Stupid Christmas Traditions: Ugly Sweaters
Hi, all, it’s holiday time again and I sort of missed Thanksgiving back there, just like American retailers and British people. I did find out from a loyal UK viewer that they have started having Black Friday sales, even though there is no Thanksgiving, so it’s good to know we are still having a positive influence on the world. In years past, I have done posts on Thanksgiving or Black Friday, (Happy Link Drops!) or a combination of the two, which is actually more accurate to the relationships of Pilgrims and Native Americans at that time.
But Thanksgiving is dead and gone, just like the turkey you shamelessly murdered, so time to move on to Christmas. That’s right, it’s Christmas, not Chaka Khan or one of those fake holidays. Christmas with baby Jesus and Santa Claus and maniacal parents looking for stupid toys at inflated prices, and in-laws and dead trees and Starbucks cups, Hallelujah. In the past, I have provided my readers with helpful lists of Top Ten Christmas gifts, real meanings of scary Christmas songs, details of Olaf the snowman on a killing spree, etc., and I will get to those, but first let’s talk about a Christmas tradition.
Tradition 1: Ugly Christmas Sweaters
Once upon a time, people got ugly knitted sweaters (or jumpers if you’re a UK foreigner) from Grandma, and they had to wear them or else Grandma’s feelings would be hurt. I like to think this was done on purpose by some Grandmas as an act of revenge for that nursing home, but generally they were supposed to be gifts they for some reason genuinely thought family members would love.
Now, though, many Grandmas don’t sit around knitting sweaters all day. They’re off in Vegas. But people still haven’t forgotten about movies like “Christmas Vacation” and think they can be super cute by wearing “ugly” sweaters. They even have contests for the most ugly sweater. They had one at my former workplace, and the secretary asked the assistant director if she was in the contest. She said “No.” Awk-ward.
Your biggest question, I’m sure, is where people are getting these sweaters since Grandma flew the coop. Well look no further, retailers have solved this for you! They have purposely created lines of “ugly sweaters”. Just – wait. The whole point of the ugly sweater thing was that this was not done on purpose. You wore it out of good old fashioned Christmas guilt. You didn’t purposely buy it under a tag saying ugly. If you purposely buy something ugly while realizing it’s ugly, you’re just dumb. Also, these ugly sweaters aren’t even always ugly. Some looked fine to me. Who doesn’t like a cute penguin on their shirt? Heathens, that’s who.
Welp, that’s all I have time for today. Please feel free to give any suggestions below for other stupid traditions, songs, or gifts, or whatever else your annoyed about this Christmas and my Things and I will try to cover it.
Merry CHRISTMAS so sayeth the Lord,
Funny Blog Friday: Reporting From the Front
Hi ho, this is Alice, your raving reporter, talking to you from the front lines. Well, actually I’m now safe at home with some cocoa, but I WAS at the front lines at 7 pm Black Thursday at our local Mecca. There’s no news camera to dramatically film me in my blond wig while I squish my face up in a concerned, yet attractive way, so why not report from home?
For that matter, why not SHOP from home? Yes, I realize I’ve spoken about the pitfalls of that, but I’ll tell you one thing. There are no literal pitfalls when you shop online, versus actual pitfalls if you try to shop in person. Like getting trampled by a long line of shopping carts that wraps around the store, filled mostly with stuff they could have safely bought with a click while drinking cocoa.
I’ve decided that the best way to shop on the worst shopping days of the year is to go there with nothing to buy. It also helped to not have anything to spend either. This allowed me to better observe the people. Also to better observe the employees pushing giant dollies in my direction.
And wow, were there people. Keep in mind I waited TWO HOURS after the official sale began here, and it was still bonkers. There were people back to back with shopping carts filled to the brim for what was apparently one of maybe three lines they could check out in? I’m not sure. Anyway, there was a line of carts like a cattle drive. I wanted to say “Mooooo” but these people didn’t look very happy and some were armed with very heavy bake ware.
I did not have a cart, so I was able to weave around most of the people. A few I bumped into and politely said “excuse me” but often I did not get a response. Not a smile, not a nod, just a stiff, determined expression, like a general on his way to battle.
I love the smell of plastic in the evening.
