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St. Nick is DEAD

dcfaithfuldcfaithful Posts: 13,076
edited November 2007 in All Encompassing Trip
Hello all, i'm 19 and a modern day scrooge.

Every year I sit back and analyze what Christmas has become in America, and maybe further beyond that. I feel more and more embarassed about how bad everyone has milked christmas for money when I see the same thing when I walk into every department store, grocery store,and suprisingly enough, banks.

Money and gifts. Now I know the tradition has always been to give gifts, and I've enjoyed it for the longest time, but I'm tired of ads that guilt people into buying the best gift, or spending the most money. Jewelers are the WORST, saying shit like "If you really love her, you'll get her..." Have we really let the almighty dollar and all these materialistic goods warp our minds so badly that we forget why Christmas is so important. To me, gifts have been backseated to what I really care about during the holiday season, my friends and family.

I'm on my own, and I don't have a lot of money, so I am forced to take a cheap way out on Christmas, I don't go without getting a little something to show my appreciation to those that are closest to me, but to frank, I'm about burnt out on feeling like a royal asshole for considering to turn all my gifts into one, my gift of having an open door and telephone so anyone can drop in and/call whenever they feel like it. Everyone lives busy lives these days and the one thing I wish for is that people could forget about what gift to buy and cook a dinner or light a fire and invite everyone over to hang out and shoot the shit.

I hope I'm not the only one when I say that the real joy of Christmas keeps getting overlooked.
7/2/06 - Denver, CO
6/12/08 - Tampa, FL
8/23/09 - Chicago, IL
9/28/09 - Salt Lake City, UT (11 years too long!!!)
9/03/11 - East Troy, WI - PJ20 - Night 1
9/04/11 - East Troy, WI - PJ20 - Night 2
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Comments

  • soulsingingsoulsinging Posts: 13,211
    "diamonds... that'll shut her up."

    but you describe why i like thanksgiving so much better than xmas. thanksgiving, the family just comes over and we chill and watch football and have a nice meal. xmas is always so stressful... the money, gifts, travelling. i hate it.
  • audiodaveaudiodave Posts: 1,623
    So don't overlook it. Look at what Christmas means to you, and enjoy it that way. To hell with what the rest of the nation are doing. I still maintain that most people are idiots, but that doesn't mean you have to emulate what they are doing.

    Christmas stopped being about "things" a long time ago for me. Sure, I still give gifts as I enjoy buying things for people, but that's not what it's about. My family lives all over the place, and it's very rare I get to see them all in one place. That's what it is about for me. Spending a few days (too few) with my family, and having a good time. I am very lucky to have been blessed with a truly awesome family who I actually like spending time with, so I look forward to Christmas a LOT, purely for this reason.
    ~AKA Dave-of-the-dead~

    I don't wanna think, I wanna feel

    Dublin 23/08/06 Lisbon I 04/09/06 Lisbon II 05/09/06 Paris 11/09/06 Verona 16/09/06

    London 18/06/07 Dusseldorf 21/06/07 Copenhagen 26/06/07 Nijmegen 28/06/07
  • in our family we love buying gifts... if ever one of us is broke though we just apologise in advance and say we're not gonna be able to get much this year... and that's fine, never been any kinda problem at all. People still spend what they'd normally spend though. I love getting surprises for them though, I've so much fun christmas shopping cos it's all about even thinking about people and what they might like. it's never about the amount but how much thought ya put into it.
    The Astoria??? Orgazmic!
    Verona??? it's all surmountable
    Dublin 23.08.06 "The beauty of Ireland, right there!"
    Wembley? We all believe!
    Copenhagen?? your light made us stars
    Chicago 07? And love
    What a different life
    Had I not found this love with you
  • They say the blood diamonds are so extra sparkly...

    Must be from all that delicious death and suffering.

    Regular diamonds are so yesterday...

    It doesn't really feel special unless at least five exploited minorities have suffered and died hideous deaths for each of my cheezy baubles.

    Which reminds me I should call the jewelers...
    Progress is not made by everyone joining some new fad,
    and reveling in it's loyalty. It's made by forming coalitions
    over specific principles, goals, and policies.

    http://i36.tinypic.com/66j31x.jpg

    (\__/)
    ( o.O)
    (")_(")
  • audiodave wrote:
    So don't overlook it. Look at what Christmas means to you, and enjoy it that way. To hell with what the rest of the nation are doing. I still maintain that most people are idiots, but that doesn't mean you have to emulate what they are doing.

