Is This What Christmas Has Become?

We're well into the Christmas season and everything seems to be imploding on schedule. Christmas music has been playing for 12 weeks, store decorations have been up for 16. Ugly sweater parties are all the rage, and everyone has been packing on the pounds with the holiday cookies and eggnog. Meanwhile, Linda from HR is pouting that no one has even touched her fruitcake for the fifth year in a row.

To be fair, it's the same fruitcake.

Conservatives have spent the last three weeks ranting about Starbucks' holiday-themed cups, screaming and cussing that "those rotten f---ers have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas!" And the #AllLivesMatter crowd has gone surprisingly silent about #AllHolidaysMatter.

Plus I was knocked out of this year's Whamageddon around the 6th.

Whamageddon is the game where you see how long you can go without hearing Wham's "Last Christmas." The cover versions don't count, only the original. Once the song starts playing and you recognize it, you're out.

I managed to go all of last year without hearing the song, and I was feeling pretty good about this year's strategy of avoiding pop radio altogether. But when the online radio station I was listening to had a few seconds of dead air, I got nailed by a local Starbucks.

This is Christmas in the 21st century, with all its over-commercialization, materialism, and people getting into screaming matches over parking spots at malls.

As someone who has been around for a while, I'm struck by how the holidays are so much different this year compared to when I was a kid.

For one thing, Halloween got all sexied up after it was too late for me to actually enjoy it. People started adding the word "Sexy" and "Slutty" in front of the names of costumes so they can dress in skimpy outfits for their Halloween parties, and I was too old and too married to go to those kinds of parties.

There's Sexy Nurse, Sexy Vampire, Sexy Ninja, Sexy Unindicted Co-Conspirator. That last one comes with a $130,000 hush money payoff. Also, it's actually not at all sexy and is unfavorably compared to a toadstool.

Ugly Christmas sweaters are finally in vogue. People — mostly our moms — have been wearing them proudly for years, but it's only been in the last few years that people have begun wearing the ugly sweaters "ironically."

Before then, everyone was too afraid to say how hideous they were because they didn't want to hurt their mom's feelings. But Mom started getting suspicious when her kids wanted to wear her favorite Christmas sweaters to their parties, then came home mumbling something about winning some kind of sweater contest.

Except today's ugly Christmas sweaters really aren't that ugly. A red sweater with Frosty the Snowman or a blinking Rudolph's red nose does not an ugly sweater make. Not like the sweaters Bill Cosby wore in the 1990s. Those things could just knock you out.

If Christmas wasn't getting out of hand already, we're just making it worse. Last year, someone invented the Reindeer Boob Sweater, which is basically a Christmas sweater with a hole cut in the front that lets you share your breasts with a room full of strangers.

The wearer, mostly women, will put their breast through the hole and then decorate it with taped-on antlers, googly eyes, and a strategically placed red nose. Some of the more adventurous Christmas revelers will even add glitter to their cariboob.

If you want your own reindeer boob sweater, you'll have to cut a hole in a sweater you already own — preferably the one that came in third at the last Ugly Christmas Sweater contest — but I expect Saks Fifth Avenue to sell pre-holed designer sweaters for $850 next year.

Some people are also making Santa boob sweaters. It has a hat above the hole, whiskers down below, but it's still up to you to apply the eyes and Santa's red pom-pom nose.

The problem is, you can't just research a story like this without looking like a perv. And I happened to be researching this column while I was sitting in a Starbucks (the same one that made me lose Whamageddon).

I had to switch between the Reindeer Boob Sweater stories and literally anything else so as not to attract unwanted attention. It got worse when a group of nuns and orphans walked in singing "O Holy Night." Later, someone's grandmother started shouting at me in German and beating me with her umbrella.

This is the holiday season in the 21st century. People are either showing their boobs or acting like one. They're angry about their parking spaces, angry about the stuff they're trying to buy, and angry that a coffee company isn't trying to marginalize two-thirds of the world's population.

But regardless of which holiday you celebrate, it's important to remember the thing that's the most important: spending time with loved ones, celebrating family, and taking just a few minutes to relax and have a little peace and quiet to yourself.

And keep an ear out for "Last Christmas." It's about as welcome as Linda's fruitcake.

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