ZYTARUK: Contemplating a cast of Christmastime characters

Not all are angels and elves. Guess we'll have to take the good with the bad.

Not all Christmastime characters are angels and elves.

So let it be written…


Ok, I’m going to talk to you in code here, wink wink.

When I was a kid, I remember being dragged to church on Christmas Eve to listen to this pastor who, to parents’ horror, proclaimed that people who tell their progeny that so-and-whom exists are lying to said progeny.

Considering the pews were thick with bright-eyed progeny, the congregation wanted to rip the guy a new one. More unfortunate words were said after the service, too, this time from said parents, to said pastor.

This memory got me thinking about certain archetypal characters that rise up around Christmas time, and I’m not talking about angels and elves.

First, there’s the “Everything-at-Christmastime-has-to-be-done-my-way-lest-I-sulk-and/or-fly-into-a-petulant-frenzy” character. We all have a relative or friend like this. Maybe it’s you.

You’ve heard of Bridezillas? These are Yulezillas. Resistance is futile.

Next, is the Charity Bully. This is the person at your workplace or your wherever other place of going concern who unilaterally decides that everyone within intimidation range will each pony up, say, $20 or whatever, to support whatever seasonal cause the Charity Bully unilaterally deemed seasonally fit to support. You know, Santa’s Special Fund for This, That and Those. Or else.

This, of course, completely sucks the fun out of giving. It’s akin to your heart, still beating, being plunged into a bucket of icy resentment. You find yourself wondering, are you giving because you want to, or because you don’t want to be publicly shamed? You may never know.

In our catalogue of archetypal Christmas characters, let’s not forget the Christmas Office Party Idiot, who, as though pre-ordained back when God’s spirit was still hovering over the dark waters,  ends up drinking too much, just like last year, and puking on her boss’s shoes, or worse yet, in his shoes. Stick to club soda, won’t you?

And then there’s Mean Boss…don’t forget Mean Boss. The sociopath who makes you work a 72-hour shift on Christmas Eve through Boxing Day, just because. “Cratchit, you’re late.”

Meantime, Christmas Drunk Guy is a real menace.

His reign of inebriate terror-slash-stupidity typically begins on Christmas Eve, after lining up at the liquor store, and carries on until maybe New Years Day, followed by much slobbery moaning, crying that he’s sorry and promising to go on the wagon. Don’t believe him. And don’t buy Christmas Drunk Guy any more sleeveless white T-shirts, either. He already has enough.

We can’t forget the “Happy Generic Winter Holiday Nazi.” That’s because they won’t let us.

He or she is typically a public administrator who knows absolutely nothing about Christianity yet is nevertheless righteously determined to rescue visible minorities, who really couldn’t care less,  from exposure to nativity displays and mention of baby Jesus.

Like certain  species of bugs, these characters creep out from under the bark in early December but thankfully go dormant on about Christmas Day.

And then — and then — there are the Amazing People.

Ah yes.

The guy whose heart grows three times too bigger around Christmas time; the woman who performs an incredible act of charity and, importantly, tells absolutely nobody about it; the child whose wise observations on Christmas morning entirely erase, at least for a while, all the torturous crap you’ve endured over the past 364 days…

Included among the amazing Christmas people are the paramedics, doctors and nurses, police officers, firefighters, soup kitchen volunteers, city staff and other emergency first responders who work Christmas Day to keep us out of harm’s way while we cozy up to a mug of eggnog.

Guess we’ll just have to take the good with the bad, eh.


So let it be done.

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