I am not going to say I feel no Christmas spirit in 2016; what I'm feeling is an alternative Christmas spirit, earthy and grounded in the truths of life.
More in tune with who I truly am.
As far as I know.
The holiday drives me crazy because it is so fucking in your face. Idiots driving themselves crazy with their Christmas shopping, spending money they don't have, obsessing over what to buy for Uncle Bob.
Even in the thrift store where my impressive career continues to unfold, the desperation and overspending are evident.
On the one hand, one might want to compliment these misguided folks for at least shopping in a frugal environment. On the other hand it is still evident these people are spending money they shouldn't and a lot of what they buy is so sad and pathetic.
Everybody knows that Christmas spirit is all about diamonds and gold and Lincolns.
In your face. Every fucking store downtown is now open late, desperately trying to lure unsuspecting victims into the lair to spend more money.
Every fool you deal with drips "Merry Christmas" from their lips. I don't have a problem with wishing people happiness; Christ knows the human race needs more of it (although we will never fucking learn, right up to the point that planet earth explodes in a spasm of hatred).
What I don't like is the mindlessness of it all; "Oh, shit, it is December - I gotta remember to wish every living thing a Merry Christmas." People automatically spit out those words.
The ones that mean it you can see in their eyes. Cool, man. But most people are already looking at their watches as they walk away from you wishing you a heartfelt merry.
Christmas lights. I dig 'em. Selectively.
I love old colonial houses with one candle of the same color in every window. I also love rundown houses with multi-colored strings of lights sagging along the side of the house. Something sadly hopeful about that.
I don't like houses that are elaborately decorated; people flaunting their wealth and trying to outdo the lesser humans of the world.
In your face. Fucking commercials on TV. Pounding you, hounding you, just driving you out of your fucking mind.
You stagger home from work crushed and disillusioned, desperate for three quiet hours of escape on the tube. What you get is 2 hours and 45 minutes of fucking Christmas commercials and 15 minutes of escape.
My Christmas this year reflects reality. The truth that most people are unhappy, that life is grossly cruel and unfair, and that Christmas is a momentary deflection.
I am trying to experience the day on a small but intensely personal, meaningful scale.
Somehow you got to get past all the fucking bullshit and manufacture some happiness in your heart. Get into the holiday quietly, reverently. Drop out for a day and take a look around.
At your home, your tree, your lights, your family; enjoy the food, enjoy the conversation, try to dig your love a little deeper for those who celebrate with you. Connect with truth, with what matters (if you can recognize it).
I do like the decorations because they take you out of your reality. It is like enjoying a mild high. They can get you out of your head.
Don't get distracted. Most of Christmas is bullshit. But the chance to stop (unless you are one of the increasingly growing number of humans who have to fucking work on Christmas day) is a unique thing.
The world stops on that day. Take advantage of it. Don't just piss it away.
Get to the real magic and avoid the manufactured magic.
Still, it is OK to dig sad Christmas songs, to think of broken people and fucked up lives. It is all a part of Christmas.
Embrace truth as you dig the family, the lights and the tree.
Don't make Christmas a lie.