How To Not Be An Asshole This Holiday

how-the-grinch-stole-christmas-7Ahhh, the holidays! It’s the season of giving and it’s that time of year again where we scramble around looking for that perfect gift. While the holidays are meant to be joyous, unfortunately, there are Grinches out there who only care about themselves. I’m sure you’ve all seen the video footage of Black Friday shoppers who have been trampled, even killed, over something so trivial as a television. You would think that after living in New York for the past eighteen years I would be accustomed to such brash and disrespectful behavior, but I’m always stunned, not to mention sickened, at the thought of how disgusting people can be, especially around this time of year. I thought maybe I should school some of these sad individuals and express how I believe any normal human being should handle themselves during the holidays. Joy to the world, your reality check has come!

1. Always, always, always be kind.

A few days ago, while in a Rite Aid no less, I saw a woman picking out toys for a child. I had to do a double take a few moments later as another woman came right up to the other and snatched the toy out of her hand! Of course, a fight broke out. I don’t understand how someone has the audacity to do such a thing! We may not like when other people have things we wish to have, but that does not give us the right to snatch things out of their hands! I pity the child who receives a toy from that classless woman. It’s just a toy. Shop elsewhere.

2. Let’s be honest: nobody gives a shit about your pretentious annual holiday letter.

32615517We all know about the dreaded annual holiday letter. No matter how secure we feel about ourselves, getting those boastful announcements not only makes us want to poke our eyes out, but it also takes a huge toll on the whole “what am I doing with my life?” notion. For example:

“Oh what a blessed year it has been for my children and I. Nolan just graduated medical school and, just for fun, decided to go for a degree in business. Going to college is such a rewarding time in a young person’s life! Sarah is engaged to Michael, (the neurosurgeon) and by next year, I’m pretty sure they will be expecting their first child! She’s at the top of her company and she now drives a shiny new BMW! As for myself and my wonderful, caring husband Bill, we’re enjoying our 20th year of marriage by going to Paris this spring to renew our vows. We’ll sit out by the French Riviera while swans come up to us and peck the shit out of us. How lovely it is to be pretentious and in love! We are so blessed! Let us know how you guys are doing! We’d love to hear about your husband’s job loss and how he’s coping with that stigma. Is your daughter still unemployed? Lord bless her lazy soul. Maybe one day she’ll remember to take the road most populated. Happy Holidays! Love, Alison, Bill, Nolan, Sarah and Bella. (Woof, woof!)”

Yeah. Don’t be that asshole.

3. Give back, but don’t boast about it.

‘Tis the season to give back, but don’t be that asshole that tweets or Instagrams their good deeds to seem like a good person while all year you’ve been incredibly selfish and rude to the people around you. Giving comes from the heart. Eventually, karma comes around. Do good deeds because you want to make someone else happy, not because it will give you credibility.

4. Be thankful and spread holiday cheer.

menorah-christmas-ecard-someecardsPersonally, I am so sick and tired of hearing about how everybody finds every single thing to be offensive, especially if someone else means well. For example: you know those people who refuse to say Merry Christmas because they themselves don’t celebrate it? Well guess what? I don’t celebrate Hanukkah, but if my friends are Jewish, that’s what I will wish them. In elementary school, I had a friend who was Muslim. Even though she didn’t celebrate Christmas, she gave every single kid in our class a Christmas card. Me at the time being too young to understand any of the nonsense of this world, used to say Merry Christmas to her and she would say it back. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, that’s fine. But if somebody wishes you a Merry Christmas, don’t be that asshole that says “I don’t celebrate Christmas and I find it offensive that you think that I do!” Just smile, and say thank you. Nobody is attacking you so get off your high horse and realize that people are only trying to be nice. Sometimes I think children are a lot more grown up than adults.

5. Do not refuse a gift.

Don’t be that asshole that proclaims how much they don’t like their gift while handing it back to it’s sender. If you can’t see how rude this is, then I feel sorry for you.

6. Do not ask the price of a gift.

Price does not matter. It is the thought that counts. Which brings me to my next point…

7. Do not be half-assed.

j22sJSome people do their holiday shopping at the last minute. Stop! Take time out of your Facebook stalking schedule and go search for gifts you wouldn’t feel like a shithead giving someone. I know it’s the thought that counts, as mentioned above, and sadly not many people put much thought into anything their iPhone doesn’t tell them, but if you put down your phone and do things the old-fashioned way, you might have a little fun. Okay so maybe you’re obligated to buy gifts for people you don’t exactly like. Dazzle them anyway. I learned this from my mother who year after year buys presents for the co-workers that step all over her all year long with minimal pay. Her gifts stun the whole office and she has ways of saving tons of money by sprucing up something so tiny as a $3.99 candle holder.

8. Send cards out!

Okay so I’m not saying that if you don’t send out Christmas cards you are an asshole, but I just get so into writing out cards and I wind up feeling like a jackass when people just ignore them. I get it – people are busy and have lives, unlike me, but if I can take the time out of my music obsessing, rant writing and blogging, then you certainly can too. Even an e-card can be thoughtful…I guess. I just really love paper, okay?

9. Don’t insult the life choices, or emotional pain, of others.

As a 25 year old unemployed writer from Brooklyn, its hard to get lost in the stereotypical cliche of my situation. While a lot of us are struggling with the stigma of feeling inadequate and useless, that doesn’t make it okay for others to patronize us. On the outside, we may seem fine with how our lives are going, but honestly, its worse than you could ever imagine. I’ve noticed that any time I find something to brighten up about, it quickly gets shattered by the negativity around me. Instead of suggesting alcohol to numb the pain of our existence, maybe a hug might do the trick. Be kind, for all of us are fighting a battle of our own.

10. Do not insult the religious beliefs of others.

The intolerance for religion these days astounds me. Don’t believe in it? That’s perfectly fine. But do not insult someone’s beliefs and go into a whole debacle about how much you disagree with it. Religion is meant to be a personal thing, at least it is for me. I don’t want to hear (especially at this point in my life) that what I’m praying for or believing in is nonsense. Guess what? I used to feel the same way and I used to be just like you, spewing my ignorance around those who do believe. Things have changed for me and I hope they do for you.

Maybe this blog makes me look like an asshole. But if I’m considered an asshole for telling people not to be assholes, then who’s the asshole here? That’s right, kids! The person who has done all of these offenses and can’t own up to it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays! Whatever you celebrate, I hope it’s a good one! ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’re feeling sassy this holiday, maybe this book will be a nice gifting option! ๐Ÿ˜›

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Assholes: A Theory by Aaron James

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…and a Happy New Year.

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