We all know about The Before. This is the land of advent calendars, interminable waiting, day-based countdowns and dropping hints. Not much else of interest here.
The During, of course, is sublime. This is what it’s all about. Ripping open presents and experiencing that fleeting moment of glee. This phase usually lasts less than 20 minutes.
So, what’s left? Just The After. This is where boredom sets in. Shiny objects have a luster half-life akin to that of beryllium-8 aka 81.9 seconds. This is also the domain of “only 364 days until next Christmas” and “you’re already late on buying Valentine’s Day candy.”
There is, however, one saving grace of The After. I’m talking about, of course, snubbery, snobbery and bragissimo. Let’s compare our gifts!
We’ve identified two key elements to properly experiencing The After.
Thank Me Nots
Get on the phone with someone who gave you gifts. (Written thanks are trite and busted.) Then, in excruciating detail, discuss every other gift you received this Christmas. Use great histrionics to describe your love and adoration of said gifts.
Under no circumstances ever mention the gifts given by the person you are speaking with. And – this is vital – avoid using the words “thank” and/or “thanks.”
Ideally this process should last several hours but certainly no less than 20 minutes, thus far exceeding the duration of The During of Christmas itself.
Area Effects Snobbery
Imagine you live one place and some family lives someplace else. Let’s imagine their place is the Humboldt area on the Northern California coast. (Yes, I misspelled “Humboldt” in the tweet above, curse Twitter’s edit function. In Humboldt they spell better.)
Humboldt and the residents therein suffer from “whole wide world syndrome.” It has the best oysters in the whole wide world. It has the best cheeses in the whole wide world. The best pot, the best restaurants, BBQ, apples, meat, milk, sausages, bacon, et al., etc., ad infinitum, yada yada yada to the nth degree. Fuck, we get it already! In the whole wide world!
May God have mercy on your souls if you ever try to suggest that something from your area might – almost – be palatable. You might say something like, “Ah, geez. Portland has some pretty good beers, eh Margie, ya know?”
Boom! Here’s a case of Humboldt’s finest apple-cheese Indian Pale Ale oyster stout Guinness. Open wide, I’ll help you shove it down your gullet. See, better, right? Better. Better. Better!
Please forgive me for trying to go outside the Circle of Humboldt. What was I thinking? I deserve to die.
When does a Christmas present cross that friendly line of thoughtfulness to sending a message? When the gift comes from Humboldt.
Lesson learned. Thanks for the box of assorted Humboldt cheeses. A severed horse head in our bedsheets would have sufficed but in the name of seasons greetings you went the extra mile to send a much more nuanced message.
Kindly discard our presents from the Portland area in the nearest recycle bin. At least we can keep this green. They recycle in Humboldt, don’t they?
God bless us, every one!