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Laid back; chilled out.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


That’s right, I said it - I hate Christmas. Before you say anything, let me explain.

Some years ago back in Kenya, Christmas was the best time ever. That’s the only time I ever got to spend decent time with everyone dear to me. Plus, there was all this great food that we cooked that wasn’t exactly everyday food.

Shoot, most days githeri was the staple. I’m talking about githeri that was mostly dry, githeri where the maize outnumbered the beans 10:1, githeri that was only boiled, strained and salted. Can I get a witness, anyone?

Christmastime, however, was a whole different ballgame. That’s when Mama >d® woke me up at 6am and bellowed for me to go hunting. That, of course, constituted of my bros & I rounding up some unfortunate goat, slitting its throat and chopping it to bits. [Sounds cruel, doesn’t it?] While we did that, my sisters would be throwing down in the kitchen with chapos, kachumbari & everything in between. My one sister even made pizza one time. I’ll tell you what, pizza with Kenya-made ingredients is off the chizz-ain, please believe it. When the food was all ready we’d thank The Man Upstairs for the opportunity to be together, then the festivities would begin.

Some years later, I found myself on U.S. soil just in time for Christmas. I got a job working at some major retail store. They put me at the register but I was like nuh-uh, take me someplace else. So they put me in – hold your breath – the infants section. WTF? Before I could say ‘Hurray for Huggies’ I was re-stocking Pampers, Huggies & Enfamil all over the joint. I got so familiar with my department I could almost tell you which formula was closest to breast-milk. New mothers would pester me all day long while new fathers would ask me stuff with that desperate look in their eye. I hated it all.

But that wasn’t half as bad as the Christmas music that played throughout the building. Christian Christmas music is one thing but songs about Santa Claus are straight ridiculous, and that’s all that blared through the entire establishment. I got so sick of songs like ‘Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,’ ‘Jingle bells’ & ‘I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.’

[I’m dreaming of a white Christmas?? Should I call Sharpton on this one?]

Not only did the songs suck, but they also were in heavy rotation. They say repetition can cause insanity, and that right there damn near pushed me to the other side. All those little Christmas gizmos in all their bright colors, not to mention that electronic Santa that belted out a series of Ho ho ho-es every time someone passed by, damn near made me wanna stab anything red. What’s even worse, customers started to come in all the time wearing Santa hats or antlers and wishing me a jolly Christmas. All the while I’d be thinking to myself like: negro, do I look like I have a reason to be jolly? Back on up!

It’s one thing getting paid well for that bullsh*t, but minimum wage? Hell to the no! So I quit the job. I went to the supe, threw at him my… ummm… apron/vest and stormed out of there with as much dignity as I could muster under the circumstances.

2 days later the big boss called my house and was like >d®, we’ll have to terminate your employment with us. I was like dude, I quit 2 days ago! If you don’t know, now you know! and broke the handset hanging up. The nerve!

Like I said, I hate Christmastime. The commercialization of it all is sickening. Santa, up yours.


Girl next door said...

Your post is so funny! But seriously, I've only had one meaningful Christmas since I left home. It happened last year when I got to be with my siblings and cousins. And then I had to go to work afterwards. It's usually just another day for me unless I have a day off. Christmas has been over-commercialized in this country. It's all about buying stuff. They've already started playing those annoying tunes and running adverts on tv. I'm also sick of it.

Anonymous said...

watchu talkin bout dee? i love xmas music. i know wat 2 get you for xmas now! LOL!!

gishungwa said...

i loved xmas when we had family gatherings though they say this year its back. I loved when everyone got drunkand told endless stories. Last xmas i was working and yeah new year too so am with you.Up yours Santa

Anonymous said...

Santa up yours



Anonymous said...

Hi dude how you been?
I too hate Christmas for all the reasons you mention (minus working in a dept store) and when in the UK I would run off either to Kenya or USA to hide from the hideousity of it all. At least you are with family...
And now that I will be home again this xmas, I still dont care for it one bit... But there will definitely be a dead goat or two. Karibu :)

Princess said...

