Columns, Opinion

KIRLAND: Christmas characters

I’m the kind of guy who gets tipsy on the first night of December and hangs Christmas decorations up in his anything-but-luxurious Allston apartment. I’m also the kind of guy who feels slightly bad when his roommates and their girlfriends quietly poke their heads out of bedroom doors and politely ask, ‘Billy, would you mind turning ‘Santa Baby’ down a little’hellip; and why are you in your boxers dancing on a chair?’ Consequently, I have to be the guy that explains that I got into my pajamas, turned on some great Christmas music and tried to make my average Allston apartment look like a Winter Wonderland.

My hyperbolic vignette may expose me as somewhat of a sap. I would like to state that I do not condone hanging up Christmas decorations in your boxers. However, I do encourage one to allow the Christmas spirit to infect him like the swine flu infects college students in cramped, overcrowded dormitories.

Not everyone shares my enthusiasm during the holiday season. That’s the reality of this cruel, cold world. I break a lot of things down into categories – which I come up with arbitrarily – so it only seems fitting that I categorize the different personalities that pop up during Christmastime. To help you, the reader, better understand the characteristics of each Christmas personality, I will name each group after a famous Christmas character.

The first personality group is the Clark Griswold group. This Christmas personality is the over-the-top, put-seven-million-lights-on-the-roof, drive-down-to-the-Appalachians-to-get-the-perfect-tree, drink-a-little-too-much-eggnog Christmas nut-job. People who have this Christmas personality don’t just embrace the Christmas spirit – they take the spirit and fly with it. When you run into a Clark Griswold at an office party, you’ll be able to spot him in the ridiculously ugly sweater – which he thinks is quite stylish this time of year – and a Santa hat he bought back in 1975. I’d suggest a couple Peppermint Schnapps shots if you plan on matching Griswold’s Christmas enthusiasm.

On the other side of the Christmas personality spectrum, you have the Grinch. If you thought Clark Griswold’s enthusiasm was annoying-the Grinch’s whining is much worse. The Grinch is the guy who shows up at whatever holiday party you’re at and talks about how much he hates snow and how commercial Christmas has gotten. When you ask him what his favorite Christmas song is, he lamely replies, ‘Christmas music? I’d rather listen to kittens dying. I hate Christmas music.’ His favorite Christmas movie is ‘Black Christmas’ – a movie in which an escaped maniac returns to his hometown and kills everyone in sight. If it were up to me, I’d schedule ultimate fighting matches between the Griswolds and Grinches across the globe.

The next Christmas personality is a classic – the Arnold Schwarzenegger from ‘Jingle All The Way’ personality. There’s not much to analyze here. People who fall into this group are mostly parents who go crazy looking for last minute gifts for their kids – you know, so Santa doesn’t have to get all the gifts. The people with the Arnold personality have trouble embracing the Christmas spirit because they’re too busy competing with other parents – like Sinbad – for products. The Grinch cites the struggle of the Arnold as yet another reason he hates Christmas and why he won’t have kids.

You might think a person in the Charlie Brown group might hang out with the Grinch, but that’s not true. Charlie Brown believes in Christmas even when things aren’t going his way – and if you’re in this group, things never go your way. Charlie might complain about how his dog’s gone commercial, but ol’ Chuck understands what Christmas is about. People who fall into this category might fall on their backs repeatedly after trying to kick a football-especially in the snow-but their internalized Christmas spirit always picks them up this time of year. And just to warn you, in their Christmas high, these people may mistake small twigs for Christmas trees.

Somewhat related to the Charlie Brown group is the Kevin McCallister personality group. The name of this group comes from the spunky, clever and entertaining main character in ‘Home Alone.’ This Christmas personality can be found in kids and adults-and anyone in between. People who belong to this crowd make the best out of bad situations. Hell, they might not even like the people with whom they spend Christmas, but you would never know. They find little mind games to play with themselves to get through-and most likely enjoy-Christmas.

The last Christmas personality I’ll talk about today is the Scott Calvin group. This is reference to ‘The Santa Clause,’ starring Tim Allen. The Scott Calvins are stressed during the first part of Christmastime. As it becomes closer and closer to Christmas, the Christmas spirit has a stronger and stronger influence on the Calvins. They don’t become a fat, jolly, white-haired Santa like Tim Allen, but it can be argued they become more like Santa Claus. Eventually, these people are reminded what Christmas is all about – and they end up mediating arguments between the Griswolds and Grinches.

Well, that does it for my column in 2009. I hope you all found some Christmas personality category that you can identify with. As for me, I think I’m somewhat of a Charlie Brown.

Oh, and on second thought, I take back what I said about dancing to ‘Santa Baby’ in your boxers. It’s Christmas and I think it’s perfectly acceptable to get so wrapped up in the Christmas spirit that you dance to Christmas tunes in your underwear. Your roommates should understand – unless they’re Grinches. If they are Grinches, give them a kick in the balls and tell them I say, ‘Merry Christmas!”

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