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The Holidays, Your Way

Do you eschew the trad along with the non-trad? Concoct your ultimate alternative holiday—or rent one of ours.


While a non-traditional celebration of Xmas is fine for most of us, what would you say to a whole new holiday? Nah, we’re not about to lay that hackneyed Seinfeld-ian rap on you—but they were on to something with Festivus, “a holiday for the rest of us.” If the tweaks and balances suggested in the Guide aren’t enough to drown out the drone and chug of the ideological and capitalist propaganda engine called Christmas, you could always start your own winter holiday. Work from the ground up and conceive a concept, lore, figurehead and traditions, then toss it at your family and see if it sticks.

Or, if you’re too lazy to come up with something original, feel free to adopt these pre-fab, Festivussy festivities.

Bizarro Christmas
As the Bizarro Code states, “Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!” So peace, love, goodwill to all men? Down the toilet. Steal any coveted item from anyone—the closer to relationship, the better. Disregard social mores: curse/belch/fart audibly in public; have the Food Bank pack your Escalade with cans of Dinty Moore stew; flagrantly not signal your intent to change lanes on I-15. Be cruel: Seduce Gayle Ruzicka (or Chris Buttars) by promising the discreet sado-masochistic sodomy they crave, then make sweet missionary-style love to them sans protection, whispering about having “such a sweet spirit,” before dropping them off at Planned Parenthood’s Salt Lake City office with a WIC voucher and bus token.

Faces of Deathmas
First, a huge feast. Then gather ‘round the HDTV set and watch the Blu-Ray box set of Faces of Death or any of the Guinea Pig films (definitely not G-Force). [LINK:] In advance, have everyone contribute a gift to the pile beneath the screen. The family member who lasts longest without serving reconstituted Roast Beast gets the whole pile—and there are no other gifts. To make things interesting, if any elderly relatives die, all packages must be interred with the deceased. So brush up on your CPR skills and invest in defibrillator paddles. Clear! Bzzzzzzzzzt!

Make a clean break from Christmas and start completely from scratch with this holiday based on the late-1970s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter. Naturally, the figurehead is Gabe Kaplan, better known as “Mr. Kott-air,” and to a lesser extent, each of the Sweathogs. All five Kotterday saints should be represented with novena candles, which must burn long enough to watch the entire first season on DVD. Traditions include forcing the family matriarch to wear a Kotter wig and ‘stache, a trivia contest, and the drunken recitation of the many ways you’d like to violate skinny Mrs. Kotter (Marcia Strassman). The customary greeting? “Up your nose with a rubber hose,” natch!

The Feast of Go Fuck Yourself
This one’s all about getting it over with. Gather for the fastest potluck ever—bring microwaveable dishes or fast food. Gift cards for each family member can be deposited in stockings hung by the door for easy pickup on the way out, at which time celebrants utter the titular sayonara.

Free to Be You and Me
Like the Amish with Rumspringa, one week per year we jettison religion—and society-oriented hang-ups—and do, like, whatever. Ed Smart can take a nice young man to see Alvin and the Chipmunks 2: The Squeakuel, or Doug Wright might say “poop” live on the air. Drum-circle hippies may play 4/4 beats in a square formation, and Juggalos could bathe and get jobs. Young sociopaths are free to spend the day crafting Buffalo Bill suits from Tandy leather kits and practicing the effective concealment of giblets. The only gift is temporary but true free agency.