    Christmas stopped being about "things" a long time ago for me. Sure, I still give gifts as I enjoy buying things for people, but that's not what it's about. My family lives all over the place, and it's very rare I get to see them all in one place. That's what it is about for me. Spending a few days (too few) with my family, and having a good time. I am very lucky to have been blessed with a truly awesome family who I actually like spending time with, so I look forward to Christmas a LOT, purely for this reason.
    excellent post... I love the shopping but I appreciate others dont. I think there was one year where I was getting a wee bit stressed so I said it... that I'm not enjoying the shopping and if I don't find something soon they'll be getting something small and they're always understanding and say 'just leave it altogether then' cos for me it's as much about buying the gifts than receiving them and luckily it's the same for my family. If it stresses ya out, stop! If people don't understand, well that's their problem... they've forgotten the true meaning. I love the getting together and spending a good 10 days at home with my family, getting drunk together, eating so much we're all fit to burst... and just spending time together... it's such a magical time of the year.
    The Astoria??? Orgazmic!
    Verona??? it's all surmountable
    Dublin 23.08.06 "The beauty of Ireland, right there!"
    Wembley? We all believe!
    Copenhagen?? your light made us stars
    Chicago 07? And love
    What a different life
    Had I not found this love with you
  • Urban HikerUrban Hiker Posts: 1,312
    I no longer do holidays, Christmas in particular.

    I proposed to my family that we just hang and enjoy each others' company and maybe get gifts for families in need, but my family declined. They are much happier competing for the "Best Gift Giver" title. :rolleyes: :(

    This year I will enjoy the lights and festivities without the stress of shopping. :D
    Walking can be a real trip
    ***********************
    "We've laid the groundwork. It's like planting the seeds. And next year, it's spring." - Nader
    ***********************
    Prepare for tending to your garden, America.
  • nuffingmannuffingman Posts: 3,014
    I agree with your comments. It's the same over here. Christmas advertising in the shops in September, encouragement to spend more than you can afford. Enormous credit card debts all round. The true meaning has been flushed down the toilet in exchange for making a few quid or dollars.

    And I'm sorry but the US really pisses me off regarding Christmas. 25 December is Christmas day so that time of year is Christmas. When I was in the States for Christmas in 2002 all we heard was "happy holidays" wherever we went. So some people aren't christians but why should it not be mentioned because of them. Fuck 'em, they don't hide the names of their religious festivals. :mad:
  • dunkmandunkman Posts: 19,646
    I proposed to my family that we just hang and enjoy each others' company and maybe get gifts for families in need, but my family declined.

    i'd decline as well... awful idea
    oh scary... 40000 morbidly obese christians wearing fanny packs invading europe is probably the least scariest thing since I watched an edited version of The Care Bears movie in an extremely brightly lit cinema.
  • dunkmandunkman Posts: 19,646
    i hate how hippies and people with beards take the fun out of christmas and other things.


    ooohhhh people in India have nothing and here we are eating a turkey and playing with our new iPods...

    i couldnt give a fuck about them...

    its christmas, i'm having a good time with my family, some drinks, some nice food.. no government inititative will ever stop me calling it Christmas... it'll never become Winter Lights for me or Happy Holidays.. never.

    but yes hippies bore me
    oh scary... 40000 morbidly obese christians wearing fanny packs invading europe is probably the least scariest thing since I watched an edited version of The Care Bears movie in an extremely brightly lit cinema.
  • dunkman wrote:
    i'd decline as well... awful idea
    :o me too! If ya wanna buy gifts for strangers you can do that too... but I like buying for my family and I like having them buy for me. I still spend what I want to spend and buy what I think they'd like... not what the marketing people urge me to do.
    The Astoria??? Orgazmic!
    Verona??? it's all surmountable
    Dublin 23.08.06 "The beauty of Ireland, right there!"
    Wembley? We all believe!
    Copenhagen?? your light made us stars
    Chicago 07? And love
    What a different life
    Had I not found this love with you
  • audiodaveaudiodave Posts: 1,623
    I am not, have never been, and never will be a Christian. No one in my family is the slightest bit religious, but for us it isn't about the religion. It's just like I said...about spending time together. People really need to decide what Christmas means to them personally, instead of just going with what everyone else says it should mean.

