I don’t know if you guys have noticed at all, but there’s a lot of pressure on everyone to not act like their normal jerk selves around the holidays.
From the gifts you buy your relatives last-minute at the corner gas station, to the party invites you choose to accept or decline based on the variety and amount of booze being served, to the mall parking spaces you steal from the handicapped, all of these seemingly inconsequential decisions you’d regularly make without second thought any other time of year are now major opportunities to come off looking like a thoughtless, insensitive Christmas jackhole.
Unfortunately, the same also goes for how you greet people during the holiday season. Which is why it’s important—nay, imperative—that you choose your words wisely, because everyone is judging you by them. And by ‘judging’, I mean ‘writing down your license plate number to report you to mall security’.
Lucky for you clueless people, I’ve already taken the time to decode a few of the more common holiday greetings based on my personal experience with humans so that you know what you’re really saying from now on. Granted, not everyone uses a greeting for the same reason, and I acknowledge this delicate intricacy by providing helpful variations. Simply choose the one that applies to you.
So here goes:
What You’re Really Saying: (a) “Merry Christmas–I hope you can appreciate the sentiment even if your cultural or religious beliefs happen to differ from mine!” or (b) “Merry Christmas–Kiss my ass if you don’t celebrate it, sinners!”
What You’re Really Saying: (a) “I hope you enjoy whatever religious and/or cultural traditions you participate in this month!” (b) “I actually have strong religious convictions but would rather not risk facing some sort of makeshift mall Tribunal for crimes against intolerance just because I dared to use a vaguely religious greeting in public.”
What You’re Really Saying: (a) “Being that I am politically correct to a crippling extreme, I find ‘Happy Holidays’ far too controversial for my taste. On a side note, I enjoy wearing beige, patternless sweaters, refer to white people as ‘Caucasian-Americans’ and listen only to the jazzy, non-confrontational musical stylings of Kenny Loggins.” (b) “Hi there! I work for Hallmark! Please stop me before I kill again!”
What You’re Really Saying: (a) “I know for a fact that you celebrate Kwanzaa and wish to extend to you your traditional greeting.” (b) “I know for a fact that I celebrate Kwanzaa and wish to extend you my traditional greeting.” (c) “I don’t celebrate Kwanzaa and I’m not sure if you do either, but I’m just going to assume so anyway because of your ethnicity. Feel free to punch me repeatedly in my silly, presumptuous face now.”
What You’re Really Saying: (a) See above, except substitute”Kwanzaa” for “Hanukkah”.
“Happy Al-Hijra (Islamic New Year)!”
What You’re Really Saying: (a) See above, except substitute “Hanukkah” for “Al-Hijra”.
“Happy Boxing Day!”
What You’re Really Saying: (a) “I’m Canadian!” (b) “I’m Australian!” (c) “I’m from one of those other countries that celebrates kooky holidays!” (Kidding, my Canuck/Aussie/other kooky country friends!)
“Festivus for the Rest of Us!”
What You’re Really Saying: (a) “I’m a sad, aging hipster unable to deal with my grinding progression into adulthood, so I bury myself in the stale witticisms of early 90s TV reruns. By the way, what do you guys think’s going to happen between Ross and Rachel?”
“Yule Greetings!”, “Yuletide Cheer!”, or pretty much anything with the word “yule” in it.
What You’re Really Saying: (a) “I’m a character from a Dickens novel who’s somehow been magically teleported into this strange and impossibly modern era. Won’t you please help me return to where I belong?” (b) “I’m a pretentious asshat with a flair for theatrics and a crippling need to appear unique and unconventional, even at the expense of my own dignity.”
“Phyllis Diller is the Pterodactyl Queen! All Hail the Flapjack Revolution!!”
What You’re Really Saying: (a) “I am completely batshit insane and will likely throw feces at you if you come close enough.”
So there you have it, folks.
I recommend you pick one of the above phrases and start practicing now.
Happy Phyllis Diller is the Pterodactyl Queen Day!