Not all of the store was open, because apparently some of the deals didn’t start until 8 pm. A lot of rows of the store were roped off with, get this, streamers like at parties. But they were thoughtful enough to get actual policemen to guard these pathetic boundaries. Yup, law enforcement to keep people from being homicidal morons in a store right after giving thanks and breaking bread. I love my country.
Since electronics is the main draw on these shopping days, they had spread them throughout the store, thus preventing bottle necking in the actual department. Nothing like shopping for DVDs by the hamburger meat. I found a couple priced two bucks and picked them up for some reason. As if I was going to find a cash register? I think there is something wired in your brain that just commands you to grab this stuff.
I glanced at the aisles filled with cardboard containers that were rapidly emptying. By tomorrow evening, the store will look something like Atlanta after Sherman made a visit. I ended up putting down my videos. A reporter only risks so much, after all.
I made my escape through lawn and garden, ironically the place where they store all the ornaments, actual Christmas trees, etc. Who cares about that stuff? There were cheap toys and bed sheets, and PJs and TVs, and I was so above that.
Unlike them, I’d already clicked for my junk. I suddenly don’t feel so bad about the whole online thing. It certainly beats the cattle drive.
This is Alice, your faithful reporter, signing off. Have a happy Black Friday. Try not to die. 🙂
Oh, I almost forgot, I am thankful to two bloggers, Victoria of Angst Anarchy and H.E. Ellis of the blog, er, H.E. Ellis for sending me their signed books. Check out the links to find out more about these books. I won them, that’s right I WON, in that blog hop thing we had a while back. You should take part in that – you don’t have to shop if you win. Anyway, I was pretty stoked about the whole thing. I plan to read them soon.
No prizes today, but feel free to read the funny bloggers on this list. It’s safer than venturing out THERE.
Thanksgiving or The Totally True Story of Black Thursday
Ah, Thanksgiving. Two years ago, I did a Thanksgiving post celebrating turkey, family, and smallpox blankets. Last year, I just wrote about Black Friday, because that’s pretty much what Thanksgiving has turned into these days. But do you know how Black Friday Thanksgiving originated? Don’t bother Googling it – I didn’t – cause I have the definitive, absolutely true answer right here. Would I lie to you?*
Once upon a time – that’s how it starts, shut up – there was an old, grumpy executive named Scroo . . . Bill O’Reilly.** He was super bored with Thanksgiving, because why be thankful? He’d earned all that money fair and square from like, his Dad. It took him forever to kick it. Bill also hated that this holiday only involved food and no gifts. Where was the fun in that crap? Everyone had food. Well, everyone who wasn’t lazy and worked or shot deer and/or their friends during drunken hunting trips.
Nope, instead, Thanksgiving provided yet another reason for these same peons to be lazy! Businesses were expected to give them the day off to spend with family! What? Family values? Those were only for rich people. What was wrong with society?
So Bill devised an eeeeevil plan. He decided that he’d find some way to make people work on Thanksgiving AND buy his cheap plastic gifts to boot! With some elbow grease and a little demonic magic, he created BLACK FRIDAY. This was to be a day that a few items would be lowered in price (while others were jacked up in price and then “lowered”). People would be encouraged to buy their Christmas early at low prices! Lazy minimum wage twits would have to go into work so early in the morning, they wouldn’t be able to fully digest their ill-gotten turkeys.
It was BRILLIANT. They went for it like lemmings. Not only that, people would actually try to kill each other (and occasionally did) for some random toy that he released only a few of to make it look like it was rare. But something was STILL wrong. After all, these people still had an entire day off. So he devised another plan, after talking to Satan on his cell – he has him on speed dial – and created BLACK THURSDAY. The reasoning would be saving people from the horrible crowds on Friday.***
So there you go, folks. That was how Bill O’Reilly ruined Thanksgiving, which was normally such a happy day filled with women cooking all day long in the kitchen while their men watched football and ate Chex Mix. Extended family like aunts, uncles, grandparents, in-laws, all gathered together to bicker and snipe and give the cold shoulder and remind each other of past wrongs and complain about the food and yell at the football team for losing and shovel the children over to a table of their own to do a miniature version of the same thing.
