Thursday, November 27, 2014

Addendum to Universal Social Contract - Holiday Rules

No. No. No. No.  On this Thanksgiving Eve (or Thanksgiving morning, depending on when you're reading) I feel compelled to share my thoughts on Christmas music BEFORE Thanksgiving.  For the last 2 weeks some radio stations have already switched over to All Christmas All The Time and the Yuletide melodies are in full swing at the mall.  Just No.  You cannot force the holiday season.  The holiday season starts after Thanksgiving.  That's the rule and everyone knows it.

See, the turkey's mad too
and Thanksgiving isn't
even a good day for him.
In general, people seem to agree that the marketers of the world don't let us enjoy the anticipation of an upcoming holiday, nor the actual holiday at hand, before they start over-saturating us with the next holiday.  I think we need to clarify some of the ground rules so that the holiday equilibrium can be restored and there can once again be peace on earth and goodwill towards men.  Well, probably really just towards women since I'm pretty sure men aren't paying that close attention to the whole thing.  But, I digress.

In every day life there are a few things most of us agree to that allow us to live in relative harmony with one another; a social contract, if you will.  We all agree that you shouldn't kill people or steal from them or spit on them or pour red wine on their new sweaters.   Just like our constitution has amendments (because people really need shit spelled out for them), I think our universal social contract needs some amendments.  We will be referring to them as the Holiday Rules.

I know you are thinking that these below-listed items should go without saying, but alas, some of our fellow humans actually need them said.  These same people are also usually the ones who need a whistle and smack.

1.  Christmas music is for Christmas time

* As mentioned, there should be no Christmas music before Thanksgiving.

* Radio stations should wait to play Christmas music all day, every day until a week or so before Christmas.  In the beginning, just throw in a few Christmas/winter songs here and there.  We don't need a whole month of nothing but holiday songs.  Do you know why?  Because as fun as Christmas songs are, there are only like 40 of them (tops).  Even if you add in all other winter and holiday songs, we're at around 50.  A month straight is a long time to hear the same songs over and over.  And, let 's be honest, they're not all great versions.

A caveat to this amendment is that Luther Vandros 
can sing whatever he wants whenever he wants

2.  Christmas/Holiday Greetings of all types are to be graciously accepted

* When people say "Happy Holidays" versus "Merry Christmas," they are just trying to be nice and spread good cheer.  They are not trying to ruin your life by forgetting about Jesus on his very special day.  React accordingly.

* The winter holiday season begins after Thanksgiving.  That is a whole month before Christmas.  There are other holidays during this season before Christmas.  "Happy Holidays" is a pleasant thing to say and covers all holidays, including New Years.  Also, it is more accurate.  Do you wish someone a happy birthday every time you see them the whole month before their birthday.  No, you do not.  "Happy Holidays" says "I hope you will enjoy this festive and joyous season."  React accordingly.

* Conversely, if you are not a Christmas celebrator and you are wished a "Merry Christmas," smile and say "thank you."  It is meant as a well wish, not as a way to force Christmas or Christianity on you.  You don't need to announce that you do not celebrate Christmas.  It makes the other person feel like you are telling them to shove their good cheer.  That's not nice.

* If you want to pretend you are living in a Dicken's novel or some other quaint time in history, you can of course feel free to say "Season's Greetings" to people.  You must, however, be wearing an overcoat and a hat that you can tip.


3.  Fruit Cake.  Why?

* Aside from my two cousins who make these super adorable (but still yucky) fruit cakes, I don't know anyone who eats/likes fruit cake.  Catalogs and cute country stores should stop selling fruit cake.  Anyone who gifts a fruit cake is clearly just being passive-aggressive and the recipient knows it.  I think this hurts the overall feeling of goodwill and kindness of the season.

*  For you Jewish people (and others) who don't know about fruit cake - it's like the honey
cake from Rosh Hashanah that no one but my dad and my friend Julie like.  The only difference is that it has what I guess you would call candied fruit in it.  Green and red hard maraschino cherries and fossil-like pineapple bits.

* Due to the nature of the holiday season, if someone you like or love makes a fruit cake and
You are going to have to practice
smiling because your initial
 reaction will be to grimace. 
insists you taste it because theirs is different and very delicious, you must taste it and smile and say you like it.  If pressed to eat more, beg fullness and ask to take a piece with you.  Do not throw this away until you get home.  Despite what is likely a passive-aggressive gesture (see above), you have to assume the person is trying to share their holiday joy with you.



I think these three are a good start for our Holiday Rules addendum to the Universal Social Contract. Let me know if there are any others you think need to be added.  Remember, our goal here at DTC is to help make the holiday season fun and happy for everyone.  And to smack and stun gun people who won't cooperate. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating and good luck to all who are gearing up for their Black Friday shopping!  xo,  DTC 

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