Funk’s Grinch List: Top 10 Christmas Annoyances
Yippi-ki-yay geeks, it’s Christmas time. A good time of year indeed. We give gifts, we receive gifts, we eat way more than we should and get drunk enough to yell at family members. And with all major calender landmarks it has some teeth-grinding frustrations. I’ve elected to skip over the usual complaints about shopping and Christmas shoppers because if you’ve waited until the second week of December then it’s you’re own fault.
10. The Internet Goes on Holiday
With all the baking, gift wrapping and holiday spirits most people don’t even notice that their favorite websites (like this one) have closed up shop so they can spend time with loved ones or some other weak excuse. After spending an afternoon trying to put up ornaments faster than Funk Jr is taking them down I like to unwind and one of the first things I reach for when trying to unwind is the trusty internet. Finding it all dried up is never a pleasant surprise.
By they way, don’t come looking for new material here on the 25th. We’re on holiday.
9. Waiting for the Festivities to Wind Down so You Can Play with Toys
As a kid you’d wake up, open some toys and play with them. This is actively encouraged as the adults wanting to focus on preparing lunch and getting smashed on eggnog and chocolate liqueurs. Once you’ve reached adulthood you’re no longer expected to play with your new complete Voltron set (it was a good year) but to do responsible things and leave your new socks for another day. Unfortunately for geeks we still get toys but are not allowed to play with them. When you’ve got your shiny new X-Com: Enemy Unknown and The Dark Knight Rises blu-ray the last thing you want to do is twirl brandy in a balloon glass and make small talk with your uncle – you want to slump on the sofa with a Jenga pile of candy canes and enjoy your new entertainment.
Doctor Funk suggests that the anticipation of waiting is part of the fun, but I wanna play video games!
8. Novelty Songs
On the very, very rare occasion a band may turn out a good track that ties in the holiday, like ‘Don’t Shoot Me Santa’ by The Killers, but most of them downright suck. Not only suck, but are painfully awful. Yet people play them because they’re obliged to. From ‘Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer’ to the more socially accepted ones like ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ these songs are terrible and will make your eardums bleed. The worst? ‘Jingle Balls’ by Korn.
7. People Complaining About the Commercialism of Christmas
Nobody’s putting a gun to your head and forcing you to buy ipads. The over-saturation of advertising and crap getting pushed in the store is grating, and there’s plenty of people who get carried away with it all. If the commercialization of Christmas bothers you then turn off your TV and do something else. Go caroling or go to church or do some charity work. Just don’t sit around and bitch. That’s my job.
6. The Price of ‘Traditional’ Items
This being Littlest Funk’s first Christmas we wanted to keep up a tradition by buying her a Christmas themed snow globe. The cheapest available in the store was $80. Any other time of year, or any other motif, and this nonsense wouldn’t leave the shelves during an earthquake. Yet they were almost sold out, because people want to uphold their traditions and the major department stores have no qualms about fleecing people in the name of Christmas. The same store was selling tree baubles up to $20 a piece, and somehow this was acceptable.
5. Overly Earnest Christmas Specials
There are some things that you don’t want to see during the Christmas season. The documentaries of Errol Morris do not make for cherry times, for example. But for some strange reason almost every genre on television drop their usual routine in favour of schmalz. Even sitcoms drop their usual focus on crass comedy to teach us the same, tired lessons that we get fed every year. Sometimes we just want our usual stuff and save the schmalz for our chosen holiday viewing. Keep an eye out for our recommendations.
4. Assembling Stuff
Anyone with kids can attest to this. All children’s gifts come with some degree of assembling, and even if it’s minimal you’ve got the challenge of trying to detach it from the packaging (although credit to Fisher Price for their new lock system). This can come to dominate both Christmas Eve night and Christmas morning and it is hardly as much fun as Lego. I still have painful memories of spending three hours of Christmas morning assembling a Barbie Horse Trailer some 15 years ago. Interesting side note – the little child who received Barbie Horse Trailer is now a successful burlesque dancer.
3. Depressing News Stories
I don’t know if this is something every country does or it’s just Australia. The news outlets in this nation have a disturbing obsession with reporting traffic accidents around the holiday season. They put a ‘be safe this Christmas’ spin on whole thing, but they also keep an ongoing tally along with a graphic to chart which state has had the most fatalities.
2. People Hating on the Santa Mythology
It’s become a trend lately for people to get narky about parents ‘lying’ to their children about Santa Claus. Sure, everyone has their story about how they came to learn the truth but what they should remember is how much fun the whole routine was. Why people get especially upset about this particular piece of fiction is the really puzzling part since almost everything else we share with our children is similarly made-up from dragons to The Muppets to Spider-Man. Eventually everyone has to learn that this stories aren’t real, but only the immensely petty hold a grudge about it.
1. ‘Wacky’ Gifts
With every holiday season comes a wave of wacky, quirky and downright stupid novelty gifts that appear in stores during November and promptly vanish on Boxing Day. They not only vanish from store shelves but people’s homes as they get binned. Because nobody in their right mind would hang on to this crap. What possible use would anyone have for a plastic reindeer that shits out jelly beans?
Or a Santa themed set of toilet seat covers?
Even worse are the joke presents that end up comprising of 80% of all Secret Santa presents which were the only Christmas themed item they could find for under $10. Speaking of which, my Secret Santa gift this year was this:
And you know what? I’m going to read it and fucking review it, so you have that to look forward to.
Well, now I’ve expunged myself of Scrooginess I can get into the holiday spirit. Check in later for the House of Geekery’s FAVOURITE HOLIDAY MOVIES!