Murphy’s Law – Coping with Christmas

Joel Murphy

Joel Murphy

We are past the point of no return. The Christmas season is officially upon us.

Thanksgiving has come and gone (even if we still have more leftover turkey sandwiches than we know what to do with). Black Friday is officially in the books (and we even managed to get through it without any fatalities this year). Today is allegedly something called Cyber Monday, which sounds like a day devoted to having dirty online conversations, but in reality it’s where you can find great deals online. So basically, it’s like Black Friday, without those retail chains fascist “you must wear pants” policies.

Stores have already been pushing this holiday for months, but this is when they hit the full court press. Before long, all of the commercials, shows and news stories on television will be holiday related. Radio stations will put the Christmas tunes in heavy rotation. We will all pass the time at work bitching about how expensive presents are and how crazy people get this time of year; all while counting the days until we can get embarrassingly drunk at the annual company Christmas party.

Every year as we get older, I think it gets a little harder to get into the Christmas spirit. That youthful joy surrounding the season begins to seem like a distant memory. Add in a terrible economy and loss of jobs and suddenly we have to start asking ourselves questions like – do I want to disappoint my friends and family by not getting them what they want this year or do I want to eat this month? Inevitably, somewhere in the shuffle, the true meaning of Christmas – the feast of the Son of Isis – is lost.

So what is the solution?

Personally, I plan on locking myself in my room and watching Elf over and over again until either a) I find my lost Christmas spirit or 2) I go insane. And, since I don’t have money to buy the ones I care about proper presents, I plan on simply making donations in their name to George Costanza’s Human Fund.

If that option doesn’t appeal to you, you could always follow in the footsteps of the man in Maumee, Ohio who is so anti-Christmas that he stole a Salvation Army red kettle full of cash. Reportedly, as he shoved the bell ringer who tried to stop him to the ground, he shouted: “I can’t stand you and your bell-ringing. I hate Christmas.” Police did eventually recover the kettle, though the man and the cash are long gone. And while there is no denying that he is a monster, he does kind of have a point about the bell ringing.

It’s tough to wrap your brain around what would cause someone to resort to such an unfathomable level of evil. However, I can’t help but think the guy might actually be on to something. Perhaps by resorting to the role of a cartoon villain, he is actually hoping that the spirit world will notice and will see fit to provide him with A Christmas Carol type intervention. Back in Ebenezer Scrooge’s day, all you had to do was be surly to your subordinates, but these days the bar for evil is set pretty high, so a simple “Bah! Humbug!” just isn’t going to cut it.

But if you aren’t ready for a life of crime, you could always go the other way and help the needy. You could volunteer at a soup kitchen or donate toys to local charity drives, which may help put you in the right frame of mind to enjoy this time of year. Or, if that doesn’t sound appealing, you could always give back to the community by getting stinking drunk.

If you are brave enough to venture into Baltimore at night, this Thursday you can attend a wine tasting at the National Federation of the Blind that benefits Santa Claus Anoymous, an organization unique to Baltimore that has been providing Christmas presents to needy children for 75 years. The group hopes to raise $300,000, so that it can provide 20,000 $15 gift certificates that those in need can use to purchase gifts for loved ones.

If that doesn’t appeal to you, I’m really not sure what else to tell you. You could always stand on a bridge and wait for Clarence the angel to show up and tell you how much better the world is with you in it. Of course, don’t hold your breath waiting for that one to happen. With that jerk from Maumee, Ohio still on the loose assaulting bell-ringers, the chances of Clarence getting his wings this year are rather slim.

Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at

  1. Amanda November 30, 2009
  2. Thor December 1, 2009
  3. Joelle December 1, 2009
  4. Joelle December 1, 2009
  5. Amanda December 1, 2009
  6. Joel Murphy December 1, 2009
  7. Joelle December 1, 2009

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