Winter break is closing in and this is great for college students. At least we think it is. The way I see it, we will be back on campus after a month so for me to be spending my time at home just vegetating in my bed will just kill me physically when I awake from my three week slumber to remember that I will have to endure a four hour Chemistry lab starting at 8am every Tuesday (oh the things college freshmen will do to have a second year with an awesome professor). But in all honesty, winter break does sound pretty good. I get to go back home, catch up on a little bit more sleep, and make myself breakfast every morning (and it’s about time I get to eat some of my cooking that’s not ramen noodles). And the best part about winter break is that I get to put myself in the holiday mood which is the most comforting thing in the world. I get to sit in bed with a cup of hot tea while watching a nice movie. Now this may just be an everyday thing or winter time thing for most people but for me it still counts as a holiday thing. When it comes to celebrating Christmas however, I enjoy a nice get together with the family with good food (I don’t care what the food is, it just has to be good). And honestly that’s how I would like to celebrate Christmas and I don’t have a lot of problems with the holiday itself but there are just a couple (literally a couple) things I just don’t understand about celebrating Christmas.
First of all, part the holiday revolves around food that never gets eaten. For example, candy canes, gingerbread houses, and fruitcake. Now my family does a thing where they make a plate of food for Jesus every New Years Eve and I don’t have a problem with that because it’s a religious act of respect for a religious figure (and I’m not about to spark religious conflict in the 21st century). But although there is an important history to justify leaving food in the cold like that, the three other Christmas food items are just offensive. Like at least you eat all you candy during Halloween and you end up eating everything on your plate during Thanksgiving. Now I can talk about the wasting of fruit cake for being an offensive Christmas practice (or stereotype) and Candy canes for just being a Christmas decoration most of the time, but the worst and overlooked food item is gingerbread.
I’ve made gingerbread men with my mom from scratch as a kid and decorated a premade gingerbread house with my little brothers when I got older. Both were fun but a little disturbing. Not in the creepy kind of way but in the way that annoying type of way. The gingerbread men are iconic Christmas cookies and characters on holiday programs so you would think that they would be easy to make, but alas they are not. The gingerbread man cookie cutter never matched the shape of the actual cookies that came out of the oven. The cookies always expanded and this made the gingerbread men look obese and oblong looking if you had any of them close to the edge of the cooking sheet. And if that’s not bad enough, gingerbread is (in my opinion) the least appealing flavor of cookies there is. At that point I don’t care if gingerbread men are a Christmas staple, I’m picking the chocolate chip cookies or practically any other dessert on the dinner table. As far as the gingerbread house goes, my problem with those is the same problem I have with those cakes those pastry chefs used to make on those old Food Network competitions (because damn they were the most entertaining shows to watch on the Food Network). My problem is that because it’s a family and friend activity that requires multiple clean and dirty hands touching food. In the end of the day, the gingerbread house is never going to be eaten and that’s wasting food which is something I’m not a fan of. But I guess it’s not all bad since it’s gingerbread . . . nasty.
The second thing about the holidays that I think makes no sense is buying a real Christmas tree. I don’t know why anyone would want to buy a real Christmas tree. My family for the longest time have always used a reusable artificial tree every year and this worked just fine. For starters, this is a much cheaper way to decorate the home every year during the holidays (for as long you don’t lose one of the three atrociously large, easy to see and find, removable tree parts). Every year families waste money buying a Christmas tree and then talk about how they don’t have anything to buy presents with. Now what use is a tree without any presents to go underneath it? And speaking about presents, you better put those presents somewhere else if you have a real tree. Those Christmas trees are almost as nasty as those gingerbread houses decorated with the germs of children’s fingers. They always shed pine needles everywhere if you mishandle the tree in anyway so if you are looking forward to giving your friends and family sharp and pain inducing Christmas presents then go right ahead (by the way Go Right Ahead is a fantastic song by the Hives). And from the time you bring the tree in the house, and let the kids put the ornaments on, you can bet there will be a mess and a major clean up to follow up. And the best part about buying the real Christmas tree is the procrastination of deciding when people actually have time to dispose of the pine needle shedding atrocity because once the tree gets really old an malnourished you can touch one branch and all the pine needles start to disappear and bury itself within your nice carpet.
But aside from that, happy holidays and buy a cost effective artificial Christmas tree. Your friends will thank you, you’ll thank yourself, your wallet will thank you, and your carpet will thank you.