The Top 5 Behaviors Hacking Meaning Clean Out of the Holidays
Just felt like unleashing my inner cynic because (what was the usual excuse?) the world needs to be hit with a little realism every now and again. (That’s code for “it makes me feel smart,” right?) And what better to unleash it on than the holiday season? Because, hey, it’s right in front of me.
Now since movies are technically my forte, I’ll also be connecting each entry back to one.
5. Cliches/Cheesiness: Certain pet peeve at least deserves a nod here. Yes, everyone wants to spread good cheer on Christmas, but how many times must we hear an attempt to recreate Linus’s speech on what Christmas is “really about?” And as of today, Christmas only has just enough revered cliches to carry the insipid songs cashing in on it; “It’s Thanksgiving” may be a terrible precursor of what’s to come if the inspiration gets any weaker.
Movie in which this is the problem: (In a roundabout way) Christmas With the Kranks
4. Commercialism: Don’t need to say much about this bit of influence from companies everywhere, giving us a 24/7 message of what to focus on this holiday season (lining their pockets). Many a cynic would put this virtual cliche at #1, but, let’s face it, it’s always been around. In the grand scheme, it’s just a mild shame.
Movie in which this is the problem: A Charlie Brown Christmas
3. Greed: Another near-cliche deplored by cynics everywhere, we may get motivation from commercials, but it’s ultimately our choice that seals it. It still really amounts to just a mild shame, but the public Twitter posts cursing out parents who didn’t get them the latest iPhone are almost enough to make you want to dedicate the rest of your life to helping the needy.
Movie in which this is the problem: Home Alone
2. Writing off the holidays as meaningless: Screw the time off dedicated to positive emotions you say? It’s all one big hypocirte-fest as long as there’s such a thing as avarice? It stresses you out too much anyway? What a shame you don’t have the final say on what you do with your own holiday and the options that come with it! I’m already ashamed of my own cynicism. Could it be that the thing taking the most meaning from the holidays are people claiming that meaning has been taken from the holidays? A little greed and shallowness is just part of being human, but a self-fulfilling prophecy of this caliber is just a shame.
Movie in which this is the problem: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
1. General negativity: Am I about to backhand my own list? Yes I am. A greater man than me once told me that all conflict stems from fear, and even people who don’t meet that last category seem to feel they have to acknowledge and embrace the negative to get to the positive. Some don’t even bother getting there, just passive-aggressively going through the motions of the holiday. Is there any real need for #5-3 to hold you up more than a moment? Who cares? It can be a busy season, but it’s your holiday. Sometimes it just takes a little creativity to find yourÂ way to get into it. (Whatever it is, it can’t be any worse than making a speech-giving top 5 list with only 2 entries meant to be taken seriously.)
Movie in which this is the problem: It’s a Wonderful Life
Happy Holidays everybody!