Family, friendships, physical wellbeing, peace of mind, and spiritual fulfillment—these are obviously all important aspects of a rich, well-rounded life. But, only when indulged in in moderation. When taken too far they can become a crutch, or possibly a distraction. A distracting crutch, let’s say; one that’s being wielded about in an enclosed space filled with valuable objects, like a high-end antique shop, for instance, thus diverting one’s attention from the more practical matters at hand, i.e. purchasing said antiques. I think we can all agree on that.
Fortunately for us, the winter holiday season is once again upon us, providing the opportunity to adjust our perspectives, and take a more balanced approach to our existence. Sadly, I have often witnessed some lost soul or other decry what they describe as the “world-weary cynicism of rampant consumerism” yada, yada. They say this as if it were a bad thing. I have tried to understand, but just can’t. For myself, December brings with it the most glorious materialistic tizzy of the year. It is a heartwarming, nostalgic celebration of visceral pleasures and sensory overload.
Being super in touch with my own existential higher being, I would never judge the journey of another. I am, however, saddened by their sickening self-obsession and inability to enter into the spirit of things, thereby tossing a sodden passive-aggressive blanket on my own revelries. Assuming I cared. So, rather than criticizing another’s failings, I will “pay it forward,” by offering just a couple of timely pointers about how to shuck more joy out of the holidays.
First, and possibly most important, buy cool stuff. Especially on the Big Day, when so many of us demonstrate our deepest feelings by showering each other with items we’ve purchased, you will undoubtedly bask in the warm glow of genuine approval if you give gifts that are unique and interesting. Please steer away from the tried and true trinkets, sweets, and clothing items. Super tacky. Instead, why not give your friends and loved ones something they would never think to buy for themselves? Just between us, my own shopping list this year includes a silver-plated trepanning kit, a taxidermied sturgeon, and a wax cylinder recording, circa 1903, of spectral voices recorded inside an abandoned Russian insane asylum. (In case you find these verifiably authentic objects to be in any way intriguing, I will hopefully be able to sort out some unfortunate legal misunderstandings and will once again be taking credit card orders on my personal website in the near future.)
My second big piece of advice would be to scrap the whole boring turkey dinner and mediocre wine thing. Yawn. Instead, try spicing it up a bit with some more exotic and unexpected fare. This year, for instance, I will be serving a repast of absinthe, potted snails, gingered orchids, and roasted swan in juniper berries. Nor should you shy away from such vintage, all-but-lost yuletide traditions as slow-cooked moose marrow, or flambeed thymus gland.
Try it, and you will surely see, my precious beauties. By embracing – nay, nakedly wallowing about in – the sensory and materialistic excesses of the season, we have a real opportunity to make a difference in the world, to find the true magic of Christmas, and at the same time stick one in the eye of the naysayers. Happy excess, to one and all!