Opinion, World

Horrible Holidays: A Depressing Christmas Story

Christmas is a special time of the year. The holidays are filled with love, carefreeness, and gifts. It’s a time where hardly anything bad happens. Except for humans. We are still our horrible self, even when celebrating love.

Oh Christmas Tree

“Have you seen this?”, George shouted from the living room.

He was sunken into his green armchair, so much so that it might’ve been an inseparable part of him at this point. He was just about to down another mug of his warm eggnog to the hypnotizing images of the California Wildfires on the News when he got pinched by a little empathy.

“Yeah it looks great, doesn’t it?”, Ruth responded, trying to keep her voice to a reasonable degree as to not disturb any of the neighbors with any exaggerated shouting. She was balancing on a little wooden step ladder trying to get their Christmas tree the finishing touch: the star of Bethlehem. Well, it was a star and it was pretty huge, so it was as good as it was gonna get.

It truly was the biggest tree they ever bought, they’ve had it for ages already. They drove out to several shops days ago to make sure they had the largest selection to choose from. It would soon be one of the millions of trees to rot away or get burned in landfills, needlessly impacting the environment for the sake of a few weeks of Christmas joy. But it did, indeed, look great.

It certainly looked better than that plastic monstrosity the Miller’s were harboring in their broom closet “for the sake of nature”. They were unaware, that unless they use their tree for more than TWO DECADES, it would actually end up being even more harmful than just cutting down innocent fir trees every year. Oh, the irony.

Burn ’em All this Holidays

“Nah, the fire Ruth. THE FIRE!”, George couldn’t help but gargle a bit on the eggnog as parts of it were spilling down into his beard. Ruth took a risky jump from the ladder and ran into the living room. When there ever was a time of urgency, then when she heard the gargling voice of her husband exclaim “fire” multiple times. She was close to a heart attack when she arrived to the sobering views of San Bernadino engulfed in flames.

“Is that all? I worried something had happened,” she was catching her breath violently, party because of relief, partly because of a mixture of poor eating habits without any regular physical activity. They wouldn’t know how dire it was until a stroke sent her face flying into a bowl of soup about two weeks later. On the same day, their tree would be burned in a landfill nearby.

“Don’t be ridiculous, look at all those trees burning down. I’m so glad global warming isn’t real. We’d be in real trouble otherwise. By the way, we got some Christmas cards in the mail.”

Unaware of his own apparent hypocrisy, George three a handful of envelopes on the little table between him an Ruth while enjoying the flaming spectacle on his flat screen, dunking his nose deep into the eggnog mug.

Love is in the Air

Ah, the mutual respect of marriage. If she hadn’t already abandoned all her dreams, she might’ve been bothered. But let’s be honest, Christmas was all she had left, and she wouldn’t let George take it away from her with his usual behavior. She wouldn’t have it this year. She grumbled a bit but eventually picked up the stack and went back to her room of Christmas joy, placing the cards on a small table above the neatly wrapped gifts she bought for the kids. The joy of giving was a truly remarkable feeling. A warm tingling in her bones every year.

While the fires were raging in California – Ruth’s family was preparing their own festive pyromania, contributing to vast amounts of garbage to be burned shortly after the Christmas holidays. 83 square kilometers of gift wrap, 125.000 tons of plastic and billions of Christmas cards are thrown out over Christmas – and that’s just in the UK alone.

A Trashy Christmas

Clearly, Ruth and her family are a jolly bunch and they surely aren’t to blame for the world’s shortcomings. They just love each other and want to have a good time. They even bought wonderful gifts for their kids, not knowing that half of their gifts are usually more than unwelcome. I mean who knows what kids like these days, so they just throw it away. Or even better, they return it to the shop where it’s not gonna be resold but eventually gets stuck in an almost endless cycle of shipments and eventual destruction, spraying more carbon emissions into the environment than any Volkswagen would be capable of.

It’s a jolly good time indeed, if not for anyone else, then at least for us. And big businesses selling you your own soul on the premise of a bit of love and family wholeness that you know you lost years ago but you didn’t have the balls to divorce the sleazy eggnog sponge yet. Merry Christmas indeed.

About Andreas Salmen

Born and raised in Germany, learned a job in IT and Business and ultimately decided that this wasn't exactly where my life was going to end. Left everything behind to become a writing backpacker instead. The world's crumbling away anyway so why not write about it and get a few good Instagram pics on the way, am I right?

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