And Your Little Reindeer, Too
City Paper's 2006 Holiday Guide
Last year Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and John Gibson kicked up a fuss about an "anti-Christmas jihad." Apparently all those secular liberals who weren't too busy trying to keep abortion legal and pointing out that the war in Iraq wasn't exactly going so well had set their sites on obliterating Christmas.
Well, after years of being forced to hear "Jingle Bell Rock" and "Dominic the Christmas Donkey" (shudder) every day from Thanksgiving to Dec. 25th, wading through mall crowds so dense and rowdy it felt like slam dancing, and spending more money than we had, quite frankly, putting the screws to Christmas sounds like a pretty good idea to us.
Sure, baby Jesus and friends and family and eggnog and candy canes and tidings of good cheer and all that, but Christmas has gotten too big for its britches. It overshadows all the other holidays--Thanksgiving has all that stuff without all the religion and wallet-decimating present buying. Kwanzaa and Hanukkah aren't too shabby, either, but you'd barely know they exist for all the Kris Kringle we're about to be drowning in.
So this year City Paper is waging its own war on Christmas--hell, it can't go any worse than the war on drugs or the war on terror. And to that end we present you with an issue filled with disgruntled holiday feelings. Travis Dunn regales you with tales of dealing with screaming kids and their obsessed parents as a mall Santa. Emily Flake reads between the lines of a holiday family update letter. David Morley examines the environmental cost of decking your halls. Jason Torres remembers having a baby on a day that's pretty much already taken, while Bret McCabe is stranded at the kids table because he hasn't popped out any ankle biters of his own. We also have a gift guide to help you buy your loved ones' affections, because no matter how much anti-Christmas sentiment you have stored up, you don't want to seem cheap. And then there's the Holiday Guide itself, which is stuffed like a rich kid's stocking with Nutcrackers, A Christmas Carols, and other festive tomfoolery that might make the holidays not seem so bad after all. Maybe.
The gift guide was written by Anna Ditkoff, Edward Ericson Jr., Lee Gardner, Jess Harvell, Tim Hill, Chris Landers, Joe MacLeod, Bret McCabe, Christopher Skokna, Van Smith, Erin Sullivan, Jason Torres, and Wendy Ward. The Holiday Guide calendar was stuffed with winter wonder by Wendy Ward, Ruth Reader, and illustrator Alex Fine. Research assistant Tara Tosti and interns Jess Blumberg, Elizabeth Eldridge, Rebekah Lin, Paul Myerberg, Kimberly Parker, and Kat Ward all lent a hand. Cover photograph by Jefferson Jackson Steele, with thanks to the City Paper Holiday Players: Allen Savage (Dread Santa), Dan Appleget (Decoy Santa), Missy Webb (Tipsy-Whipsy Sugarplum Scary Elf), and M. Jane Taylor (Serene Antler-pose Yoga Elf) for being themselves.
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