Dec 022008
Authors: Brian Lancaster

It seems as though the time of year known as “Christmas season” takes up more and more time each year, starting earlier, and, oddly enough, ending later. Yet we never seem to get tired of the holiday occurrences that plague this time of year.

Personally, I absolutely loathe this time of year (I know, it’s so surprising — another thing I hate).

The fact is, the holiday season turns all Americans into consumer zombies. Maybe if the holiday spirit made people cheerful as they did their shopping, I would be a little more OK with it. However, I have worked retail during the holiday season, and have seen firsthand the monsters that shoppers can become.

So, in my traditional rant style, my three loyal readers, here are the reasons why I absolutely hate the holiday season. Let’s make this a top three list.

Reason number three: Black Friday

Honestly, I didn’t care about Black Friday until this year. I knew about it, but I just avoided shopping areas like the plague.

However, this year, I signed onto the news networks, as I usually do, on Black Friday, and I was assaulted with the headlines concerning a Wal-mart employee who was trampled to death as he was unlocking the doors to the store on Friday morning.

How is this excusable by any stretch of the imagination? A person, a human being, was killed because the shoppers at the store wanted to get those deals before anyone else.

The worst part is that, because it was a mob of people, no one can be held responsible.

On, a news video explained the next steps in finding a responsible party or a way to go about the criminal proceedings. Essentially, finding one responsible shopper would be next to impossible, and yet at the end, the reporter states that “a civil lawsuit against Wal-mart is all but inevitable.”

Wait a minute — a civil lawsuit against Wal-mart?

I realize that the family of the worker would like compensation for the ultimately avoidable death of their beloved family member, but I find it hard to swallow that the party that has to take the responsibility for his death is the company that he worked for, and not any of the shoppers that inadvertently killed him.

I just hope that on the death certificate for this poor soul, the doctor wrote “maddening consumerism” as the cause.

Reason number two: my birthday

I am fairly sure I’m not alone when I say that December birthdays suck.

First of all, it’s the same month as Christmas, so people tend to blend your birthday and Christmas into one event. Also, depending on when in December the birthday is, it’s either during finals or during break, so no one wants, or is able, to celebrate with you.

Seriously, the only good thing about having a December birthday is the fact that people can get you stuff for cheap because of all the holiday specials.

Reason number one: holiday music

The most maddening aspect of the holiday season is the repetitive and awful Christmas music that is played over the speakers of department stores and retail outlets across America.

Every song has been remade (horribly, by the way), and is set to play every 20 minutes or so on the “Christmas album” that every department store receives.

Original Christmas music is, somewhat surprisingly, not at all upsetting to me. Trans-Siberian Orchestra? Cool. Mannheim Steamroller? Sounds good. Awful remakes of “Frosty the Snowman?” No thank you.

There are many more reasons why I hate the holiday season, and I would love to rant about them for pages and pages, but, sadly, I am out of room.

And for all you political correctness lovers out there, I know I said Christmas a lot in the article, where you maybe felt I should have said holidays. I would like to say that I don’t really care about political correctness, and I celebrate Christmas, so I write Christmas instead of holidays. So there.

Brian Lancaster is a senior English major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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