We call someone a Grinch when they shun the holiday spirit and don't follow the winter traditions, such as Janet from HR, who refused to believe you were smoking mistletoe in the bathroom during the office Christmas party. (Note: Please don't smoke mistletoe.)
In any case, accusations of Grinch-hood ignore the fact that the actual Grinch wore a Santa suit -- because sometimes the pettiest, most anti-Christmas messages come in the most cheerful forms.
(Franklin Delano Roosevelt changed the date of Thanksgiving in 1939, and half the country passive-aggressively celebrated the old one anyway. For more on how crazily divided America's pretty much always been, get yourself a De-Textbook.)
Case in point:
#4. Woman Aims Christmas Light Middle Finger at Her Neighbor
Faced with the problem of adequately expressing her Christmastime hatred for her next-door neighbor, Sarah Childs went the classy route and flipped her neighbor the bird. Well, her neighbor and everyone else who passes Childs' street at night, because this particular sign-language F-You is made out of Christmas lights -- and it was proudly displayed on the roof of Childs' house:
You should she what she has her manger scene doing.
Oh, and it's the second year she did this. Last year, the local government ordered her to take down the finger, but eventually backed down when the ACLU stepped in to defend the display on First Amendment grounds. After all, what use is freedom of speech if you can't use it to express your bitter dislike of your neighbors through festive, blinking obscenities?
News coverage prompted Childs to remove the middle finger, but only after some unknown saboteur cut the cord to the display (and Childs added two more birds in retaliation). Mind you, this is far from the first case of folks with grievances displaying giant middle fingers on their property this year.
#3. Man Protests Nativity Scene With 6-Foot Beer Can Sculpture
Chaz Stevens was annoyed to learn that there was a Nativity scene on display at the Florida State Capitol, so as an atheist, he did the rational thing about it: He ignored it. And by "ignored it," we mean he drove 450 miles from Fort Lauderdale to erect a beer-can Festivus pole beside it in the Statehouse Rotunda. Yes, that's Festivus, as in the made-up anti-holiday from Seinfeld.
Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Half Frank Costanza, half Frank Booth.
At first, Stevens' protest was a bust, since the only person who showed up besides the media was the lady responsible for the Nativity scene (in support). However, other fellow atheists have since joined in by presenting this beautiful and not at all improvised representation of the Flying Spaghetti Monster:
The Chair Worshipers are preparing a counterprotest for usurping their holy symbol.
We're unsure if all of this could be counted as a victory for logical thinkers, but it's a definite win for passive-aggressive dicks everywhere.
#2. Guy Crucifies Santa on His Lawn, Is Shocked People Are Offended
We've all had that one neighbor who puts up terribly tacky Christmas decorations every year, but no one has the heart to tell him because he's just so into it. Such is apparently the case in Corpus Christi, Texas, where one man living near the local church unveiled his take on Christmas: a bloody Santa nailed to a cross under the Slayer logo. He says it's totally not meant to offend anyone, though.
"Except for Megadeth fans. Fuck those guys."
The man also says the Jesus similarity never occurred to him, pointing out that the blood, the crown of thorns, and the fact that, again, poor Santa is nailed to a cross are all just "a little decoration." And although some neighbors don't seem to like the unusual ornament, the man claims children love it, presumably in the same way some kids like to throw rocks at stray cats.
#1. Couple Sets Up Anti-Santa Christmas Decorations for Politics
A Christmas lights contest is always a fun time for all involved, especially if you add a side order of "debating immigration laws with your neighbors." A couple in Australia proved that by decorating their yard with a barbed-wire fence covered in lights surrounding signs with anti-Santa propaganda like "Stop the sleds" and "We will decide who comes down our chimney and the circumstances in which they come."
"Santa, Satan ... the connections are there."
There's a point to the apparent crazy: The couple is attempting a satire on an Australian anti-asylum movement, which works to turn back boats loaded with political refugees from war-torn countries. As it turns out, they are less "insane anti-elf xenophobes" and more social justice crusaders using perhaps not the most effective platform. Hopefully Santa keeps up with politics Down Under, though, or someone's getting some reindeer turds down their chimney.