Wooowwww...that made me laugh so hard I almost fell off my chair. I agree that Christmas is commericalized to the point that it is annoying, but I still love Christmas nonetheless. I love attending Midnight Mass, I love Carols..I could go on forever. I think once we get to a certain age or once we leave home it is up to us to create our own memories and make holidays special for us. It isn't the same as having our entire families with us, but I believe in making the most with what I have got.

egm said...

Nice summary of my feelings about Christmas in this country. Nothing but one big shopping season. That's why I am happy to be soon hightailing it out of here and enjoy it at home! As I ng'ethia that mbuzi I'll be thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so I laughed reading it but thank goodness someone else feels the same way I do... there's no real meaning to Xmas in this country...

Anonymous said...

Christmas is highly commercialized, that is true, working under those conditions, i would lose my mind. I love christmas since it is time to lounge, hang out with friends and family, feast on a goat's carcass, and play games and be generally silly and let go. Always look forward to it. And it is the one holiday my boss cant get me to come to work - and pays for it!

|d®| said...

>Girl Next Door: Don't even get me started on the commercials! Arrghhh!

>DLL: If you so much as get me Christmas music I'll.....

>Gish: Wsup girl, glad you 2nd me on that. Yup, I've worked over Xmas too. Time-and-a-half notwithstanding, I still hated it.

>Ciiku: See, I hadn't even thought of it like that but now that I do: Yeah, up yours, Santa! Ha ha!

>G: Wsup girl, I missed u, what can I say! Fortunate that you'll be home for Xmas; hope you rekindle some of the excitement you had over the Xmas thing. I probably will be freezing my behind off over here! Have another rib one time for me!

>Princess: I guess that's a good way to look at it. I just haven't found my Xmas mojo yet; the Grinch stole it!

>EGM: Have fun dawg, have fun. Have a great time tho.

>Andrea: Yup, brilliant marketing strategy, methinks.

>Aegeus: Ha ha, true! I get Xmas off too, thank God, and bossman pays up. No complaints there!

Anonymous said...

I have mixed feelings about christmas; both @ home & here.Let me explain myself.....when I was back @ home,we usually spent xmas in shagz;as my grandma would put it,"Christmas was a time for togetherness!" we would all(extended family members & my family) leave on the 24th in the late afternoon and it would take us like 6hrs to reach shagz.Most of the time, we usually reached @ 11p.m.The funny part is, we had to cook when we reached there because the guyz would say that they wouldn't want to sleep hungry.Before we knew it, it was christmas day & we had to start cooking again.since there were so many Relaz, it took us like forever to prepare the food that would be enough for everybody;Most of the time, we ate like late in the afternoon.After eating,it would be time to wash the dishes which also took like forever to finish them.By the time we were all done, everyone would be like dead tired to even talk apart from the guyz who would be enjoying themselves while we would be cooking & washing dishes.Anyway, christmas would be over and boxing day which I dreaded the most, was a day for us to go to the farm;Before we knew it,it would be the 27th and it would be time for us to go back home.Anyway, what am trying to say is, although I wasn't a fun of Christmas when I was back @ home, I really do miss those days.
As for xmas in America, its too commercialized and the real meaning of it is lost in the madness of just buying gifts;And what about the carols? can we just deal with one holiday(Thanxgiving)before moving to the next?

>d:I do apologize for blogging on your blog!

Anonymous said...

Wat's worse than bein a cynic at such a young age, especially when the cynicism is projected at the most "jolly" of holidays? There couldn't be anything worse. I think it all comes down to no longer having what one used to have. I remember when christmas= maaaaad food at cucu's (mom's side) picking macadamias during the holiday, chillin for 2 weeks there b4 the actual day n then goin to pop's side for new years! I remember when it wasnt about gifts but about sittin round the fire, sharing stories, runnin around n bein a kid. Need I mention midnight mass, which i still do, seeing "father christmas" attending a "nativity" play (since i grew up in a boarding school). I usually got a string of bubble gum n i would be happy. Nowadays, i spend my christmas writing cards (the bare minimum) n sleeping it off. I've come to hate christmas esp. since xmas music starts earlier each yr. one radio station here started 2 weeks ago!!!!!! By the time the day comes, i'm thru w/ the whole thing! I won't lie, I still love to hear some Jim Reeves xmas music- silver bells et al, some whitney...wateva. At the end of the day, I don't have much family to spend it w/, which makes it a dismal holiday- at best. Damn...how many more years to go???

