Let me start off this rant by saying this much: I work in retail. I am instructed, by my bosses, to say “Happy Holidays” versus, say, “Merry Christmas.” Seeing how they are my higher ups and, in fact, can fire my ass, I’m obliged to listen to what they say. After all, I already basically spend the entire time I’m there socializing with people and being the village asshole anyway. However, I’m digressing.
Many a customer will verbally attack me, saying, “Why not Merry Christmas? It’s Christmas!” Let me respond with a few questions of my own. What about the other holidays? What about the other religions? What about, most importantly, the people who don’t give a damn about these days? Do we just ignore them because they don’t celebrate Christmas? I have some advice for the people lobbying for the whole “It’s Merry Christmas” side of this argument. Please, for the love of all things pleasant and vacation-oriented, STOP BITCHING. Pardon my bluntness, but it’s ridiculous to make such a fuss over something like this. Allow me to explain.
Most stores, ignoring ones directly associated with a religion, aren’t run by one system of beliefs. You won’t walk into a Shop ‘n Save anywhere and see a massive crucifix above every aisle, for instance. By this logic, there is no reason to spout the seasons greetings of one specific holiday when people who celebrate other holidays will be shopping there. I’m fairly certain it’s not a good idea to offend a customer and lose their business because it’s ESSENTIAL to say, “Merry Christmas.”
Yes, I realize that X amount of Americans celebrate Christmas versus those that don’t. Does that make it right to say “Merry Christmas” over “Happy Holidays?” No, not really. By that kind of logic, if X number of people walked outside tomorrow morning, stripped down naked, and covered their bodies with smoking hot strips of bacon, it would be the right thing to do versus, say, walking out in your pajamas to just go get the paper. If you’re reading this, dear neighbor—I won’t name-drop—I’d rather you dress before fetching your paper. My eyes are still recovering from the last time.
Moving along, it’s also essential that I add a little something I’d like to call the Pengy Do’s and Don’t’s of Holiday Gift-Giving. I’m no genius at gift-giving and that’s something I feel it’s necessary to admit up front. However, there are plenty of people who are, evidently, much dumber than I in this department so I thought I’d write something helpful or, at the very least, entertaining.
Gifts are great. People love gifts, even if they won’t admit it. There’s one enormous flaw to giving gifts, however, and that’s the issue of being tacky with them. What, Pengy? You’re being stupid, now. Not completely, dear reader-friend. See, it’s sort of a natural, built-in piece of knowledge after so many years that you don’t tell the recipient of your gift how much it cost; this ignores gift cards, of course, and that’s only because that’s the plastic-and-magnetic way of displaying how little you really love someone. Just kidding. Digression aside, what most people forget is to look out for every little pesky price-tag that might be hiding in some dark corner of your gift. Some clothes, most little trinkets, etc., have some pretty stealthy price-tag and nothing’s more annoying than unwrapping that nice, new whatever and, BAM, look, someone raided The Dollar Tree to say how much they love you. I’m not saying that price matters when it comes to gift-giving, because it really doesn’t. Like Solid Snake, however, the price of gifts your giving should be unknown to the recipient of the gift, or the enemy soldiers, and that’s kind of where this metaphor went straight to hell.
Advice tidbit number two: holidays are a time for family togetherness and pleasantries. If you have something unpleasant to say, follow this route: kindly shut your mouth. Nothing ruins, say, a Christmas dinner like a relative bringing up how your major will get you nowhere in life, which usually merits a retort about how she probably should have shaved off that enormous mustache. It really isn’t worth the frying pan you’ll take to the back of your head. Seriously, they hurt.
The most essential part of my holiday advice is simple enough that just about anyone can follow it. That advice, of course, being relax. Holidays are supposed to be a time of relaxation, a time to be with friends and family and to clear your head of all the shit going on in your mundane, repetitive, boring lives. Sure, some people will probably have to come and say, “Oh, well my life’s awesome.” Good for you. To those of you who aren’t models, movie stars, famous novelists, whatever, remember that holidays are supposed to be joyous times of merriment. Watch football, play video games, get piss-drunk on eggnog and goof off with your loved ones. Don’t let this time of year turn into a heart attack, stroke, stress headache jamboree, whatever, for you. It’s not worth it.
At any rate, as I doubt I’ll come up with anything significant enough to merit posting on here between now and the end of December, I wish you all a happy holiday season. Take care, everyone.