Well, folks, the Christmas season is here!
Now that we’ve all tolerated those fake made-up, commercialized holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving, we can get to the real holiday we all look forward to: Christmas.
Confession time: This is actually the first year I have listened to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. Usually this is my sentiment about the holidays, but I just couldn’t resist the crooning of Michael Bublé and the cheeriness of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” My sincerest apologies.
There are plenty of things about the Christmas season to look forward to. First, there’s the fabulous launch of Black Friday.
Just a note on naming things after colors: I’ve noticed that if it’s named after a color, it’s usually a disease. Black lung, Black Death, Black Plague, yellow fever, scarlet fever, jaundice, red measles, pink eye. Black Friday…conveys my sentiments exactly.
Here in America, we’ve decided it would be a good idea to make this madness last two days and put our laziness to work; I give you “Cyber Monday”! Next, you’ve got the longest marathon of tacky original movies ever (Thanks, ABC’s “25 Days of Christmas”!) And then there are all the chaotic, traffic-filled shopping malls you love. Don’t forget the joy of choosing a Christmas tree (if you haven’t copped out and bought a fake one yet) and the entire festivity that is decking the halls. You get to again realize that you suck at cutting pretty paper and using Scotch tape properly. You’re blessed with the symphony of ringing doorbells as boy scouts and other small children walk miles to sell you popcorn and chocolates and giftwrap and other useless crap. And this year, on top of all of that, you have the joy of worrying about the end of 13pik in the Maya Long Count calendar!
Don’t worry, guys. My archaeology TA is Mayan and she promised me that the world wouldn’t end.
Am I forgetting anything?
Ah, yes! The wonderful privilege of having your photograph taken with the one and only Santa Claus!
You see, though he is only one man, Santa has somehow found a way to be in every mall, town hall, and children’s store simultaneously. I don’t know about you, but I’m impressed. Such a skill would be priceless. I’m not entirely sure where in the parenting handbook it says to place your child on the lap of a complete stranger impersonating a 4th c Greek saint, but my parents followed the handbook.
I remember it being quite an ordeal. Mom would buy matching formal outfits for you and your sister. Matchy-matchy all the way! After at least 30 minutes of hair-doing and tights-straightening, Mom said you looked “so cute!” You turn to your sister and give her the let’s-get-this-over-with look.
Pile into the car! You’ve done this since you were born. But you can’t really remember. You were only, like, a baby then. And now you’re four, so it’s really different, you know?
Mom tries to explain what’s going to happen in her best Christmas cheer voice. You were too little to understand just how strange the entire concept was, so you just went along with it. Something about a picture, smiling, not pulling your sister’s hair this year, and Santa.
There was something in it for you: the wish. When it was your turn, you could tell Santa just what you hoped he’d bring you on Christmas morning. The pressure is on. What to say? You’d been making that wish list since last Christmas, and now you had to pick just one thing that you wanted the most?! Well, you had some time to think about it. You brought your list with you and mom can read it to you while you wait in line behind all those other suckers who think they’re the best kids there. Santa knows, guys. You’re all getting coal.
Your turn. Alright: picture? Check. Smiling? Check. Not pulling sister’s hair this year? Eh…Ok fine. Santa?
Yes! This is your moment, kiddo. You’ve waited since last year. Don’t freeze up. You’ve gotta say…uh… oh! That’s right!
“Mister Santa, can I please have a pink puppy?”
Phew. Alright, that went pretty well.
And there you have it! Evidence of your successful endeavor is later placed in a frame and set on the mantel for all of the weird relatives to marvel at on Christmas morning.
|We’re Santa’s favorites
But now that I’m all grown up, I don’t get to tell Santa what I want anymore. I don’t take wear matchy-matchy outfits with Camille and have funny pictures taken with a stranger in a pretend beard and a red suit.
I’m a serious university student now. And university scholars don’t have pictures with Santa, they have meetings with the Dean, like I had on Monday.
It turns out that the Dean is quite like Santa in some ways. And meetings with the Dean, essentially elevator pitches, are kind of like taking a picture with Santa.
It’s quite an ordeal. Mom helps you choose a formal outfit. Preppy all the way! After at least 30 minutes of hair-doing and tights-straightening, Mom says you look “so cute!” You turn to your roommate and give her the let’s-get-this-over-with look.
Run across campus! You’ve done this since you were in middle school. It’s just a teacher conference of sorts. But you can’t really remember. You were only, like, a baby then. And now you’re nineteen, so it’s really different, you know?
The office assistant tries to explain what’s going to happen in her best collegiate cheer voice. You were too little to understand the entire concept, so you just went along with it. Something about forms you had to fill out, smiling, not pulling any funny business, and the Dean.
There was something in it for you: the wish. When it was your turn, you could tell the Dean just what you hoped she’d approve for you – a custom major called Cosmopolitanism. The pressure is on. What to say? You’d been working on this idea since last year, and now you had just one meeting to express the entire premise of the major you wanted most?! Well, you had some time to think about it. You brought your list with you and you can read it to you while you wait in line behind all those other suckers who think they’re the smartest kids there. The Dean knows, guys. Your majors aren’t as cool as mine.
Your turn. Alright: forms? Check. Smiling? Check. Not pulling any funny business? Eh…Ok fine.
The Dean? Yes!
This is your moment, kiddo. You’ve waited since last year. Don’t freeze up. You’ve gotta say…uh… oh! That’s right!
“Dean Bergquist, I would like to create my own major called Cosmopolitanism. I have all of the paperwork right here and I’d love to chat about proposing it as a departmental major.”
Phew. Alright, that went pretty well.
And there you have it! A beautiful, signed and approved form; evidence of your (hopefully) successful endeavor will later be placed in a frame and set on the mantel for all of the weird relatives to marvel at on Christmas morning.
Psych! I totally took a picture with Santa this year. Merry start of the Christmas season!
|That’s little, enthusiastic me in the bottom right!