Personally, I am totes going to boycott Black Thursday and Friday and Manic Cyber Monday because I am above all of that money grubbing nonsense and OMG they have an Ipad for HOW MUCH?
** It might not have been Bill.
*** This is absolutely true. No, really.
Flaming Turkey Wings!
So Black Friday is over. Oh yeah, and that other day too, the one with all the food. We had our Thanksgiving dinner, just my family and my parents. Oh, and our dining coordinator, Thing Two. Every event is a massive event with my nine-year-old daughter, no matter the holiday or the number of people involved. Sometimes it’s not even people, but a stuffed dog, a Barbie modeling Kleenex, or Darth Vadar.
She set the table for us with paper cups and plates festooned with cute turkeys. I’ve never figured out why they make the turkeys cute. I mean, they are seriously ugly birds, which makes eating them easier. So why cuten them up? That’s just cruel. Anyway, she set the table with paper (we are seriously classy here) and marked our names on all the tiny cups. Because with six people, it’s possible we could get mixed up. Actually, considering my family, that’s not such a bad idea. She added “Papa the Awesome” to my father’s cup. He tends to spoil her with lots of stuff. She’s no dummy. To finish it off, she placed Sonic mints at each of our plates. Sadly, she still did not receive a tip, but she made up for that in rolls. I’m not sure how many she had when my back was turned. It might have been ten.
Thing Two also made menus for us – with a line drawn across to indicate whether each food on the menu was awesome or not. And she fixed up the Happy Thanksgiving message on the banner. She marked out “happy” and replaced it with “merry” on the theory that if people think it’s Christmas at first, they might be tricked into recognizing Thanksgiving. We’re pretty sure she’s either going to be a teacher or a politician.
None of the stores thought of this trick, so most people went with the theory that Thanksgiving was just that quick meal you shove down before shopping. As George W. Bush would say, “Ask not what your country can do for you, go shopping.” I actually did brave Wal-Mart a couple of hours after the Thanksgiving specials started, mostly because my husband and kids were watching “Pumpkin Chunkin’” which is a show where grown people create trebuchets just like in medieval times, only they’re hurling pumpkins instead of fire bombs or rotting corpses. But sometimes they just use good old American guns. As enlightening as that sounds, I decided shopping was actually better.
By the time I got there, most of the hordes had already dispersed, though there were still plenty of people milling about mooing at the merchandise. It was like if they blocked my way and stared at a box of toys long enough, whatever they were looking for would suddenly jump out and land in their arms. If they were looking for anything at all. It was hard to tell. With the depressing, hypnotizing Christmas tunes in the background (“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” – I hate that song) I started to forget what I was looking for pretty soon, and after a while found myself mooing along with the others, picking up cheap pajamas, only to randomly drop them off somewhere else because I didn’t have the money and knew nobody that size. I’m sure the Wal-Mart employees were grateful for that little Easter egg hunt I left them. Just trying to keep you guys sharp. You’re welcome, retail employees. Please don’t egg my house. Moo.
I paid for my items, which somehow totaled up to a large number, even though they were, hello, on sale. I tried to figure this out with what was left of my brain, gave up, and went home. My husband thinks I spend too much on my children. That’s not true. I spend too much on myself. It just so happens I let them play with the toys.
The next day, there were leftovers at my parents’ house. One could say I invited myself over, just in case they were left with too much food. I’d hate for them to resort to the “flaming turkey wings” recipe in the days to come. No, I didn’t cook myself. If I had, our Thanksgiving dinner would have consisted of chicken nuggets and mac n’ cheese. This would have been fine with Thing One who eats roughly nine different food items, but not most people. If the time comes for me to host a dinner, we’re getting a pre-cooked turkey. I think that is safest.
So now it’s all over – except wait, it’s Cyber Monday. What am I doing writing a blog post? I must stare at merchandise on the computer screen now! Hope your Thanksgiving was all that. Tell me about it in the comments, if you’re not busy staring at amazon.com.
Alice’s Thanksgiving Special 2013
Note: I was gonna put this up on actual Thanksgiving, like I do with most holidays, then I remembered you would all be drugged out on tryptophan or dodging death at the stores. So here it is one day early!
