+
Most Shared

A powerful case for why we should only celebrate Christmas every other year.

A friend of mine quit drinking a few years back and I asked him why. “When life is always a party, it’s never a party,” he said. That’s how I feel about Christmas.

When it’s always Christmas, it’s never Christmas.

But before you brand me as a bitter “bah humbug” type, let me explain. I love Christmas and I think I know how to make it even better.


For reasons mostly having to do with commerce, the Christmas season has been arriving earlier each year.

Cardboard cutouts of Santa hawking holiday trinkets are now appearing next to back-to-school displays in early September.

According to NerdWallet, 20% of Americans start Christmas shopping in the final weeks of summer and that number doubles even before Halloween.

“Forty percent have started Christmas shopping before Halloween,” Bernacchi University of Detroit-Mercy marketing professor Mike Bernacchi explained to WWJ News Radio. “The pumpkins haven't even gone away yet and Christmas shopping — I mean, 40 percent? That’s just unbelievable.”

It’s simple math: the longer the season, the more you will spend. And we’re doing a fantastic job of obeying our retail masters.

While some look at premature Christmasing with skepticism, others are praising the trend, claiming it gives low-income people a chance to spread out their holiday spending.

But maybe the Christmas industrial complex shouldn’t be pressuring people to overextend themselves in the first place?

Studies show that the average American racked up about $1,000 in holiday debt debt in 2016, and many were still paying it off by Christmas 2017.

Christmas is such an all-pervasive part of American culture that goes on for so long, its magic has been diminished.

When Christmas music is on the radio from November 1 to January 15, it starts to become audio wallpaper.

When “Home Alone” is constantly on television for three months straight, watching Joe Pesci get hit in the nuts feels a little less triumphant.

The pressure to spend seems to intensify every year.

The days of aggressive Black Friday marketing seem quaint now that we get hit again three days later with Cyber Monday.

No one should blame you if you feel like Christmas feels a lot more like an obligation than a celebration.

We should celebrate Christmas every other year.

Imagine, if when the Christmas hullabaloo dies down in the early days 2019, it wouldn't come around until 2020?

There would be an entire year with no Christmas music, no holiday tearjerkers on the Hallmark Channel, and no viral videos of people getting cold cocked in a Walmart while trying to buy a $9 toaster.

None of it. Winter would come and go in peace.

One of the greatest joys of Christmas when I was a kid was waiting for it to happen. For a seven year old, the time from Thanksgiving to Christmas felt like three years.

Let's bring that back.

Anticipation is such a powerful emotion that Americans will actually watch curling once every four years in the Winter Olympics. Not because watching the athletic equivalent of some guy plowing his driveway is exciting, but because it's a rare occurrence.

The same goes for the McRib. It tastes like boiled egg cartons topped with ketchup, but the novelty keeps bringing us back.

Imagine if you actually had to wait for Christmas season to arrive instead of saying, “Wow. It’s Christmas time already? Time flies.”

But what about Jesus?

Every-other-year Christmas would be fantastic for Christians who want to remind people of the real reason for the season. On non-Christmas years, Christians could take that time to focus on the birth of their lord and savior without all of distraction caused by crass commercialism and secular traditions.

They could call it Jesus’s Birthday!

When the entire block isn’t flooded with Christmas lights, your big ass manger scene will finally get the attention its due.

Economically, people would be in a better place as well. Sure, consumer spending would plummet towards the end of the year, but the average person would be carrying around a lot less debt.

So what will we do on December 25?

For generations, Jewish people have celebrated December 25 by eating Chinese food and watching a movie. This seems like a pretty damn good way to celebrate non-Christmas.

Although it would suck for Jewish people. What was once a quiet dinner with the family at Changs would be ruined by a flock of ravenous gentiles overloading on kung pao chicken.

#StopChristmas2019

Some people who are reading this may say I’m part of the never-ending war on Christmas, and label me a blasphemer or communist. But I bet there are a lot of people out there who agree and are afraid to address the topic with their friends, families or coworkers.

So, let’s start a movement online. Because it’s a lot easier and less time consuming than taking it to the streets.

If you agree that Christmas should be every other year, jump out of the Christmas closet and share your support on social media at #StopChristmas2019.

Do it for yourself. Do it for your America. Do it for Christmas.

Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

Keep ReadingShow less
www.youtube.com

Man hailed 'Highway Hero' for running across four lanes of traffic

Holy cow, Bat Man! You're always supposed to be aware of other vehicles when you're driving but what do you do when you notice someone has lost consciousness while speeding down the highway?

It's a scenario that no one wants to see play out, but for Adolfo Molina, the scenario became reality and he didn't hesitate to spring into action. Molina was driving down the highway when he spotted a woman in a blue car who lost consciousness as her car careened down the shoulder of the highway. The concerned driver quickly pulled over in order to attempt to rescue the woman.

But there was a problem, he had to cross four lanes of traffic on the highway just to make it to the woman's still moving car. That obstacle didn't stop him. Molina sprinted across the highway, crossing right in front of a black pick up truck before running at full speed to attempt to open the woman's door and stop her car.

Keep ReadingShow less
Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

Keep ReadingShow less
Internet

Relationship expert tells people to never get married unless you're willing to do 3 things

"If you and your partner (both) are unable or unwilling to do these 3 things consistently forever, you won’t make it."

Relationship expert gives people advice on getting married.

Being in a relationship can be difficult at times. Learning someone else's quirks, boundaries, and deep views on the world can be eye-opening and hard. But usually, the happy chemicals released in our brain when we love someone can cause us to overlook things in order to keep the peace.

Jayson Gaddis, a relationship expert, took to Twitter to rip off people's rose-colored glasses and tell them to forego marriage. Honestly, with the divorce rate in this country being as high as it is, he probably could've stopped his tweet right there. Don't get married, the end. Many people would've probably related and not questioned the bold statement, but thankfully he followed up with three things you must be willing to do before going to the chapel.

Before going into his reasons for why he tells people not to get married, Gaddis explained that he is a person that "LOVEs being married." I mean, it would probably make him a pretty weird relationship expert if he hated relationships, so it's probably a good thing he enjoys being married. Surely his spouse appreciates his stance as well.

Keep ReadingShow less

Humanitarian Helen Keller circa 1920.

In a 1954 documentary short, humanitarian Helen Keller expressed that her greatest regret in life was being unable to speak clearly. But given that she could not see or hear, her speech was quite remarkable.

Keller was born in 1880 and, at the age of 18 months, contracted an unknown illness that left her deaf and blind. But with the help of her teacher, Anne Sullivan, she was able to overcome her disabilities and become an outspoken advocate for the voiceless and oppressed.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

10 years ago, a 'Stairway to Heaven' performance brought Led Zeppelin's surviving members to tears

Heart, John Bonham's son and a full choir came together for the epic tribute.

Led Zeppelin got to see their iconic hit performed for them.

When Billboard and Rolling Stone pull together their "Best Songs of All Time" lists, there are some tunes you know for sure will be included. Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" is most definitely one of them.

It has everything—the beauty of a ballad, the grunginess of a rock song, the simple solo voice, and the band in full force. "Stairway to Heaven" takes us on a musical journey, and even people who aren't necessarily giant Led Zeppelin or classic rock fans can't help but nod or sing along to it.

Of course, it's also been so ubiquitous (or overplayed, as some would claim) to become a meme among musicians. Signs saying "No Stairway to Heaven" in guitar stores point to how sick of the song many guitarists get, and when Oregon radio station KBOO told listeners they would never play the song again if someone pledged $10,000, Led Zepelin singer Robert Plant himself called in and gave the donation.

Keep ReadingShow less