    I agree with what you are saying Helen. No one in my family really has a lot of money, so we've started doing a secret santa thing within the family (it never stays secret though). Basically, we all buy for one person and spend a set amount, and that way it works out cheaper for everyone. Do we get fewer presents? Yes. Does it matter? No, because we're not five years old anymore.
    ~AKA Dave-of-the-dead~

    I don't wanna think, I wanna feel

    Dublin 23/08/06 Lisbon I 04/09/06 Lisbon II 05/09/06 Paris 11/09/06 Verona 16/09/06

    London 18/06/07 Dusseldorf 21/06/07 Copenhagen 26/06/07 Nijmegen 28/06/07
  • Ms. HaikuMs. Haiku Washington DCPosts: 7,077
    Oddly enough I just started to listen to my Christmas CDs this morning :)

    I love the holiday season! I love the potential joy, the inspired calm of the winter solstice, the lights, the beauty, the vacation days . . .

    I don't mind giving gifts. I like it when I plan enough in advance to make stuff like needlepointed gifts. One time my parents received their 2001 gift and 2006 gift in 2006. They were needlepointed items, and they were ok with the delay. I gave them a good chuckle :D Next year everyone's getting SOCKS! I just learned how to knit them.

    If I find that I don't know a person well enough to give a good gift then I buy a giftcard, my oldest niece and nephew are who inspired this. If I feel obligated to buy a gift I reevaluate why I feel that way. It usually is that I don't feel I could buy a gift worthy of my pride just because I don't know the person. Time for a giftcard! I don't buy for my brother and his wife, or my sister and her husband, just their kids. Of course, next year, everyone is getting a pair of hand knit socks even the adults. My twin on the other hand, I needlepoint stuff, and I buy gift cards for their kids. The kids like giftcards, and I sigh with relief knowing this ;)

    As far as lack of money for buying stuff, lots of us have been in the same situation. You just do what you can and organize a potluck Christmas Caroling instead :) Really, you do what you can, and just enjoy the day of joy, you know.

    When I hear people complain about all the gifts they have to buy I think they lost something along the way. It's the season of wonder and fattening foods to be enjoyed!
    There is no such thing as leftover pizza. There is now pizza and later pizza. - anonymous
    The risk I took was calculated, but man, am I bad at math - The Mincing Mockingbird
  • Urban HikerUrban Hiker Posts: 1,312
    dunkman wrote:
    i'd decline as well... awful idea


    I disagree. I've seen my mom's credit card statement and my stepdad no longer contributes to his 401k, because he needs all the cash he can get to keep up with his credit card payments. Yet they spend HUNDREDS of dollars on Christmas gifts for their adult children.

    It's senseless.

    Besides, I've seen the joy on people's faces when handing over socks and a used vacuum cleaner as charitible gifts. Things people truly need. It feels a lot more helpful than handing my stepdad another Home Depot gift card to use on more tools he will never use.

    If my parents weren't in such debt and it weren't handled like a competition, I'd be more inclined to participate in the gift exchange.
    Walking can be a real trip
    ***********************
    "We've laid the groundwork. It's like planting the seeds. And next year, it's spring." - Nader
    ***********************
    Prepare for tending to your garden, America.
  • audiodave wrote:
    I am not, have never been, and never will be a Christian. No one in my family is the slightest bit religious, but for us it isn't about the religion. It's just like I said...about spending time together. People really need to decide what Christmas means to them personally, instead of just going with what everyone else says it should mean.

    I agree with what you are saying Helen. No one in my family really has a lot of money, so we've started doing a secret santa thing within the family (it never stays secret though). Basically, we all buy for one person and spend a set amount, and that way it works out cheaper for everyone. Do we get fewer presents? Yes. Does it matter? No, because we're not five years old anymore.
    we're not religious either... but I think Christmas tends to bring out the religion in me... cos I see what it's all about. And this is how life should be all the time. Families spending time with eachother and enjoying eachothers company should not just be once a year. It's the only time of the year I actually WANT to go to mass :o I suppose in a way cos I'm more thankful for what I have than usual.
    The Astoria??? Orgazmic!
    Verona??? it's all surmountable
    Dublin 23.08.06 "The beauty of Ireland, right there!"
    Wembley? We all believe!
    Copenhagen?? your light made us stars
    Chicago 07? And love
    What a different life
    Had I not found this love with you
  • I disagree. I've seen my mom's credit card statement and my stepdad no longer contributes to his 401k, because he needs all the cash he can get to keep up with his credit card payments. Yet they spend HUNDREDS of dollars on Christmas gifts for their adult children.

