Christmas Freak

The merriest corner of the Internet

Category: General Festive Freakouts

Shopping Malls

It’s so gauche to like malls these days. Why? They contain the entirety of Christmas, broken down into its individual components and displayed year-round—gifts, cinnamon buns, cards, ribbons, fancy paper—only pre-wrapped and not free. While everyone else is going on a hike or engaging in intellectual activity this weekend, I’ll be gliding across the white tile floors of my local mall without shame. I’ll be sampling all of the perfume in the department store and sitting in the massage chairs at Brookstone for as long as I desire and riding the escalators up and down and up and down. The best parts of life are the ones that bring us pleasure.


Twisted Pajama Bottoms

They get wedged in the crook of my chimney flue, if you catch my drift.

Meg Ryan

was probably born in a cable-knit sweater. When she takes off her sweater, there’s nothing underneath except softer, more exquisite cable-knit sweaters. I’m not sure where she is or what she’s doing, but I hope she’s curled up on the couch, tired after a long day of dragging her Christmas tree down Broadway and up the stairs of her little apartment, and now that it’s done, she admires it and sighs nostalgically, gazing out the window at the snow falling outside. Maybe she spots a star and wishes on it: When, oh, when will I find my sweater soulmate? Eternally cozy Meg.

The Back of the Tree


This is a divisive subject, one that might ruffle some partridge feathers, but I’ll just come out with it because here at Christmas Freak we don’t shy away from the tough issues: Does it really need to be decorated? I think of it as the tree’s built-in spare room, existing solely for excess tinsel storage. If I’m feeling particularly sentimental, I’ll hang a sad, bottom-of-the-box ornament on a rear branch, but I otherwise concentrate my efforts on the front of the tree because this is the 21st century and I’m too busy Google street viewing the North Pole to worry myself with formalities.

Grocery Stores

Guest post today at Eat Genius!

I confess. I go to the grocery store every day—sometimes twice a day, sometimes to different stores to pick up items that cannot be found in the same place, sometimes to the same store to pick up an additional item or to merely meander the aisles and admire the gleaming abundance, in which case I like to dress appropriately in long johns and a belted sweater coat that best approximates a robe, for everyone knows that grocery stores are the everyday proxies for Christmas morning.

One must always use a cart in a grocery store. I like to glide beneath the fluorescent lights, feeling the fine mist from the vegetable section collect on my eyelashes as I pass. I breeze through the mountains of produce, gleaming with ripeness, as though the bounty of the world has been harvested, boxed, and presented to me in a lavish display of gifts. I fill my sleigh with exotic and out-of-season fruits—a purple banana, a celebratory pineapple; the height of true luxury. I sample all of the cheeses in the dairy section, sometimes taking seconds if no one is paying attention, and fantasize about fireplaces stacked with logs of charcuterie, mantles strung with bulk food dispensers; elves noshing on microgreens and tempeh, while a frost blooms over the freezer section windows. In the distance, a row of checkout scanners bleeps the beginning of an almost recognizable Christmas carol.

Heavy Paper Stock

and a snug envelope and a ballpoint pen ripe enough to turn punctuation into heartfelt blots and misspelled words into beautiful cursive. Put on a baggy sweater and write someone a note under the dim light of your desk lamp, then fall asleep dreaming of wintery nights in shades of brilliant white and ivory linen, pearl cotton and classic cream; a line of watermarks barely visible beneath the snow.


Not to be a grinch, but

February is the worst. If the month had a soundtrack, it would consist of nothing more than a series of long, slow moans. The only people who enjoy this time of year are those who have February birthdays, which is selfish. Why must you ruin our pity party with cheerful festivities celebrating the great miracle of life while everyone else is trudging through the slush muttering pejoratives at no one in particular because the weather conditions are too extreme to risk raising one’s head and being pummeled by sleet and rain?

In my opinion, the best way to get through this dark time is to embrace your inner Grinch. Ironically, the more I ponder him, the more he cheers me up. He’s so flexible! I love how he looks like a sly old grandma in his santa suit. And his little eggplant top shoulder shrug and peapod shoes! He does what he wants and doesn’t let anyone brighten his day until he’s ready. He knows that sometimes in order to feel better you first have to feel worse. Here are a few of my favorite Grinch-sults to supe up your February arsenal:

Your heart’s a dead tomato squashed with moldy purple spots!

Your heart is full of unwashed socks!

You have termites in your smile!

Your brain is full of spiders, you’ve got garlic in your soul!

You’re as charming as an eel!

You’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel!


Am I the only person left in the world who still likes airports? I find them festive regardless of the season, and no one can convince me otherwise. I like taking off my shoes before entering the x-ray machine because it gives me an excuse to show off my socks. I like duty-free shopping, and how at any moment I can pop in and buy a Toblerone the size of my arm, and if I start eating it a few hours later while waiting at my gate, no one will look at me askance because anything is fair game at the airport. I like wandering the terminals, searching for the cheapest bottle of water. It’s important to challenge one’s brain from time to time. I even like the food. In the airport, it’s less about quality and more about quantity–the best treat is the one that takes the longest to eat, thus keeping you occupied. I try to get as many small, individually wrapped items as possible, and eat them over an extended period of time, treating them like hors d’oeuvres. But most of all, I like seeing entire families forced to sit together for hours on end, their luggage piled around them like gifts, the floor scattered with chips and spent Cinnabon boxes. Togetherness in its most raw form. Isn’t that part of what the holidays are all about?


Christmas Tree Graveyards



The Crappy Part of the Nutcracker


Blasphemy! I know, I know. I adore the Nutcracker so much that I always forget how much of a snoozer most of the first act is. Let’s pause for a moment, clear the marzipan from our heads, and think back to that nice nap we took during scenes one through six, you know–the scenes with all the lovely orchestra music playing in the background?

Somewhere in between the trumpet and the horn, I vaguely remember a long, uneventful Christmas party: 20 minutes of adults greeting each other and passing around hors d’oeuvres. I’m pretty sure one of the scenes is called “Dance of the Parents,” and another “Departure of the Guests,” two of the least exciting things to happen dramatically ever, and during which time most of the dancing consists of adults shaking hands and bowing to each other. Which, I’ll give them credit, is exactly how I imagine parents dancing. I know, they have to introduce the magical toymaker who gives Clara the nutcracker, etc, etc, but really–and maybe this is the New Yorker in me speaking–I would have been just as pleased to have rushed through that bit, and filled the following five scenes with the dancing rats. Who doesn’t like festive rodents?

Christmas Freaks unite

Welcome fellow Christmas Freak,

ImageI have learned that it is not socially acceptable to constantly display my extreme love for Christmas while interacting with other adults, and have thus been suppressing my cheer, indulging it for only four measly weeks a year, at which point it has accumulated for so long without relief that it bursts from me in the most dense and flamboyant tribute of affection that it alienates my friends, family, neighbors, pets, mailman, pharmacist, grocery clerk, primary care physician, etc, etc.

I’m creating this blog as an outlet for my Christmas obsession. I hope to post as much as I can, and with shameless sincerity, about treacle and tinsel and carols and trees, and all of the decorated storefronts and christmas day movies that make me want to put on an elf costume and and run down the snowy streets, throwing iced cookies and sugar plums into the air, and howling the entirety of Mariah’s “Merry Christmas” album until my voice grows hoarse . . .

Err–right, so welcome.

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