The Completely True Story of Christmas

It’s time we start investigating what actually happened on December 25th.

If you don’t know the story of Christmas, you can read about it here. Oh, and welcome to the twenty-first century, by the way, how was living under that rock for the past… forever?

Reflecting on all the things we do to get ready for the holidays, I couldn’t help but realize how most of it is kinda… weird.  It got me thinking about how it all started.  Thus, I present to you:

How Christmas Probably Happened. But Actually Probably Not Really. 

 

Many moons ago, this kid was born. And he was born in like, kinda not a normal way, because he just appeared in this lady, Mary’s belly.  She was married to this really chill dude named Joe, and I guess they had an extra bedroom and no idea what to use it for, so naturally, a baby will solve that problem!

But Baby Jeezy wasn’t an ordinary baby. Because that would be silly.  Seeing as he just kinda picked Mary to be his mom, he can’t possibly be a normal kid, he has to AT LEAST amount to being a moonlighting superhero.

This kid, Jeezy, turned out to be puh-ritty special.  So they decided that his birthday was going to be a holiday, and celebrated worldwide.

Side note: My parents obviously didn’t anticipate my greatness or else there would be a holiday on June 2.  Still working on it.

Joe and Mary decided the best way to commemorate the birth of their phantom son, Jeezy, was to bring plants inside and decorate them. Joe got his favorite axe and hand saw, marched outside and picked the best looking tree on the property, and cut that sucka down.

He brought it inside, stood it up next to the fireplace; proud of his work.  Mary got all concerned that it looked out of place, so she did what anyone else would do with a tree inside their house; she decorated the hell out of it. Even put a star on top to remind herself everyday how good of a job she did.

Sitting on their living room couch amid a roaring fire – Mary, obviously having a wine, Joe, probably chilling out with a nice Budweiser – they agreed to transcribe the Constitution of Christmas AKA Santa’s Laws.

 

1. Every year people have to bring a tree inside and decorate it.

It’s a little known fact that if you cut a tree down and take it out of it’s element you end up with a sad evergreen on your hands.  No one likes sad trees, so by making it look like it was sprayed with the contents of a craft store, even the saddest trees get time to shine.

2.  All gifts must be stored under the tree.

Protect and serve the presents. Protect and serve the people.  It’s the tree’s motto. It’s the tree’s job.

3.  There will be an old man responsible for delivering all the presents.  

He will travel by sleigh.  With not eight, but nine reindeer. One will have a red nose.  ONLY ONE.

4.  His name will be Santa.

He will live in a far away land, working with really, really, short/small people to make toys all year round. He will wear only red.  He will be solely responsible for keeping the color relevant.

5.  He will have a list.

This is the master of all lists.  This list keeps track of the good people and the bad people.  If you’re good, you get toys.  If you’re bad, you get…. coal!  No one likes coal, except miners and barbecues.  So if you’re a miner who barbecues, you may as well start acting like a horrible person on December 26. You’ll be grillin’ steaks for DAYS with all the fire fuel you’ll receive.

6.  Santa will not break and enter. 

Santa doesn’t break the laws.  You can’t have Father Christmas picking front door locks, or breaking living room windows.  That’s risky stuff. Bad Christmas PR.  By process of elimination, the chimney is the only other way in, so, sorry bro.  Hope your suit is fire-proof.

Christmas is also the one day of the year where it would not be weird to wake up in the middle of the night and find an old man dressed in a red bathrobe/sweatsuit come out of your chimney and start arranging presents under a tree in your living room.

7.  His reindeer eat carrots. He eats cookies. 

Automatic coal delivery to people who forget the milk.  Same with people who give store bought cookies.  Santa’s bionic nose knows a processed chocolate chip from a home made delight. And he doesn’t reward procrastination.

8. There will be sweaters.  They will be ugly.

What better way to say, “Happy Birthday!” than with a knit sweater picturing an overweight man in a red suit riding on a sleigh with flying deer? The short and long answer is: There is not a better way to say Happy Birthday than with a knit sweater picturing an overweight man in a red suit riding on a sleigh with flying deer. Period.

They sat back, happy with their creation, and passed down the tradition at each family gathering, and it has become Christmas as we know it.

***

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

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BREAKING NEWS: TODAY IS NATIONAL HOT DOG DAY

PALMED IT

PALMED IT

Hot dogs are like real dogs, they’re man’s best friend.  Or they’re like your favorite uncle that comes into town and everyone wants to hang out because it’s a special treat.  He’s part of the food family, but not immediate like chicken or ham.

