hristmas reeks. And not just 'cause you keep a dead tree in your house. I hate the holiday season almost as much as I hate my yearly colonic, except that I don't get a lollipop after Christmas for being a good little boy and letting the doctor stick all kinds of instruments up my puckered asshole. No lolly. Just mounds of ill-suited gifts which require mounds of insincere thank-you notes.

Why do I hate Christmas? Well, here is my holiday, in short: flew home on Christmas Eve, had to wade through crowds of foul-smelling fareigners and bratty ass kids at two airports before arriving at my parent's quaint mountain home late in the evening. It was snowing. Oh, good, thinks I, a white Christmas just like the ones I used to know. I don't mind snow so long as I can watch it from the other side of an insulated window while sitting next to a fire. A real fire. With wood. None of this pussy ass natural gas crap. Trees are meant to be burned. And the only kind of gas that should go in a fire is the kind you just siphoned from your neighbor's car while he was sleeping to write "Pot Smoking Hippy" on his lawn in giant, flaming letters. Luckily, my parents feel the same way. Being mountain people, they even chop down their own trees. The ones in the national forest down the highway are best. But you can only use about the first six feet of the trunk. That's the part that burns best. Leave the rest to rot. Trees are a lot like whales: you have to kill the whole damn thing just to consume one small part. In the case of whales, we eat just the tongue. Don't bother with the rest: it's crap, no matter what those filthy Eskimo's try to tell you.

So, I got home to a white Christmas, hung my stocking, set some gifts under the tree and went to bed happy. Dreamt of sugar plums and naked women. Mostly naked women, actually, I don't even know what a sugar plum is. Then I woke up. At 8 fucking AM. Now, if just saying that I had to wake at eight in the morning doesn't rile you, picture this: you're an idiot. It's Christmas, I'm up before God ever intended anyone to rise, let alone shine, but I may as well make the best of it. I look outside and it's sunny and still snowing. Uniquely-microscopic cities of ice crystals drift lazily from the sky, anointing the ground and speckling the evergrees like frozen dandruff. Awwww. Ok, time to check the loot. First, the stocking.

Do you shake your gifts before opening them? Some do, I guess they like to imagine what they got before painstakingly unwrapping each offering only to experience the ultimate disappointment that yuletide gift giving always is. Those bastards are the same ones who save wrapping paper from year to year. Knock it off, cheapskate, it's only a buck a roll. Or, you could wrap everything in toilet paper as I do. Not because it's cheap. Just because I'm an ass.

I don't shake my gifts. I don't guess. I never check first. So, rather than feeling my stocking up, I plunge my hand right in. Santa shat in my stocking. What happened to coal? No, no coal for you, PD, you get a fat, steaming loaf of recycled fruitcake. Thanks, Saint Nick! Guess what! Next year, I'm going to wait up by the fireplace all night for you. And when you finally manage to squeeze your corpulent corpus into my festively festooned living room I'll be waiting with the box of pencils you left me last year.

On to the other gifts: Another box of pencils. The plain yellow kind. Hurrah. Fuzzy bunny slippers with matching hat. And an aerosol can of "Instant hair thickening spray for thinning or fine hair." Yeah. Fuck.

Gifts are open. It's now 9 AM. Can't sleep because of the all celebrity Christmas carols my parents are blasting on the new 5.1 Dolby surround sound digital stereo entertainment system and espresso maker I got them. Bob Villa sings Silent Night! Bobcat Goldthwait sings Little D-d-d-drummer Boy and Richard Dean Anderson sings Joy to the Goddamn World! Go outside to enjoy the snow. Fresh mounds of powdery white crap all over the place. So peaceful. Sigh. And then the clouds close over my head and the rain begins. But this isn't ordinary rain. Oh, no, not on Christmas. This is fucking ruin-PD's-day-in-every-possible-goddamn-motherfucking-way rain. It melts the snow in five minutes flat, soaks through my new hat in half that time and washes away the Spirit of Christmas. Now my extremities are frozen. I have frostbite in my left hand. Getting it amputated next week, so I have that to look forward to. Thank you, Santa.

I go inside. And the power goes out. No heat. No lights. Just a dark, cold mountain house. How about start a fire in that big ol' fireplace of yours? Yes, I thought of that, the wood's all soaked from the rain, I used up all the gasoline in my parent's Volkswagon Thing just drying it out. Three hours later, thanks to my years of Boy Scout conditioning, I have a crackling fire. I stare into it, occasionally tossing in more wood, the nativity set (fuck you, baby Jebus, this is all your goddamn fault), my sibling's gifts, whatever's in reach and looks as though it may burn, melt or do something cool in the fire. I sit and stare, hoping desperately that Kris Kringle will show his face. I dare him in my mind. I double and triple dog dare him, but the coward never comes. Probably at home right now, laughing his ass off while Mrs. Claus makes cookies. Or something. I don't know. Fuck it.

Now you know why I hated this Christmas. But it's deeper than that. The entire holiday season is tainted. How cruel is it to convince your snot-nosed, gullible ass kids that if they aren't good for a whole goddamn year then Santa won't bring them anything but coal? Which, by the way would be quite night right about now.

So your kids are good all year, which means a lot of elderly ladies go without kicking, and hippies go without being flayed alive. And puppies go without being eaten. Then Christmas comes and all your kids get is goddamn bunny slippers and spray-on hair (like I fucking need it with my luxurious locks) because you're poor and the neighbor kid, who's been a fucking prick all year long, got the Super Power Mega Zord action figure with rotating tail and kung fu action grip that your punk kid wanted. What's that supposed to teach them? Oh, uh, disappointment builds character, says some senile parent. No! Beating your kids builds character. Santa Claus teaches them never to trust their parents. If it weren't for fucking Santa we wouldn't have so many goddamn layabout kids giving so much guff to their elders. And then they wouldn't try The Pot and they wouldn't realize that it isn't really as bad as parents make it out to be. And then they wouldn't think that maybe all them other drugs and that whole unprotected sex deal that parents preach against may not be so bad. And then they wouldn't be all disrespeckin' me when they walk down the halls with their baggy pants and backwards hats. Don't they know who I am? Fucking kids. And fucking Santa. The Grinch stole Christmas but Santa stole a children's respect for their elders. Fucking fat ass bastard.

The entire season you are forced to be cheerful. No, just try it, try being glum. Meena from corporate accounts payable will ride your ass about how much of a Grinch you're being. I'm not a Grinch. Why should I be happy? Why should I exude holiday spirit? Because it's baby Jebus's birthday, of course! Bah humbug. Read the goddamn Bible. Jehovah's bastard son was born in the spring. Which, as we all know, rarely falls in December. The only reason Christmas is celebrated in the winter is so that the Vatican could convert a bunch of Germanic pagans who burned pine trees and virgins to celebrate surviving the winter and the joy of burning things. A couple dozen centuries ago the goddamn church came and shat on the whole enterprise: you can't burn the trees now, just string them up with child-safe lights and festoon them with handcrafted strands of cranberries and popcorn. Oh, and you're not celebrating life now, it's actually the birthday of God's one and only son. Yay, let's all pretend we're immensely happy and painfully inflicted with an incurable seasonal disease called holiday cheer. Not even a condom will save you from this socially transmitted disease. How about this: I don't want to be happy just because. What's to be happy about? I just spent half a year's salary on unthought out and under appreciated gifts. I spent the day in the dark, deprived of my precious television, listening to Bob Villa croon about how holy the goddamn night is. Fuck you and fuck your old house.

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