1. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Don’t worry; this isn’t the “I mean, what the heck is figgy pudding anyway?!” spiel held so very dear by your zany thirteen-year-old cousin. Instead, we shall direct our decidedly more mature focus to the line, “We won’t go until we get some,” which has been stuck in my head for the past three days. Imagine: Dozens of chipmunks, beady eyes glowing like Christmas lights, encircling your house and chanting these words at an ever-increasing volume. We won’t go until we get some. You have no figs, no pudding in your cabinets. Only a packet of instant mashed potatoes, a can of beets, and a half-eaten bag of Doritos. We won’t go until we get some. You cannot leave because they’re out there. Online delivery isn’t an option because your dad canceled your credit cards (ridiculously citing “responsibility problems”), your Paypal is empty because no one’s buying your Victorian hair crafts on Etsy, and there’s no money left on your debit card because you spent it all last night at the Cold Stone Creamery. You call your brother for advice, but he refuses to provide you another “bail out”; clearly he’s been reading too much Ayn Rand. You try to chat up your Mom on Facebook, but she doesn’t respond even though you can see she “liked” Bon Jovi’s status two minutes ago and is definitely online. We won’t go until we get some. If this is the Christmas spirit, you think, then damn it all to hell, which is where you and your rat poison-laden “figgy pudding” (Doritos + beets + blender) will be happily headed following the Great Chipmunk Massacre of 2013.
2. Silent Night
Silent night? Not scary. Holy Night? Not scary. Referring to an infant, our lord and savior no less, as “tender” and “mild,” two of the exact words I so often speak at the Taco Bell drive-thru? Terrifying.
3. Deck the Halls
There you are, enjoying your unpaid holiday in your studio apartment, your chocolate-dipped pretzels air-drying atop your dresser, your cat dressed up in a sexy Santa suit, your Pandora station blasting all the classics, and that’s when you hear these words: “Strike the harp and join the chorus. Fa la la la la, la la la la. Follow me in merry measure, Fa la la, la la la, la la la.” Realization hits with a cold, hard hammer: You are alone. You’ve always been alone. There is no harp. There is no chorus. There is no one to follow, or to lead. There is emptiness. There is despair. There is an Instagram filled entirely with photos of your cat. There is, if you make it through this night, a future—time, as always, ticks on—but it certainly does look bleak.
4. Do You Hear What I Hear?
“A child, a child/shivers in the cold/let us bring him silver and gold/let us bring him silver and gold—” or how about you bring him a blanket, asshat? Or is this just the way humanity has always been—ignorant, materialistic, cruel?
5. All I Want For Christmas Is You
In Mariah’s classic mall hit, we are presented with an individual who wants not for world peace, nor for figgy puddin, nor for Tiny Tim to find a two-pence coin on the cobblestone as he’s hobbling around London trying to avoid being stabbed by rudeboys, nor for bargain-hungry shoppers to be able to try on stretchy pants at the Old Navy in peace and silence. This individual doesn’t want for any of that. What she wants—all she wants—is YOU. Now, not to point any fingers, so to speak, but I seem to remember a certain other individual, a gentleman, perhaps an uncle, perhaps an uncle named Sam, who also only wanted YOU, and I also seem to remember all of that ending rather badly, what with nuclear bombs, mass casualties, and utter devastation. Just saying.
6. What Child Is This?
What do you mean, what child is this?!
7. The Twelve Days of Christmas
You open your door one cold December morn to make your way to the Temp Agency, hoping for a Big Break so that you can afford to buy your boyfriend that beard trimmer he wants, and what do you find on your front step but a “gift” consisting of a tree and a dumb bird, which is to you, at this particular moment in your life, sadly just another mouth to feed. The next day, there are two more birds. The next day, more. Dolores at the Agency still hasn’t found a placement for you, but she remains optimistic. More still. On the fifth day, feeling redeemed, you rustle up enough change to buy a stamp and mail those gold rings to Cash4Gold. They send you a check for thirteen dollars. No news from Dolores. You begin to receive people on your doorstep. Maids. Dancing ladies. Lords. All with no place to go. Ever more mouths to feed. You wish you’d never given your address to those Amazon Drones, but you can’t change the past—nor, as it turns out, can you change The Future.