Holiday Cheer, the Threat Quality Way
There are several ways to do this. For my money, I have found “Having the night to yourself on Christmas Eve” to be the most satisfying iteration, since there’s something about playing video games in your underwear while drinking martinis to be just about the best way to ever spend any amount of time.
But I am not most people. So let’s start off simple. Why don’t you tell me what the problem is.
Troubleshooting issue #1: I am entirely too sober.
Solution: If you’re in the eastern PA area, you may be lucky enough to enjoy Pennsylvania Dutch Egg Nog. It is delicious, and will also put you into a shallow coma after three glasses, which is another ideal way to spend the holidays.
Otherwise you may have to get creative. And while I’m generally not one to recommend fruity drinks that end in “tini” but are not at all related to a martini…if you can’t drink something that’s red or green (or, ideally, both), at Christmas, well then what the hell good is this holiday, anyway? So yes, go ahead and plop a maraschino cherry in your appletini and enjoy the sugar rush.
Troubleshooting issue #2: I need entertainment that doesn’t involve a bunch of animated children singing off-key while a dog mocks them, like he’s such hot shit.
Solution: We’re going to need a Christmas classic you maybe haven’t watched for a while, but is likely on TV in case of short notice. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a cable channel running “The Christmas Story,” but we can do better than that.
A strong contender for your holiday movie attention? Lifetime’s a Boyfriend for Christmas Die Hard. It’s set at Christmas, and has a lot of stuff about hoping for just the right gift (“Now I have a machine gun, ho ho ho”), getting together with family and friends (Bonnie Bedelia and Reginald Vel Johnson, you taught us the true meaning of winter), and even has a kind of “Good King Wensaslas” B-story about treating the hired help well (happy holidays, spunky limo driver). Also: ‘Splosions and Alan Rickman. Which make every holiday better.
Troubleshooting issue #2.5: Wow, I am perking up, and also a little buzzed. What’s in this eggnog?
Solution: I know! Honestly, what ISN’T in that eggnog? Let’s move on.
Troubleshooting issue #3: I’m all sauced from the eggnog and amped up from Die Hard. Which means I am now in the mood for dancing. What kind of music have you got for me?
Solution: OK, first I think you need to knock off this sense of entitlement you’ve developed after two glasses of eggnog.
Troubleshooting issue #3.5: I’ve had like five glasses. You’re not the boss of me. It’s Chrishmish!
Solution: Fair enough. I’m a little troubled that you don’t already have a decent Christmas playlist yet – but no matter, let’s whip up a quick mini-setlist:
Steve Martin, Paul Simon and Billy Joel (really!), “Silver Bells”
Because when Steve Martin starts talking about “feeding the naked and clothing the hungry,” you know it’s only going to get weirder.
The Roches, “Good King Wenceslas”
“Really?” I hear you say. “REALLY? What a gay-ass song. I thought you were gonna pick, like, the Ramones or something.”
Well, SIR OR MADAM, the fact is, this is a lovely short story-song with an interesting pedigree and a message at the end everyone should hear. It has nothing to do with Jesus and everything to do with working to help your fellow man, and it’s a lesson that should get a lot more play than Glenn Beck’s “War on Christmas” nonsense.
June Christy, “The Merriest”
Because I too would like to wish, to the strange and ordinariest, greetings like “The Merriest.”
Chris Isaak, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
Actually one of my favorite Christmas standards, even though my sister thinks it’s incredibly sad. I tend to hear it glass-half-full: We can’t always be surrounded by friends and loved ones, so if we find ourselves in such luck, we should try to appreciate it.
Jonathan Coulton, “Chiron Beta Prime”
Because “The robot council had us banished to an asteroid/That hasn’t undermined our holiday cheer” is another holiday lesson we should all take to heart. Let’s say.
Garfunkel and Oates, “Present Face”
Because you should have already been practicing.
And, what I believe is the agreed-upon holiday favorite in the Threat Quality offices:
The Waitresses, “Christmas Wrapping”
Because it’s DELIGHTFUL is why.
Troubleshooting issue #4: Wheeeee! Besk kirsmusk ever…ah man, this eggnog kicked my ass. Wait, who is this?
Solution: You called me, sir.
Troubleshooting issue #4.5: SHUDDUP, I’m in charge here! Entertain me more now.
Solution: …fine. Tis the season, and all that.
Troubleshooting issue #4.75: I DI’N ASK FOR NO POETRY, JUST MAKE ME LAUGH!
Troubleshooting issue #5: Sorry. Sorry, man, it’s just the holidays, y’know? The holidays…
Solution: If I give you a couple ways to round out your night, will you just go to bed now?
Troubleshooting issue #5.2: Yessir.
Solution: OK. First, watch the opening to the David Bowie/Bing Crosby song and, just for a change, don’t skip past the opening dialogue:
Now ask yourself, 1) Why would they bother scripting a little skit intro like that? Why would they imply that Bowie doesn’t know who Bing Crosby is? 2) Or is Bing actually playing the role of “Sir Percival’s American cousin”? and 3) Are we actually meant to believe Bowie just randomly pops into this guy’s house to goof on his piano whenever the mood strikes him – even though the piano actually plays itself (and somehow cues up an orchestra)? 4) I mean…what the hell kind of neighborhood does Bowie live in?
Now go to bed. And happy holidays, drunky.