He’s the mystery meat.  No one really knows how he’s related to you, but you’re so intrigued you’ll stand there with an empty beer and talk to him about absolutely nothing for an hour.

In honor of National Hot Dog Day, here’s a list of why the dog is better than the burg, and why you should drop everything right now and google map the crap out of the nearest stand:

  • There’s an obvious sexual innuendo, which is always fun, gratifying, and awkward at family gatherings with small children
  • They fit perfectly into one hand, leaving your other hand free for a choco taco or a beverage of your choosing
  • You don’t need two, but you can have more than one without being considered overindulgent
  • Uni-buns.  No top and bottoms for this guy
  • They’re mysterious, you never really know what’s in them, and you don’t want to, because then you’d never come back for more
  • They’re seasonal, yet always an option
  • They’re versatile: grill, steam, boil, or microwave
  • Great for sporting events
  • You don’t need garnish
  • Particularly great when paired with other foods like mac and cheese
  • Frank is both a strong boy’s name and a food group
  • An alternative to the traditional BBQ food
  • But not too much like the veggie burger
  • No one ever said, “Hey, you should stop eating those hot dogs”
  • Variations appear in all meals: sausages and street meat
  • Great for both lunch and dinner
  • Man’s best friend
  • Chilli dogs win wars and cure cancer
  • Condiments are a statement AND an accessory AND a reflection on your personality
  • Easy to walk and eat at the same time
  • You won’t look dumb at a sporting event
  • It’s big enough for a meal and small enough for a snack
  • You don’t have to limit yourself to one part of the animal because you never really know where it comes from
  • If you’re dangerous, go without the bun
  • Good for kids and adults alike
  • You’re never too old to eat a hot dog
  • Everyone loves dick jokes

Frankly, if you don’t enjoy a frank on a hot day, I don’t want to know you as a person.

Happy National Hot Dog Day!

Thanks to Katie (@katiebresnahan) for helping me compile this delicious list and for also seeking out and doing a dog chow down on my lunch break.


What do you think is the best thing about hot dogs?

Cheers to you, to me, to you, and back to me again, and then you, and then me.

Irish or not, you know about St. Patrick’s Day.

Seeing as Monday is one of the most glorified drinking holidays on the planet, I figured I’d give you a little something to think about going into the weekend.  There’s going to be beer, there’s going to be drinking, there’s going to be parades, and most of all, there are going to be, “CHEERS!”

Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard them all, “To good friends! – To good times!” yadda, yadda, yadda.  BOOOORING.

If you stick with the run of the mill drink clinks, you’ll quickly run out of things to say and simultaneously raise your glass.  That’s why I’m here to help you.

The following is a list of things you can, “Cheers!” to this weekend in honor of Saint Patrick:

  • To money
  • To your bank account
  • To your parents, because without them you would not be alive and drinking today
  • To not falling down
  • To the Pilgrims and Indians getting along splendidly
  • To the military and the USA
  • To falling down and getting back up
  • To that kid not wearing green because “he isn’t Irish”
  • To that kid peeing on the sidewalk
  • To your friends because, “OH MY GAHHH I LOVE YOU SO MUCH”
  • To not using public restrooms
  • To finally getting to use the public restroom
  • To airplanes and automobiles that will bring you home
  • To candy hearts that express emotions so you don’t have to
  • To being single and not running into your ex
  • To not being single and running into your ex
  • To Tinder when there’s a surplus of hot drunk individuals in one concentrated area
  • To seeing eye dogs – because they’re the shit
  • To Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski (he did not have sexual relations with that woman)
  • To not wearing heels
  • To bacon, eggs, and cheese, and bread.  So much bread.
  • To live music and uncomfortably swaying and calling it ‘dancing’
  • To Outkast reuniting
  • To free alcohol
  • To stealing alcohol
  • To making fast friends on the streets that you have absolutely no intention of ever talking to again
  • To sleep number beds for always knowing what you want
  • To McDonald’s for giving us the Happy Meal when you’re ordering over 18 years of age
  • To wearing sunglasses when it’s not sunny because you’re too hungover to be in public
  • To the one time of the year wear corn beef and cabbage is a fun thing to eat
  • To castles and royalty
  • TO POTATOES!
  • To infinity and beyond
  • To street meat
  • To Janet Jackson’s nip slip
  • To Leo DeCaps and Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”
  • To finding out all your socks matching up after laundry
  • To cooking something that isn’t poisonous
  • To haircuts and looking so fresh and so clean, clean
  • To creating resolutions and breaking them
  • To giving up beer for Lent…… then taking it back because St. Patrick’s day is during Lent
  • To the world’s largest ball of yarn
  • TO POTATOES!
  • To tear-away Adidas sweats and white high top sneakers
  • To snap bracelets and snap backs and Snap, Crackle, Pop
  • To Ramen noodles and drinking like you’re in college again
  • To day drinking and passing out before 9pm
  • To having an excuse to drunk dial your mom and dad just to , “Say hey.”
  • To Ireland and the people from it who immigrated here because there were no potatoes, without whom we would not be the population of drunk people we are today, and we have to salute you the only way we know how, by getting drunk

Go forth, my sons, into the land of inebriation. 

