Christmas Celebration / Celtic Woman [CD & Downloadable Audio]
Christmas Cocktails Vol 1 & 2  [Lounge music CD]
Christmas with Mahalia Jackson [Gospel CD]
Christmas with the Rat Pack: Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, & Sammy Davis, Jr.
A Mary Christmas with Mary J. Blige / CD
Wrapped in Red with Kelly Clarkson / CD
Cowboy Christmas / Flying W Wranglers
Winter Party! with Babypants & Caspar / CD
Winter Loversland with Tamar Braxton / CD


Wow, a curmudgeon's rant

Wow, a curmudgeon's rant against curmudgeons ranting, and a Baudrillard reference to boot: well done, sir. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Yeah, I figure if I don't

Yeah, I figure if I don't drop in Baudrillard every once in awhile, people will figure out that I'm really just some schlub with a thesaurus and a seemingly bottomless supply of nothing to say.

Best holiday wishes to you and yours, Richard.