    It's senseless.

    Besides, I've seen the joy on people's faces when handing over socks and a used vacuum cleaner as charitible gifts. Things people truly need. It feels a lot more helpful than handing my stepdad another Home Depot gift card to use on more tools he will never use.

    If my parents weren't in such debt and it weren't handled like a competition, I'd be more inclined to participate in the gift exchange.

    See your last sentence... that's the most important bit. Your parents ARE missing the point. Nobody needs to break the bank in order to get thoughtful gifts. Christmas is NOT about competition.
    The Astoria??? Orgazmic!
    Verona??? it's all surmountable
    Dublin 23.08.06 "The beauty of Ireland, right there!"
    Wembley? We all believe!
    Copenhagen?? your light made us stars
    Chicago 07? And love
    What a different life
    Had I not found this love with you
  • Ms. HaikuMs. Haiku Washington DCPosts: 7,077
    The best gift I received was a took kit in 1990 with baby blue handles on the tools. On the case was etched "Toolkit for her." Those tools will never end up lost.
    There is no such thing as leftover pizza. There is now pizza and later pizza. - anonymous
    The risk I took was calculated, but man, am I bad at math - The Mincing Mockingbird
  • nuffingmannuffingman Posts: 3,014
    It's the only time of the year I actually WANT to go to mass :o I suppose in a way cos I'm more thankful for what I have than usual.
    Most of the people that head into a church for midnight Mass round here have been in the pub for the last 6 hours and think it's the village Panto :)
  • dunkmandunkman Posts: 19,646
    I disagree. I've seen my mom's credit card statement and my stepdad no longer contributes to his 401k, because he needs all the cash he can get to keep up with his credit card payments. Yet they spend HUNDREDS of dollars on Christmas gifts for their adult children.

    It's senseless.

    that only highlights an inability of your family to handle their finances properly.. it doesn't mean xmas should be about buying a donkey for some family in Stanistan..

    we buy for all my family, my mum and dad, and my nieces and nephews.. i dont go into debt.

    its quite simple really... spend within your means


    Besides, I've seen the joy on people's faces when handing over socks and a used vacuum cleaner as charitible gifts. Things people truly need. It feels a lot more helpful than handing my stepdad another Home Depot gift card to use on more tools he will never use.

    do that on the other 364 days of the year.. but leave xmas day as it is... i give a charitable donation from my monthly wage.. i also do the Operation Xmas Child Shoebox every year... but i refuse to have my kids receive a scabby plastic doll and a slightly tired goldfish for their xmas... it just aint gonna happen... so while your idea is altruistic and Utopian.. 95% of the populace just aint gonna buy it... which is ironic as they'll buy pretty much anything else
    oh scary... 40000 morbidly obese christians wearing fanny packs invading europe is probably the least scariest thing since I watched an edited version of The Care Bears movie in an extremely brightly lit cinema.
  • nuffingman wrote:
    Most of the people that head into a church for midnight Mass round here have been in the pub for the last 6 hours and think it's the village Panto : )
    :D that's usually why I don't actually go... cos once we have everything finished Christmas eve (I also love all the team work and that feeling when you know everything's ready and it's time now to sit down and start relaxing together... that there's nothing more to be done except enjoy the fruit of your labour for the next few days :) ) we get completely hammered :eek: but we're not making that mistake anymore... cos last Christmas day we were all WAY too hungover :D and kept having to take naps and couldn't really eat... didn't touch a drop of alcohol until about 8pm :eek: and that was only maybe a bottle of wine.
    The Astoria??? Orgazmic!
    Verona??? it's all surmountable
    Dublin 23.08.06 "The beauty of Ireland, right there!"
    Wembley? We all believe!
    Copenhagen?? your light made us stars
    Chicago 07? And love
    What a different life
    Had I not found this love with you
  • audiodaveaudiodave Posts: 1,623
    we're not religious either... but I think Christmas tends to bring out the religion in me... cos I see what it's all about. And this is how life should be all the time. Families spending time with eachother and enjoying eachothers company should not just be once a year. It's the only time of the year I actually WANT to go to mass :o I suppose in a way cos I'm more thankful for what I have than usual.
    There's not an ounce of what most people would call religion in me. There are a lot of things that I believe in very strongly, but they are very personal to me.

