Here’s a really dull, unoriginal statement: I love Christmas. There are few things in this world that can turn my perma-frown upside down, wipe that scowl off my face, and turn me into sugar and spice and everything nice, and one of them is CHRISTMAS.
Again, there’s nothing specifically unique or interesting about why I love Christmas. I don’t have some touching family story, and nothing life-changing ever happened to me because of the holiday, but it’s just really effing fun. People put crazy light displays on their homes, and we bring trees inside, and everyone’s baking and eating and drinking. We take trips and buy presents and maybe there will be snow. I get to live in scarves and baggy sweaters and I’m being weather appropriate, not lazy. It’s a magical time of year. And for some damn reason, the Internet is trying to ruin it. Here’s how.
Taking away your tree hunt.
Everyone who really, truly loves Christmas knows that you cannot bring a fake tree into your home. Buying pre-cut is only slightly better. You need to go to a Christmas Tree farm, and walk down rows lined with identical trees until you spot your tree. Yes, that one. It’s sort of fat, but also Charlie Brownish, and just the right height.
Then you’ll take the saw they so graciously have ready for you, and saw down your tree. Then, you try to find some sort of protective cover for you back seats so that the needles don’t all fall over everything. They will anyway, and your car will have it’s own tree scent for a year and people will never want to sit in the back.
You will give up on finding your own protective cover, and use a garbage bag from the Christmas tree farm. It will cover precisely a foot of your backseat. You will shove that suddenly thorny pine witch into your car, then drive home with the windows rolled down, tree sticking out, you and your passenger freezing to death. At home, you’ll realize the trunk is uneven, and your sorry excuse for a saw will take a good 30 minutes to hack out a new one. You will finally wrestle it into a stand. You may need to balance it all by roping it to the column in your living room, because hey, safety first.
And then you will decorate it, and it will be yours, and it will be magnificent. You picked that tree, you struggled with it, you took it home and made it a masterpiece!
Or you could call Uber and have them deliver a tree from Home Depot. The service costs $135, which is about $70 more than I’ve ever paid for a tree.
Killing the joy of window shopping.
I get it, malls are horrible – but I do believe that once December hits, they’re more amusement park than shopping center. Sure, you’ll pull up and circle the parking lot for a minimum of 25 minutes, but once you find a spot and hurry your frozen body inside, the fun begins. You will dodge the Santa stand, because there are at least seven crying children there that actually make your uterus hide farther inside you. You’ll bypass any store with a “sexy Christmas” vibe, because gross, and avoid the kiosks where people try to put lotion on your hands or straighten your hair.
After venturing inside two stores, you feel dead on the inside. You will never find a present good enough for anyone ever. You will buy some sort of delicious, fattening hot drink, and venture outside – which is where you’ll see the windows.
Ornaments, snowflakes, flannel! Puppies, presents, ribbon! These gaudy, outlandish, totally unrecreatable scenes will inspire you to get back in there, and find whatever gift that will make Christmas like the one in the windows. You will buy it, leave triumphant, wrap it, and put it under that tree I told you all about. And then you will sit with the quiet agony of knowing how good that gift is and not being able to tell them.
Or you could get on Pinterest, which is now bigger than even online shopping. You can click away until you don’t even know what you want or who you are anymore. You’ll come out of a Christmas coma, trying to make reindeer out of mason jars.
Ruining your Secret Santa gift exchange.
Whether it be your office, class, family, or friends, you will likely be involved in a Secret Santa gift exchange. Sometime shortly after Thanksgiving, you and the rest of the participants will excitedly gather. You’ll all roll your eyes and pretend you’re not sort of exhilirated about the idea of giving and giving mysterious presents, but you are. You all are.
You will get a name – you may be thrilled. It’s your crush, and now is the perfect way to subtly, progressively hint at your feelings for him! Or it’s a friend, and you’ll have a moderate amount of fun with the whole thing. Or it’s an enemy, and you’ll be regifting like mad for the next few weeks.
There will be some elements of crafting and sneaking around, and you’ll look way too forward to all the little gifts from your very own Secret Santa. Eventually, the day will come where you will sit in a circle, festively drinking and eating and pretending you’re all not just completely stoked to revealed and be revealed. And then … it will happen, and you will get to say “Yes it was me! I am your Secret Santa! I was responsible for the monogrammed tissues and candy and homemade marshmallows, and now this! This, your real Christmas gift!”
Or, you could use Elfster, and let the Internet take out the mechanics of it all.
And that, dear friends, is how the Internet stole Christmas.