I try, Jethro, I really do. Every year I try to catch the holiday spirit. I listen to the cheesy music. I buy overpriced gifts for people I don’t really want to spend money on knowing they don’t really need anything. I drink egg nog, but it just goes right through me. I don’t know why, but I can never catch the holiday spirit. At Christmas I just feel hollow.
Sounds like you HAVE caught the holiday Spirit! Just not the one you think you’re “supposed” to have. There is more than one Holiday Spirit to catch.
According to dominant culture, there is only the “Spirit of Kay Jewelers.” It is known for soft focus images of large, commercially acceptable families eating shiny food. If you catch this particular holiday spirit, you will force your teenage nephews to credit Santa for every gift you give them. You will squeal at Lexus commercials and breathe hours of exhaust to drive through neighborhoods with light shows timed to The Chipmunk’s Christmas music. You will make your dog wear antlers for the family photo card. If you are possessed of The Spirit of Kay Jewelers, you get to feel superior to those who are visited by the other spirits.
Another holiday spirit, widely known to inhabit many Americans is “The Spirit of Jägermeister.” It is known for emotional whiplash and impulsive hair coloring. People who catch this spirit start off celebrating the precious few days off work but quickly turn into monsters with residual childhood anger. You may end up in your mother’s craft room (formerly your bedroom) curled in the closet with an entire rum cake, scream whispering into the phone that your dad is STILL an ass-hat because he won’t apologize for flushing your goldfish down the toilet 30 years ago.
It sounds like you have caught “The Spirit of Eeyore.” You may recall the clinically depressed donkey from Winnie The Pooh children’s books. The Spirit of Eeyore is that feeling that the Spirit of Kay Jewelers threw a party and didn’t invite you. You just park in front her house and sob violently. If this spirit possesses you, you will receive more cards from insurance agents than from friends. Christmas music will make you nauseous. You may avoid parties on the excuse that you have to work, just to go home and binge watch The Walking Dead.
Being possessed of the Spirit of Eeyore is definitely uncomfortable, a temporary existential crisis, but it resolves by January 4th. Of course in your case, the fact that you have no guts could be the larger issue. I recommend that you just try to keep your bulbs blinking. Sometimes keeping yourself intact during a spiritual crisis is just a matter of deciding to be a mechanical deer for another day. If all else fails, go hang out with the plastic camels in the neighbor’s Nativity scene. Those guys usually have Jägermeister.
even Banana Slugs.
I’m here to help. And you know you can trust me,
because I have an awesome soul-patch.
Submit questions for Jethro via his website: www.TheAnswerCat.blogspot.com.
This column will be posted there one week after its publication here in the absolutely awesome Culver City Crossroads.