This will come as a bit of a surprise to some of you who’ve known me for a long time, but I’ve become all crafty and shit the past couple of years. I’m not doing needlepoint or painting plywood cut-outs for the front yard or making anything you’d find in a house on Hee-Haw, but I am in a phase of making things with my hands. It’s relaxing, takes my mind off my troubles and provides me with gifts to give my friends and family for birthdays and Christmas. So, yes, of late I’ve been to Michael’s Arts & Crafts and the bead store. Non-ironically.
(The wreath you see above is covered with bottle caps that my brother Mason collected. I’ve made wreaths and ornaments with the caps this season, which is a nice–and appropriate–blending of holidays and booze for the people in my life.) (This may ruin the surprise for a couple of people. Sorry.)
In preparation for Christmas present making, I visited a bead shop in the Heights a couple days ago. It’s a tiny, one room place, so I was unable to block out the inane conversation being had between two boring old ladies who were also there shopping. I was relieved when they paid for their purchases and prepared to leave. The store owner said, “Merry Christmas,” and the old ladies put on the brakes. In a very put out voice, the fatter of the two (no small feat) said, “I’m so glad to hear you say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays.” This turned into what was obviously a well-worn monologue about the evils of a godless America.
She regurgitated her urban legend talking points about soldiers not being allowed to have bibles and children not being able to pray in school and removing Christmas because we don’t want to offend people. “If they don’t like it, they can leave.” Ah yes, the overused retort in many a trollish comment on even the most innocuous news story on the internet.
How is it possible to be so willfully ignorant that you don’t understand that not everyone celebrates Christmas? That YOU can celebrate Christmas and pray all you want, but that doesn’t mean everyone you come in contact with has to make a big display of celebrating those things with you? If you’re feeling disconnected from the collection of fables you’ve chosen to believe in, that’s not the fault of people who are saying “Happy holidays.” That’s your own self doubt. Live with it. And shut the fuck up when I’m trying to shop for pretty beads to make my chick friends some fucking jewelry. Fuck.
[Regarding a different Christian holiday: I’ve mentioned before how much I loathe mascots and rejoice when something terrible happens to them. So I was equal parts horrified and delighted when my friend Emily shared a link to this site, which features page after page of Easter bunny mascots and children. It’s worth a look-see. I promise you’ll laugh.]