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Unraveling the Christmas Cinematic Universe

December 20, 2017 2 min read

There is a house down the street from me that looks like the seasonal section at K-Mart ejaculated over its front yard. There is Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, Frosty, some gingerbread men, birds, presents, a Shrek for some goddamn reason; all lit up like a tacky-ass looking Rockefeller Center. This house is the only part of my life that even remotely feels like Christmas right now.

My landlord, a man I imagine would let his home fall into Grey Gardens if he didn’t insist on having tenants, has no Christmas decorations in the house. Not in the yard, not hanging from the gutter and not even in boxes in storage. It’s like I’m living in a Jehovah’s Witness’s house. Something I considered might be true writing this sentence until I remember there is still a piece of his birthday cake in the fridge from five months ago.

It’s only going to actually feel like Christmas for me when I make the five-hour drive to see my parents. Growing up our house was basically the North Pole this time of year. Instead of spending our Black Friday’s macing white women so we could get the last $39.99 VCR, we were out in the yard hammering plastic yard ornaments into the cold Pacific Northwest ground. We had like fifty of these things and had to position them just right so the people driving by to look at our decorations could see them all. Can’t have the nondescript snow person blocking the baby Jesus, now can we?

Today it’s much different. Both my parents are in their fifties and mostly just decorate the inside of the house with a few festive wreathes hung outside. No more getting over our tryptophan coma by whoring up the yard.

The one big holiday tradition that does remain is when I arrive there in a few short days, my Dad will turn it over to Freeform for whatever fucking Rankin/Bass holiday special is on the air. More than likely it will be all of them, just one right after the other. And while we own all of them on DVD, we’ll still sit through the commercials and complain about how they cut so much out of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to make it fit the time slot even though the DVD is right there. We will sit there as a family, occasionally glancing down at our phones, watching the Rankin/Bass Christmas Cinematic Universe (RBCCU) because that’s what you do at the holidays.

Unraveling the Christmas Cinematic Universe screenshot