29 November 2010

Day 247: The Stupidest Angel

The Stupidest Angel: A Heart Warming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore.  ISBN: 9780060590253.

Ah Christopher Moore, my go-to guy. You have to be one of the few authors on earth to actually get me to read a “Holiday Novel”, with capitalizations and everything. And with opening lines like the following, is it any wonder?

“Christmas crept into Pine Cove like a creeping Christmas thing: dragging garland, ribbon, and sleigh bells, oozing eggnog, reeking of pine and threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe.”

You, sir, sum up my Christmas cheer most accurately. I dread Christmas in the way that some people dread public speaking events, sharks, or tap dancing spiders. I hate the not so subtle creep of red and green into supermarkets and other commercial properties. People who start the holiday season cheerful slowly seem to warp into demented bargain fiends in an attempt to provide their loved ones with more for less. Meanwhile I'm over here just trying to get on with my daily life without being murdered for taking interest in a half-priced DVD or can of mushroom soup. I am convinced that red and green together are colors that purposefully drive the human brain to madness, and paired with the word “Bargain,” they add murderous tendencies to the mix.

Having said that, I don't really do Christmas. I'm more likely to buy someone something that they said they've needed, when they need it. Instead of waiting for December, if I know I can get them something nice that they will like or use, I will purchase it, hand it to them, and say “Merry Christmas” regardless of whether there's snow on the ground or it's a 90 degree day in July. I feel that this is actually more in line with the Christmas spirit, and often more appreciated as it is both a surprise and something helpful.

I am also lousy at keeping surprises from people.

When I get someone a nice gift, I want to give it to them immediately. The idea of withholding a present until a certain day seems a bit cruel to both parties involved. It means I have to wait anxiously to see if the person I bought or made it for actually likes it, and if they don't I've gotten both of our expectations up and we've frothed ourselves into an excitement for an incredible disappointment. If they do like it, they have to wait that much longer to enjoy it rather than being able to use it right away.

My fiancé is convinced that I just need to learn a little patience. That's really only part of the problem though. I really do believe in giving gifts to people when they need them and not because it's a certain time of the year. I'm not saying we should get rid of Christmas, because it is nice to have an excuse to get together with friends and family and drink some hot cider and listen to Christmas music, assuming the hidden messages in said music haven't driven us to kill previously mentioned friends and family. But I don't think we need to exchange lavish gifts with each other on December 25th in order to express our love and appreciation of each other. I would much rather have someone buy me an oil change in October because they know I need it then and give me a pack of socks on Christmas, than to have them buy me a flat screen TV on Christmas and leave me to fend for myself in a time of need.

On the other hand... I'm getting an eReader this year, which is not only something I want, but also related to my professional development (cough), so I can't really complain about the whole “lavish gift” thing either. Stupid waiting.

A beautifully short and well done review can be found at Un:bound.


  1. Yes, you do need patience. Maybe I should get you some for Christmas.

  2. Just as long as I still get my eReader.


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