In Defense of Scrooge

Before I get real up in here, I feel I should add a disclaimer: I love Christmas.

I love Christmas. If I were French, I would say that I aime Noel like, beaucoup. If I were Rachel Zoe I would say that I die for Christmas. If I were Tracy Jordan, I would say that I want to take Christmas out behind the middle school and get it pregnant.

I love snow and big ol’ Faire Isle sweaters and sickly-sweet seasonal beverages and twinkling lights. And yet, whenever Thanksgiving rolls around I find myself torn, because as much as I am unabashedly Team Santa, I also identify with that crustiest of curmudgeons, Ebenezer Scrooge.

Let’s start with Black Friday and all of its congested, deranged shopping ilk. Wikipedia says that the term “Black Friday” refers to retailers being “in the black” because of all the insane people who line up at Best Buy at before sunrise (the tryptophan, presumably, failed them). But I think it describes the black, black hearts of anyone whose idea of holiday fun is trampling someone to death at Walmart before Starbucks is even open. I mean, the only thing worse than being at Walmart at 4 a.m. and not being trampled is being at Walmart at 4 a.m. and being trampled. And then not even getting an iPad on sale.

If you happen to live in New York, as I do, and venture anywhere near Rockefeller Center in the month of December, you will know the true meaning of the term “clusterfuck”. Don’t people know about online shopping? Amazon Prime? You can get free two-day shipping if you say you’re a mom, and they don’t even require a pelvic exam.

Another thing I hate about the holidays is anonymous gift-giving. I’m not talking about toy drives for needy kids, I’m talking about that most dreaded of office traditions: Secret Santa. Everyone ends up getting either a scarf or a box of bath salts, because the only thing anyone can reasonably assume about their IT guy or HR rep is that they have a neck, or, at least occasionally, bathe. The only good Secret Santa gift I ever got was a family size bag of Whoppers from a 2nd grade classmate, and I picked that at random out of a sack.

Ice also blows. So does travel on the busiest day of the year. So does David Archuleta’s castrati rendition of “O Holy Night” that gets piped in at Macy’s–there, I said it.

But, like I said, I’m a sucker for Christmas. So I guess I can turn the other rosy cheek once again this year. Provided, of course, that there are Whoppers in my stocking.

About Una LaMarche

Una LaMarche blogs at The Sassy Curmudgeon, and writes for The New York Observer, The Huffington Post, and NickMom. She dominates at mini golf, especially after a few drinks, and it is a fact that Tim Gunn once complimented her on her sandals. You can find her hawking blog posts and fetishizing candy on Twitter, and if you really want to feed her ego (which took a major hit thanks to an adolescent unibrow and a penchant for Troll doll earrings), you can become her fan on Facebook.


  1. TechyDad says:

    You can call me Scrooge, because I hate this time of the year. I don’t hate Christmas per se, but I don’t celebrate it. We’re Jewish and celebrate Chanukah. It just gets tiring to see and hear non-stop Christmas all around you from the millisecond that Halloween is done through January 1st. It’s like Thanksgiving doesn’t even exist. Santa’s even the “highlight” of the Thanksgiving day parade! Doesn’t that guy have his own holiday parade to march in?!!

    From around the week before Thanksgiving until a week or so after New Year’s, we avoid all stores unless there’s something we absolutely need. Why push through a rush of people who are trying to get a “great deal” when you can just go online to shop? You won’t have to park in the boonies and walk a mile to the mall in the cold either.

    So Bah Humbug to Christmas, the over-commercialized, shoved down everyone’s throats whether you like it or not, holiday. Bring back Christmas, the quiet religious holiday that doesn’t involve mad rushes through the mall and music blaring at you for months!

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  2. Megan says:

    I adore the Christmas season, but I don’t think it should start in October. Wait until after Thanksgiving (a wonderful little holiday all in itself) and tone the hype down to a reasonable level.

    The overdrive around this time of year is one of the reasons I say that people ruin everything.

  3. I love Christmas, too. When most college students were out drinking, I was crafting tree ornaments. But I won’t go anywhere near a mob at a sale, life is to short to have it shortened by being trampled.

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  4. Dusty says:

    I adore the idea/event of Christmas and try to stick to that. So not into the trampling old men in the name of Jesus. But maybe that’s just me.

  5. Julie says:

    Something possessed me to thumb through the Kmart flier that came in the mail today, and it had to have been the Shitty Office Gifts edition. Full on, balls out pages full of cocoa sets, sausage packs with “bamboo” cutting boards, and scented hand lotion samplers.

    If I ever buy sausage at Kmart…wait. There might be a few people in the office who need some Kmart sausage.

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  6. MichelleMarie says:

    Stay home on Black Friday, problem solved. and played your rackety old Christmas records too. lol BTW, I myself loved David’s rendition of Oh Holy Night. Better than some of that Christmas crap out there right now

  7. MamaKaren says:

    I love Christmas in that I love decorating my tree and adding peppermint schnapps to my hot cocoa and watching Rankin-Bass specials on ABC Family. I do as much shopping online as possible because the mall makes me break out in hives once everyone starts Christmas shopping. I won’t put up decorations or play holiday music until Thanksgiving weekend (I’m Catholic, so I usually need to dig out the Advent wreath on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend). My department adopts soldiers instead of doing Secret Santa. I have to brace myself two versions of Good King Wenceslas at the elementary school concert this year (one from my second year trumpet player and one from my beginner cellist) but I love it the way only a parent can.

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