    I agree that we should embrace the things we do at Christmas all year round. I try to. Being good to other people, giving, togetherness...whatever! If I want to buy someone a gift, then there doesn't need to be an occasion. I do spend time with my family a lot, whenever I can, but it's usually only with parts of it. It's very rare we're all in the same place, so that's why Christmas is important to me.
    ~AKA Dave-of-the-dead~

    I don't wanna think, I wanna feel

    Dublin 23/08/06 Lisbon I 04/09/06 Lisbon II 05/09/06 Paris 11/09/06 Verona 16/09/06

    London 18/06/07 Dusseldorf 21/06/07 Copenhagen 26/06/07 Nijmegen 28/06/07
  • nuffingmannuffingman Posts: 3,014
    Ms. Haiku wrote:
    The best gift I received was a took kit in 1990 with baby blue handles on the tools. On the case was etched "Toolkit for her." Those tools will never end up lost.
    What a wonderful world it would be if everyone was as contented as you. :)
  • audiodave wrote:
    There's not an ounce of what most people would call religion in me. There are a lot of things that I believe in very strongly, but they are very personal to me.

    I agree that we should embrace the things we do at Christmas all year round. I try to. Being good to other people, giving, togetherness...whatever! If I want to buy someone a gift, then there doesn't need to be an occasion. I do spend time with my family a lot, whenever I can, but it's usually only with parts of it. It's very rare we're all in the same place, so that's why Christmas is important to me.
    yeh, I love buying random gifts for people... if I see something I think someone would I like, I get it and give it to them and it's always cool seeing the reaction.

    I don't think wanting to go to mass on Christmas eve is even so much about the religion for me... more about sharing the love BEYOND your family. We used to go to christmas eve mass every year and it was sooooo beautiful, especially if there was snow. ALL the families getting together and talking to all your friends afterwards and pretty much everyone and just saying 'happy christmas' as you head home to cut the first slices of turkey for hot turkey sandwiches :D and then off to bed in your brand new pj's :)
    The Astoria??? Orgazmic!
    Verona??? it's all surmountable
    Dublin 23.08.06 "The beauty of Ireland, right there!"
    Wembley? We all believe!
    Copenhagen?? your light made us stars
    Chicago 07? And love
    What a different life
    Had I not found this love with you
  • Ms. HaikuMs. Haiku Washington DCPosts: 7,077
    nuffingman wrote:
    What a wonderful world it would be if everyone was as contented as you. :)
    *blush* Thanks!

    You want to know content?! It's all about lying on the floor and just staring at the ceiling fan go around and around and around. Now, there's contentment for ya! (I know this personally :D)
    There is no such thing as leftover pizza. There is now pizza and later pizza. - anonymous
    The risk I took was calculated, but man, am I bad at math - The Mincing Mockingbird
  • nuffingman wrote:
    What a wonderful world it would be if everyone was as contented as you. :)
    :eek: I got my sister a pink tool box for Christmas last year. I thought there was pink tools in it though which would have been even better but unfortunately ya had to buy them separately... I shoulda realised it was pretty light :rolleyes:

    And she loved it :)
    The Astoria??? Orgazmic!
    Verona??? it's all surmountable
    Dublin 23.08.06 "The beauty of Ireland, right there!"
    Wembley? We all believe!
    Copenhagen?? your light made us stars
    Chicago 07? And love
    What a different life
    Had I not found this love with you
  • Urban HikerUrban Hiker Posts: 1,312
    dunkman wrote:
    ... so while your idea is altruistic and Utopian.. 95% of the populace just aint gonna buy it... which is ironic as they'll buy pretty much anything else

    LOL. Seriously, thanks for the laugh. It's so true.

    BTW, I don't have kids, leaving me with an extra soft spot for those trees with the tags from kids who are asking for socks as X-mas gifts. Kids deserve a good Christmas.
    dunkman wrote:
    that only highlights an inability of your family to handle their finances properly..

