To Save Lives, Let's Move Christmas To July
I modestly propose that we all agree to move Christmas 2020 to July 2021, after the COVID vaccine is here. And I'm talking about the whole shebang -- we put the trees up, play Christmas songs in shopping malls, get in fistfights on some day in June we designate as Black Friday and convince Santa to reshuffle his operation just this one time (by force, if we have to). I'm offering #MoveXmasToJuly as the hashtag, but I'm open to suggestions.
If you're not convinced, allow me to make my case ...
Note: My new book, Zoey Punches the Future in the Dick, is finally out! Click here to order it! Or watch this 3-minute video that explains everything.
We Can (Hopefully) Have Everyone Vaccinated By July
Hey, remember back in April when the guidance was basically, "Don't leave the house unless it's an emergency, because you'll probably die?" That was just after the Obnoxious Celebrity Video phase of the crisis and right in the heart of Tiger King mania. Well, back then, we had around 60,000 people hospitalized with COVID. As of this writing, we have about 100,000, and that's before we see any spike from all of those Thanksgiving gatherings last week. That's right, this wave could wind up being twice as big as the one we thought was the apocalypse:
The good news? The COVID vaccine will start rolling out this month to select high-risk groups, and it looks like 100% of Americans who want it can have it by June. The ones who don't want it will, presumably, receive an ass-beating instead.
The bad news is that between us and the finish line, we have a whole bunch of potential superspreader events: crowded department stores, airports, restaurants, parties, and family gatherings, all in the name of Christmas. Some of the participants will, as a result, die just weeks before they could have gotten a life-saving vaccine.
Guys, that is madness. Let's just move it.
It Will Give Everyone Motivation To Get Vaccinated (And Stay Safe Long Enough To Do It)
The reason lockdowns never fully took hold in America, aside from the fact that many of us have a toddler's concept of freedom, is that there was no end date. Humans kind of need to be able to plan for the future; that's why calendars exist. I think we could have handled, "We need total lockdown for six weeks, then you can pack the strip clubs again," but not, "We need as much lockdown as you can manage until further notice, and that notice may not come for years." Even prison sentences usually come with a release date.
So, of course, people started ducking out to go to parties, and it's no surprise that businesses did everything they could to skirt the rules. It'd be like if the guy coming to fix your internet said, "I'll be there sometime between 8 AM Tuesday and the end of time itself. Just stay home until either I show up or until the mountains fall and the sun swallows the earth."
But our "Christmas in July" could be that end date. We're not asking you to cancel the festivities forever; we're moving them to a specific day for a specific reason. The holiday will be our reward, the light at the end of the tunnel. And even if it's 90 degrees out, it'll be the Christmasiest damned thing that's ever happened. Can you imagine what it will feel like, finally seeing loved ones for the first time in over a year, everyone knowing what had to be sacrificed, what heroism it took to get us there?
It'll be the kind of Christmas you don't normally get without rescuing a skyscraper full of hostages. #MoveXmasToJuly isn't just about a safer holiday; it's about a better holiday.
It Actually Makes Economic Sense
I know retail and travel depend on holiday revenue to survive and that they'd hate the idea of delaying it for six months. But 1) there's nothing stopping us from buying gifts now and just holding them (unless it's like a puppy or raw meat or something) and 2) what those businesses need right now is stimulus from the damned government, not Christmas.
That's because it's going to be a lean December no matter what -- it's not government lockdowns killing foot traffic; it's fear of dying from the freaking virus and the fact that millions are still out of work. All of that changes in a post-vaccine world. So I say give people a solid date and a chance to make plans. Give employment a chance to recover, let everybody's economic situation stabilize a bit, and I promise we'll have a much more lucrative Christmas in July 2021 than we'd have had in December 2020.
Also, maybe by then, Sony will actually have had a chance to manufacture enough Playstation 5 consoles for everyone. Side note: scalpers can eat shit.
There's No Real Reason The Date Can't Be Moved, Religious Or Otherwise
Look, I know this is a touchy, politicized subject -- I did a whole column about it. Christmas is by far the most sacred day of the year for consumer capitalism, and it's one of the top three most sacred days of the year for Christianity. But nothing in the faith demands it happen on this specific day -- the December 25th date was probably set by the Roman empire centuries after Christ to coincide with what the pagans were already doing. And if you still think God would curse America for not properly acknowledging that specific date, note that Christmas didn't even become a federal holiday until 1870.
I know there's an issue with people getting time off (God forbid our nation's employers throw an extra couple of paid holidays on the calendar -- capitalism itself would surely collapse), but there's an easy solution to that, too:
July 4th, aka Independence Day, falls on a Sunday this year, meaning employers will either be giving employees the previous Friday or the following Monday off work regardless. Set Christmas for that long weekend -- make Saturday Christmas Eve and then on Sunday the 4th, you can open gifts in the morning and watch fireworks at night. Then we have the extra day off for travel. See? Everybody's happy.
Yes, I know, some people will scream anyway. We're a nation of screamers, and they'll say this disrespects both God and country. The most common and dumbest argument technique we have is this insistence that our current preferences are not just sacred but eternal. You know, like how men have always worn pants and women have always worn dresses since the dawn of time, and any deviation from that is a sign that our entire culture is collapsing into depravity?
The complainers will never be convinced, so I say let's just do this without them...
It Doesn't Require An Act Of Government, Or Anyone Else
Even if Santa Claus himself descended from the heavens and told everyone Christmas is now going to occur in July, some, if not most Americans would still celebrate it on the usual day. Nothing I or anyone else can say will change that. But there is no reason a bunch of us can't just do it on our own. I mean, it didn't take a church or government to declare April 20th to be Weed Day; it was an informal movement. This can be, too.
And even if the country doesn't feel like spending June putting up lights and mistletoe (wait, is mistletoe even a real thing, or is it just in movies?), any individual can do it. For example, if you're afraid to disappoint and/or enrage family with news that you won't be traveling back home this month, it'll go a lot easier if you can circle a date on the calendar when you will be there. They haven't lost one of life's precious few holiday seasons; we're just pushing it back. Families have been doing this forever, waiting for a kid to get back from the Army or a parent to get home from the hospital before opening the gifts. Holidays are human creations, and they should obey us, damn it.
And the more of us who do this on an individual basis, the more lives will be saved. Will this create a crunch on Santa's end for December 2021 since a new batch of elves have to be cloned and trained every year? Sure. Is it possible that, in his rage, Santa will unleash an even worse plague? Yeah, he's said as much. I say we do it anyway. Let's #MoveXmasToJuly.
You can pre-order Jason "David Wong" Pargin's book Zoey Punches the Future in the Dick on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble, Bookshop, or any place books like this are sold. You can also follow him on Twitter, his Instagram, or Facebook, or YouTube or Goodreads or his mailing list or any of the many accounts he's forgotten about.
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