A few years ago, my friend Pam and I coined a phrase that has served us well in dismissing idiocy: “Shut the fuck up, go to bed.”

Unfortunately, it feels like the end of the year, with its fake outrage over whether baby Jesus is getting enough respect, is when I mentally chant “shut the fuck up, go to bed” the most. 

It has become my own personal anti-“Have a good holiday.” Because it actually offers actionable advice, whereas it’s just not feasible to follow up on my standard mental response, “Go fuck yourself.” But it’s also consistently put me in a bad mood every December.

I mean, there’s no sense in arguing with someone who’d tell you to “Keep the Christ in Christmas.” There’s no win there. Nobody’s going to respond to your pointing out that Christ kind of got shoved INTO Christmas in the first place and it’s actually a lot more thoughtful and in the spirit of the holiday to try to include everyone in the magical season regardless of what personal deity they subscribe to with “Ah, good point, thank you for your candor.”

So if someone tells you to keep Christ in Christmas, or whines about how something’s called a holiday tree instead of a Christmas tree, or any other nonsense that seems to crop up every year, remember, the only sane, logical response is “Shut the fuck up, go to bed.”

It’s also handy advice to modulate your own behavior. If you find yourself getting worked up about any of this idiocy, to the point where you’re actually engaged in a stupid conversation about it? Remember, you’re not going to win, you’re just going to get angrier. So just remember: Shut the fuck up, go to bed.

You’ll thank yourself in the morning.

Also in the morning there might be presents.

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