    And I can't in good conscience be a part of them destroying their financial future. I had to bow out things with the in-laws too. My mother in-law skips paying all of her bills in December to pay for Hanakkah. It's crazy.

    I'm sure there are a good number of people having healthy, happy, financially sound holidays, but there are a lot of folks with bad spending habits caving into commercialism and that's the part that bums me out.

    So, again, that's why I bowed out of the family bit to instead enjoy the lights and all of the holiday festivities. I live in the city, so it will be all around me. :D
    Walking can be a real trip
    ***********************
    "We've laid the groundwork. It's like planting the seeds. And next year, it's spring." - Nader
    ***********************
    Prepare for tending to your garden, America.
  • Ms. Haiku wrote:
    Oddly enough I just started to listen to my Christmas CDs this morning :)

    I love the holiday season! I love the potential joy, the inspired calm of the winter solstice, the lights, the beauty, the vacation days . . .


    When I hear people complain about all the gifts they have to buy I think they lost something along the way. It's the season of wonder and fattening foods to be enjoyed!
    I love the holiday season, too, and for similar reasons as you. Christmas has always been a huge event for my family. I have so many incredible memories of Christmas - watching Christmas movies, putting on the Christmas music, trekking in four feet of snow to get a Christmas tree, decorating the house and tree, playing Christmas carols on the piano, Christmas baking, etc. ... all as a family. I loved my Christmas traditions as a child, and I continue them now that I'm grown up.
    No time to be void or save up on life. You got to spend it all.
  • nuffingmannuffingman Posts: 3,014
    Ms. Haiku wrote:
    *blush* Thanks!

    You want to know content?! It's all about lying on the floor and just staring at the ceiling fan go around and around and around. Now, there's contentment for ya! (I know this personally :D)
    :eek: Do you put something odd in those cakes you bake?
  • soulsingingsoulsinging Posts: 13,211
    in our family we love buying gifts... if ever one of us is broke though we just apologise in advance and say we're not gonna be able to get much this year... and that's fine, never been any kinda problem at all. People still spend what they'd normally spend though. I love getting surprises for them though, I've so much fun christmas shopping cos it's all about even thinking about people and what they might like. it's never about the amount but how much thought ya put into it.

    another weird diff between men and women. every girl i know LOVES buying gifts for people for xmas. i've never spoken to a guy who was happy about it.
  • another weird diff between men and women. every girl i know LOVES buying gifts for people for xmas. i've never spoken to a guy who was happy about it.
    my brother buys the best pressies... he loves shopping. although most of the men at work get their wives to do it :D
    The Astoria??? Orgazmic!
    Verona??? it's all surmountable
    Dublin 23.08.06 "The beauty of Ireland, right there!"
    Wembley? We all believe!
    Copenhagen?? your light made us stars
    Chicago 07? And love
    What a different life
    Had I not found this love with you
  • soulsingingsoulsinging Posts: 13,211
    nuffingman wrote:
    I agree with your comments. It's the same over here. Christmas advertising in the shops in September, encouragement to spend more than you can afford. Enormous credit card debts all round. The true meaning has been flushed down the toilet in exchange for making a few quid or dollars.

    And I'm sorry but the US really pisses me off regarding Christmas. 25 December is Christmas day so that time of year is Christmas. When I was in the States for Christmas in 2002 all we heard was "happy holidays" wherever we went. So some people aren't christians but why should it not be mentioned because of them. Fuck 'em, they don't hide the names of their religious festivals. :mad:

    christmas day is christmas. but the hooplah surrounding it is the holidays. there are about 6 in a one-month span. so happy holidays is plenty accurate and the celebrations formerly tied only to chrismtas (trees and santa, etc) have become completely secular. rudolph, frosty, etc are just part of american culture and have nothing to do with any given tradition.

    that said, say christmas if you want. i don't care. i say happy holidays cos i don't know what holiday they're going to be celebrating and im wishing THEM a happy whatever holiday they celebrate, not the one i do. the analogy i used before was birthdays... you don't wish peope happy birthday on YOUR birthday becos that's what you celebrate. you acknowledge THEIR birthday and wish them well on it. i feel the same with the holidays around here. but i'd sure as hell not be offended if you wanna wish me merry xmas.
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