I wasn’t sure if I could top last year’s festive Thanksgiving post in which I managed to mention tin foil turkeys, capitalism, and smallpox infected blankets all in one post. I told the story of the first Thanksgiving, which I’m sure is totally true and stuff, so now I’ve got to think of something different to talk about but it’s Thanksgiving and let’s face it, no one really cares about that holiday. Except that we get time off and good food but then we pay for it with having to see our families.
Well most people get time off, but not those in retail! Nopes, that’s because there is a much, much more important holiday than Thanksgiving known as Black Friday. It used to be on Friday, but people went insane, camping in front of stores for days on end, getting into fights, and just generally running amok all over the stores like they’d suddenly morphed into chimps high on crack. So they moved it up to Thursday. And now people camp outside, get into fights, and run amok (I like that word) like chimps on actual Thanksgiving instead of the Friday right after at two A.M.
Notice you never see decorations for Thanksgiving but you DO see Christmas stuff just as soon as Halloween is over? That’s because Black Friday is actually the first day of Christmas. Kind of like how Good Friday comes right before Easter, only it’s something evil rising this time. I know you thought there were only twelve days, but you’re wrong. There’s like up to six weeks of Christmas. Joy, joy, joy! I’m so THANKFUL.
Back when they had Black Friday on an actual Friday, I went with my friend L and her father in order to have the true Black Friday experience. We stood in line in the cold early Friday morning, waiting for Target to open because there was something we wanted that was cheap and because we were out of our minds. They opened the doors and kapow, people shot through the gates like racehorses. One guy actually leaped over a couple of carts, and some jerk cut in front of us which was pretty brave considering L’s father is like 8 feet tall. Fortunately, no one was trampled this time because then we would have had to cut our shopping trip short, like those poor people in Wal-Mart after that employee was killed. (Click to enlarge)
Only on Black Friday can you hear “Ronald, there’s a fight in electronics, please come.” on the loud speaker. I missed the fight, but apparently it was over a camera. We got our crap and then got into another line, this one wrapping around the inside of the store. L’s dad isn’t the patient type, so he wandered around and found the jewelry counter with no waiting. He called L’s cell phone and we hurried over to the jewelry counter and checked out lickety-split! Then L’s dad announced loudly “Hey, no waiting at jewelry!” The employees gave us the death stare, and we made the good decision to run.
You might be wondering what kind of stuff would be worth putting up with Black Friday or Thursday or whatever you want to call it. Well look no further, because I have a list of some of the hottest items for Christmas this year.
In case you didn’t recognize this freakish electronic thing, it’s a Furby. They were big years ago but then died out but guess what? They’re back! The description reads “A whole new generation of Furby critters is about to hatch! Collect virtual eggs, hatch furblings. Get yours in time for Christmas 2013!” Eggs? Hatching? Furblings? Be afraid.
Maybe try Legos. Those seem innocent enough.
This Lego set is called Lego City Police Museum Break-in. Because it’s never to early to teach your children a life of crime! Granted you’re supposed to have the cops capture the robbers, but I know I’d totally have the robbers getting away, because that’s just the kind of gal I am.
But Legos require some imagination, and let’s face it, that crap is highly overrated. Try this instead.
For all the children who are into electronic gaming, we have the latest whatever it is! This system allows you to play all the best games like Call of Heavy Duty Theft Killzone. In order to satisfy demand, stores will issue exactly six of these each.
For the professional in your life – even if we’re talking professional couch potato – look no further than Apple.
At last we’re getting into what adults will like (because we know adults never play video games). At least, I hope that only adults have a phone that costs over 600 dollars. But it’s totally worth it, cause this phone can do everything from file your taxes to raise the dead. There is nothing Apple can’t do – and charge ten prices for!
But maybe you’re stumped about a gift for a lady in your life. Look no further than amazon for this treasure!
What I love about this is that not only is it an apron – cause what woman wouldn’t want a reminder of the need for cooking in a Christmas gift? – but also gives her the body her husband has always coveted in this busty, scantily clad super heroine. I searched “gifts for women” on amazon, and honest to goodness this was one of the first things to come up. Awesome.
So enjoy your turkey and stuffing, then lace up your shoes and prepare for battle! Or you could suggest to your family that everyone just give each other the gift of LOVE this Christmas. Either way, be prepared to run.