‘Tis the Season



Ann Zhang, Reporter

November 22, 2017

LADUE – In the front yard of a cozy-looking house in Ladue, a crowd of adolescents gathers. The teens’ picket signs block from sight the very abomination that sparked their protest—Santa Claus, who raises one inflatable hand in greeting. His grin is aggressively cheerful.

“It’s not even December! People shouldn’t have to look at this nastiness,” one of the protesters complains to the press. Moved to tears, she swipes a sleeve across her nose, soaking the polyester with moist, stringy snot.

She suggests that rather, “We should be putting up Christmas decorations around finals season, when the immediate boost in spirits is necessary. Decking the halls in mid-November—or even, heaven forbid, in October—draws our attention away from enjoyable occasions, like Thanksgiving and Halloween.”

The student has a point: across the street from the protests, another house is still burning orange with jack-o’-lanterns. The aesthetic dissonance makes several passersbys retch.

Another student argues that premature Christmas decorations dilute the holiday spirit. “In theory, people experience enthusiasm not just when they feel fire, but when they feel more fire than usual. The very essence of holiday litness relies on the season’s deviation from mundane existence.”

He gives the example of one’s birthday: “It’s the one day in the year that’s all about you. If you were to celebrate a birth-week, or a birth-century, your friends would soon tire of treating you especially nicely, and you would no longer be on fleek.”

In the same way, he points out, “Blasting ‘Jingle Bells’ from October to December is so basic. By the time Christmas actually rolls around, nobody will bat an eye.”

However, the festive family under fire doesn’t see any problem with early celebration. “We’ve got nothing to be ashamed of,” says the mother, who would prefer the family’s name be kept unknown.

Her husband adds with a chuckle, “Anyone who says otherwise is just an ol’ Grinch.”

As the couple speaks, their faces glow red, then green, then yellow from the lights on the living room Christmas tree—“Chopped it down with my own bare hands,” boasts the husband, and from atop the fireplace mantel, an army of Elves on Shelves stare unblinkingly upon the scene.

Meanwhile, outside the family’s window, another scene unfolds: A little boy strolls down the sidewalk, hand in hand with his mother. They are returning from the supermarket; the boy cradles a pig-sized turkey in his arms.

Then, the boy catches sight of the inflatable front yard Santa. He barrels through the crowd of picket signs, throwing one hand in the air to return Santa’s wave.

Amidst the chaos, his turkey tumbles to the ground, where it splits open like a flower in bloom. Ants pour over its rotting corpse.

Unaffected, the boy cries out, “‘Tis the season!”

“But which season is it, really?” the teenagers chant in reply.

The boy glances over his shoulder, eyes glowing. Tenderly, he whispers, “I do not give a reindeer’s behind.”