Catharsis.

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happy new year.

2013 was that CSI marathon on Spike.  You don’t know why it hasn’t ended, but all the sudden it’s 8pm and you still have your cereal bowl on your lap from this morning.

Many times, I sat back thinking that the days were moving painfully slow; I was all too eager to jump into the next month or season in anticipation of what was to come.

I am self-sufficient. I was always able to keep myself occupied as a child, and even into adolescence and adulthood, I never really needed people constantly around me to feel validated or connected.  But this year, I moved out of my childhood home and started a bankrupt-bound adventure in Boston, Massachusetts.

I became independent.

Independence was different in 2013 than 2012 and before.  It was nice to move out and start a new chapter in my life, but at the same time, this year was one of the most lonely years I’ve endured.  I realized everything that made me so comfortable at home was no longer within reach.

I suppose everyone goes through trials and tribulations when they begin new chapters.  In all the books I’ve read, there’s never been a character that’s had it easy throughout the entire story.  And if they did, I was probably reading Dr. Seuss.

I learned to take risks.

Moving to a new city without a job is not entirely far from the realm of things I would do.  Watching my savings dwindle down to almost nothing after a month of unemployment was something I didn’t really account for in my calculations, though.

I fell in love.

And it wasn’t the way I planned it. I guess you don’t plan those kinds of things though.  For the first time, I figured out how to let my guard down.  I had never let anyone in before; I was barricaded by this crippling fear that I would get hurt in the end.

And then I got my heart broken.

And that didn’t go like I planned it either.  It wasn’t anyone’s fault, both parties ended up in the wrong.  It was a casualty of the circumstances and situations.  It just didn’t work, and I don’t even know if it would had it been done differently.  It’s the first time where after something didn’t work out that I wasn’t bitter, angry, or spiteful.  There was just an acceptance and appreciation of what was accomplished in a short time.

I broke a heart.

And that makes you feel like shit. I’ll be honest. Starting with a clean slate isn’t easy when you have a lot of baggage to bring along to your new destination.  It makes the whole relationship thing seem like a great idea, but then again when you’re doing something that’s entirely for yourself, the other person doesn’t really factor into the equation.

I was selfish.

And not in the good way.  I jeopardized and potentially ruined a very good friendship because I never cared about the other person the way that I should have.  There are certain instances in life where in the moment, it seems like an okay idea, but in retrospect, a lot of the issues or problems that arise between friends would be avoided if both parties just stopped and looked objectively at the situation.  That takes time and effort though, and who has that?

I lived in a closet.

Kinda still do.  It’s funny how growing up I always compared my friends’ rooms to my own.  If they could see me now!  I understand the value of consolidation and have learned to only keep the necessities.  It’s nice to know that I don’t have anything from PacSun anymore, and that I really don’t miss that sweatshirt I had since high school with all the holes and history in its sleeves.

I learned that things don’t always work out the way you want.

And this was the hardest lesson. The idea of moving to a new city with all your dreams boxed up is intoxicating.  When reality is just waiting until you settle into your apartment to come out and slap you clear across the face.  All these plans concocted in my head, and virtually none of them turned out the way I wanted.  But I also wouldn’t change the way anything unfolded.

I stopped planning.

Everything started to work out when I stopped trying to orchestrate my life. At the end of the day, I can only do so much to solidify my chances of obtaining the job I want, or being accepted into the group of friends I’d like to join, and start letting things happen.  I opened myself up to being bored out of my mind and not planning a damn thing, and it all just clicked.

Appreciating the unexpected wouldn’t happen if things panned out the way your mind had mapped it from the start. Being grateful for a perfectly executed plan would never come around if everything went your way all the time.  If situations were taken as is, lessons would never be learned and people would never change.

In a lifetime, a year can be insignificant at first thought.  But there will always be those gravestone worthy moments within each twelve month period that hold the answers regarding that scar on your right knee, that tattoo on your forearm, or that reason why thought it was a good idea to wear pleather to your coworkers’ dinner party.

Whatever those moments are, cherish them.  Because you only have one shot at 2014, and you better make sure your aim is on point.