Christmas, from Now On

From 1989 to 1991, I was involved with a series of Christmas shows as part of a performance troupe called “Citrus Singers”, and I always hated the title of the show. It was called, simply “Christmas is…” and then the year, so my second year it was “Christmas is… 1990”. I understood what they were doing, they were saying “You fill in the blank, you create the magical dream that *is* what Christmas *is* for *you*…” But for me, it ended up reading exactly the way it looks. Like “Christmas is 1990”, that Christmas is the gift of the year 1990. And I gotta tell you, those years weren’t exactly gifts to me, so it seemed like total crap.

The thing is, Christmas does mean something different to a lot of people. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I found out that Christmas meant Chinese food and a movie for all my Jewish friends. I don’t know what I thought they did on Christmas, but it didn’t occur to me for a second that there would be people missing out on the gigantic pile of greed and sloth that is Christmas in my family, with a ceiling scraping tree and an entire room dedicated to presents. I was so dizzied by how frickin’ awesome kid-Christmas is that it took me years to realize it wasn’t just a grab bag of gluttony.

But here’s the thing. Christmas does mean different things to different people, even among those who celebrate it. For most people, there are carollers, or they go to church and hear the songs. For a lot of people, it’s the TV specials, the claymation thingies with Rudolph and “I want to be a dentist!” and Mr. Heat-miser and stuff. And I’m not at all under-selling the fact that for a majority of people, the holiday is about promise, about the fact that in every little baby child there is the chance for greatness that can change the history of the world. Even for non-believers, the Christ-story has such significance because at birth, this little thing, this baby, was powerless and simple, born in the humblest of circumstances with only the shepherds and donkeys there to watch. From this tiny moment would come, if not the redemption of the world, then one of the wisest and strongest souls to ever set foot on our planet.


Y’know what Christmas means to me? MONEY.

Look, I’ve spent my life, since I was a kid, I’ve spent my entire life as a performer. And Christmas is when everyone wants a performance. You know that cartoon, that clamation thing? People got some *ROYALTIES* on that mother fucker, tell you what. You know how you go to your country club and hear that amazing group of carollers sing “Little Drummer Boy” and “Hark How The Bells”? Those carollers have sung those songs ONE THOUSAND TIMES, and every fricking “brum-pum” the tenors coo means money in their pockets.

Seriously, I know that there are no atheists in foxholes and there are no hungry homeless on Thanksgiving, but there are also no unemployed artists at Christmas. If you aren’t working at Christmas, then you just don’t want the work. If you spend all year in your studio writing 12 tone cycles decrying the war, then just chill out for a minute, pick a key and write a song about missing your soldier boy. You will find yourself with an extra 1200 dollars a year in royalties. If you spend all year at the gym, getting up at 6 in the morning for your EPA audition and saving your pennies for new headshots, then come November, go to every regional Christmas show audition. You’ll find yourself in Dayton playing Bob Cratchet.

Now, I’m a softie. Just because Christmas means work doesn’t mean I’m not still moved by the miracle and all that. I am, and I’m sure over the course of the next week or so, that will totally leak out. Jordana asked me, on our first date, what my favorite story was as a child, and I told her it was the story of Christ’s birth. Now, fortunately, I can say that, as an ardent atheist and asshole, it becomes a “Nixon Goes To China” kind of thing. Most people say that on a first date and the Jewish girl would be all “I forgot something in the car… Or rather, I have to take the car to where the thing is that I forgot and it’s, um, in another city… where I will be living… from now on…” But fortunately, I had already been plenty obnoxious, so it just came across as a moment of sweetness in a lifetime of assininity.

Yeah. Assininity. What?

Anyway, I’m gonna take the next several posts to write about Christmas. It’s the only way I know how to do this, so I’m doing it this way. In the end, I don’t know how much of this will be useful, but I have discovered that when I write by myself, absolutely nothing comes out. When I write on this blog, not only is an inner censor on (the censor that tries to cut out “boring” stuff, rather than “offensive” stuff) but I also seem to actually write. I’m a horrible narcissist, if nobody’s paying attention, I just don’t see the point.