Turkey, sweet potato pie, more turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, turkey, gravy, sweet potato pie, blueberry pie, whiskey, turkey, bread, apple pie, turkey, whiskey, tequila, and then some turkey. How do we do it to ourselves? How do we eat so so much on one day of the year and then go back to some semblance of normalcy? You’ve now taken your bar for eating and totally pushed the boundary into the next solar system…and now you’re supposed to come back to planet Earth? Gooooood fucking luck. You’re left with some sort of a food hangover where you need a little bit of the hair of the dog to relieve it. But this time the hair of the dog is just more leftovers…and too much of them.
What’s the most wild thing to me is how long it all takes to digest and get out. There’s no way the sludge that’s all the food listed above makes its’ way out in one sitting. Is it called Black Friday because of what the sewers look like the next day? It can’t possibly have anything to do with the profit margins of companies always being in the black on this particular day.
That’s another thing…how do we go from one of the most pure and genuinely family oriented holidays to the very next day being aggressively bombarded by corporate America asking you to buy their shit? I spent almost 5 minutes just deleting promotional emails from my inbox this morning. I’m not buying anything simply because it’s Black Friday. Didn’t we figure out a while ago that a lot of their products go on deeper sales throughout the year? Do people still embrace heavy amounts of shopping on Black Friday? Especially now that we have Cyber Monday…oh, and then I saw one company call it “Cyber WEEK.” Christ, man…where does it end? Just make it Cyber Month or better yet, Cyber Year and let’s be done with it.
You spend all of that Thursday telling people how much you appreciate them, how much you love them, thanking everyone for everything. You share laughs with family members, bullshit, play games, watch football… and then the switch flips at midnight and it’s time to spend all your hard earned money. When I worked in retail, I remember having to be at the store at midnight to open up. We would open A BOOK STORE at midnight of Thanksgiving. Some parents dragged their poor children into the store at 3am. Is saving $20 really going to be worth the trauma and stress you’re implementing on your child?
Well, corporate America, the joke’s on you, I haven’t a penny to spare. What a blessing and a curse. It’s really easy to ignore all the “deals” when you have 0 intent and ability to spend any money. Though, the instagram ads that keep coming up on my screen from time to time seem pretty sweet. I’m not buying a gel-pellet shooting wannabe Nerf gun for $50…but holy hell that would be a shit ton of fun. Not cleaning up the beads, but blasting drunk pedestrians that want to forget how to control THE VOLUME OF THEIR VOICE at 2am on a Wednesday.
It seems like every holiday season there’s a lot of added stressors. It’s like a “when it rains, it pours” type of stress. The car needs maitenence, you just got a big new bill in the mail, your electric bill just went up (I know a guy), and there’s a hold on your paycheck. Guess what? Now you need to show everyone your gratitude by making sure to buy them all presents. Don’t sweat it, you have less than a month to get it all done. No problemo. Everyone always says, “It’s okay, you don’t need to get me anything.” They’re right…you don’t NEED to, but you WANT to. It would be so fucking sweet to be able to look at everyone you love and buy them that cool gift you saw on an instagram ad. Who wouldn’t want a gel pellet blaster?
Is that a selfish act? To be excited to watch someone become joyous over the gift that you gave them? Is it selfish to give in order to feel their joy? Nah, certainly not, especially not at Christmas time. It’s always a hope that you can melt their heart, bring tears of joy to their eyes, and really make their day with some over-the-top meaningful gift that makes them think of you. Then you think about all the people that you’d love to do this for…all the people that you’d want to make smile with your gift, just even them knowing that you thought of them during the season of giving. But then there’s the stress, the other side of things. There’s the stress of whether the present is good enough, if they’ll like it, and even the stress of not breaking the bank this season. Don’t forget all the lines, lines, LIIIIIINES. All the gifts add up. Life is already really expensive, adding the excessive gift giving isn’t all that helpful.
But again, it’s a nice feeling when you can do it. When you’re flush and you can buy 50 gifts for all the magnificent people in your life, it feels fulfilling in a weird way. They know that you care for them and you’re able to express it around December 25th. I’m not sure if that’s totally what Jesus intended, but if he could come back and lower gas prices, kill inflation, and turn all my water into wine… I’d probably give Catholicism another shot.
These season, for me, will be more focused on quality of gift giving rather than quantity or more product driven gifts. When your pockets aren’t particularly deep, you’ve got to get creative. That means letters of endearment, that means baked goods, that means a fuck ton of candy cane reindeer. Candy canes aren’t even all that great of a candy. Peppermint wrapped up in super glued plastic that tastes minty going down but then leaves your mouth feeling rotten afterwards isn’t all that refreshing or satisfying. It would be like chewing peppermint gum that after chewing for too long started to actually reverse your good breath into doggy breath. Yuck.
The holiday season will be a stressful one for me, as is tradition. It makes you wonder how your parents handled such stress back in the day. They always played it cool like “Santa” did all the work. That fat bitch didn’t do diddly. The whole story behind him was related to a story that St. Nick dropped MUSHROOMS down your chimney in old timey Russia, because everyone’s front door was snowed shut.
So…who wants mushrooms for Christmas? I do, Santa… hear my prayers.
Happy Black Friday!