Sorry for blogging on here too...

Anonymous said...

Christmas!! bah hambug! Give me a beerrr and call it a holiday. I listen to carols in July when it is hot and the songs sound silly! Midnight mass! Forgerabourit! (for those who do not speak Italian it is Forget about it!) Fat white man fitting in a chimney bringing presents to all who have been nice. F that! Happy Thanksgiving All!

|d®| said...

>BET: Wsup girl. You're absolutely right - there was the dark side of Xmas too. Cleanup was a b*tch.
I remember one year my siblings were like: Hell to the no, we're not cooking this year! We all have jobs; we'll pay to go someplace for a change!

>D: LMAO @ 'Father Christmas.' Had forgotten about him!
I feel u, coz I too don't have much family here, tho it helps a lot that my 'adopted' fam - u know who they be - is there for me.

>CK: The ambiance - like u pronounce it - of Xmas is bleak lately. All I need around Xmas is to call my Moms & I'm alright - somewhat. Otherwise if it wasn't for my cousins & The Dishwasher & 'em it'd be straight ordinary.

[I know, right? What're the chances that a fat dude in a fluffy outfit would go through a narrow, soot-lined chimney and come out intact, & even stop for milk & cookies? Logistics logistics!]

Anonymous said...

Did you just tell Santa up yours? * SMH * That's a dude that comes only once a year

*crickets chirping*

Mutumia looks around and says "Mta do?"

Tee hee...

Sasa D?

|d®| said...

Ha ha, incorrigible as ever, I see! I'll holla!

Ellie Oxnard said...

I hate Christmas. I hate Christmas! Ok, there I said it.

Now I am sure I'm not the only one who feels this way. I searched "anti-christmas" and "i hate christmas" on the web and came up with lots and lots of sites. Some even stating F*** Christmas!

Why do I feel this way? Maybe because I am getting ready to spend the next 6 weeks of my life chained to a shop counter selling toys to frustrated, harried parents and their annoying, sniveling children. Gee, that might be it. When did parenting skills start becoming ranked by how large and how expensive a Christmas a parent could give their Kid? Are you a BAD parent because you aren't willing to risk life and limb to buy your kid the latest, greatest, hottest toy? (I blame that on Cabbage Patch Kids, the scourge of the 80's!)

Yes, I work in a toy store so some of you are thinking that I have brought this on myself. I do accept some of the blame for promoting the capitalist way of life full of materialism and debt. BUT it wasn't always that way. 25 holidays in retail have shown me that.

First off, why do we need a holiday that celebrates shopping? Or better yet, why do we have to celebrate every holiday, no matter how obscure, with shopping? We spend and spend and spend enough on a daily basis putting American credit card debt in the BILLIONS, so why do we need a specific holiday to emphasis that?

Second, why so early? Thanksgiving used to mark the beginning of the holiday season. Then it was Halloween and now it's back-to-school! I knew we were in for it when I saw Reindeer Table linens in Target in AUGUST. Besides, my birthday is in November and I feel completely ripped off. November is just glossed over and treated as a launching pad for December. Next thing you know, November will be struck from the calendar and December will become 60 days long.

It took me years to figure out the Day after Thanksgiving was called "Black Friday" in reference to the accounting term "In the Black", meaning all the stores will make enough money to put their in a positive balance as opposed to being "in the red." I thought they called it Black Friday because it was a horrible @#$%& day to have to work!

Thanksgiving is no longer the busiest shopping day of the year because people are trying to start their shopping but because companies are now whoring themselves out with ridiculous promotions and sales in an effort to capture the customer's last dollar.

On that thought, I need to start my day. Happy Holidays to you (because I'm not allowed to wish anyone a Merry Christmas anymore). -Ellie