I think I understand why more people kill themselves at Christmas. Sure, you can talk about horrible working conditions and strained finances, expectations that are never met, loneliness and feeling separated from those around you, and all of those other holiday-related stressors, but I think some blame has to be put on the terrible music that we’re assaulted with from at least the day after Thanksgiving (if not earlier) until sometime around the New Year. I swear, if I hear Harry Connick Jr. singing that fucking “Happy Elf” song one more time, I’m ready to do some violence.
Or Celine Dion’s “Feliz Navidad.” You’re French Canadian, you moron. Just because you fake-baked yourself until you looked like an old Coach bag while you were living in Vegas does not make you an honorary Mexican. Take your Joyeux Noël and shove it where the sun don’t shine; we’re not interested.
Or “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” a supposedly sweet “love song” that really just glorifies date rape. Because, hey, what IS in this drink? Even the version where the man and woman switch parts isn’t that much less rape-y; it just gives me flashbacks to that terrible Demi Moore and Michael Douglas movie, “Disclosure.” And no one should have to live through that.
The problem is that there really are only about 8 Christmas songs, and people just keep recording them over and over and over again. And not just re-recording. Everyone has to put their own little spin on the song. I’m not sure why, but “Jingle Bells” is especially susceptible to the “creative impulses” of mediocre singers who are better served entertaining hotel guests riding the elevator up to their room from the mezzanine level or trying to sell high-fiber cereals to senior citizens on fixed incomes. Leave the poor song alone! It wasn’t that good to begin with and you aren’t improving it any with your scatting or your barbershop harmonies. Even luminaries like Barbra Streisand have tried their hand at remaking this classic; Babs’ crack-binge rendition is like watching someone do lines straight of the “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” vinyl EP before being carted off to rehab. And what is Streisand doing singing Christmas songs anyway? She seems to have conveniently forgotten that whole “chosen people” thing just in time to rake in a little holiday cash. Shameful. (Don’t look so smug, Bette Midler; I’m talking to you, too.)
So short of blowing out the pilot light and taking a yuletide nap in the oven, how does one survive the holidays with one’s already tenuous grasp on reality more-or-less intact? By turning to a reliable and steady friend in this tinsel-choked holiday nightmare: alcohol. Call me an optimist, but there isn’t one holiday nuisance that isn’t softened and made more palatable by a little nip of something good and fermented. Scrooge may have been visited by the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, but the only spirits that haunt me during the holiday season are Smirnoff, Three Olives, and my trusty Absolut. Faithful friends who are dear to us gather near to us, indeed.
This does mean that a little preparation is in order; like any survivalist, you don’t want to be caught in a crisis situation without the necessary supplies. One year, a snowstorm kept me at home two days longer than I had planned. Two days in a town of less than 500 people without a grocery store to speak of, let alone a decent liquor store, no interesting cable channels, and dial-up internet. All my mother had in the cupboard was a quarter of a bottle of Bacardi Gold. That was a rough Christmas. There were more tears that year than when I was 5 and didn’t get the Country Western Barbie I wanted. I’ve never gone home less than fully stocked (if not overstocked) ever again.
So every time Mariah Carey attempts to shatter your eardrums reminding you that “All She Wants For Christmas Is You” (which seems like a pretty open invitation to be leveling at every shopper in every mall in America; but then, can you blame someone who’s married to Nick Cannon trying to find an escape route?), just remember that the holidays aren’t about terrible music sung poorly, wretched Christmas sweaters so ugly even blind people shudder, or bickering relatives who just can’t get through a meal without saying something offensively racist. It’s about being just drunk enough to tolerate all of those things. Merry Fucking Christmas.
Janessa’s Official Holiday Cocktail of 2012: “Better Than Sex Cake”
2 shots UV Chocolate Cake Vodka
1 shot Amaretto
1 shot Smirnoff Caramel Vodka
(This post is all in fun – well, a bitter, cantankerous sort of fun – but suicide is a serious issue, especially around the holidays. So is alcoholism. But I write a blog not touchy-feely PSAs, so this is what you got. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or feelings of suicide, don’t hesitate to get help. And if you struggle with alcoholism…well, then I don’t really have any good advice for you on getting through the holidays. Maybe take up bondage or develop a sex addiction? What the fuck do I know? I’m a drag queen, not a life coach.)
Tags: 12 Daze of Christmas, Absolut, alcohol, All I Want For Christmas is You, Barbie, barbra Streisand, Bette Middler, better than sex cake, bondage, Celine Dion, christmas, Christmas music, Country Western Barbie, drunk, drunk santa, Feliz Navidad, Holiday stress, holidays, Janessa, Janessa J, Janessa J Champagne, Janessa Jaye, Janessa Jaye Champagne, Jingle Bells, Mariah Carey, sex addiction, Smirnoff, Three Olines, ugly Christmas Sweaters