The Makings of Bad News This Holiday Season

By Jay Sedmak
SNPJ Publications Editor/Manager

We’re just two weeks away from Christmas Day now, and the “newsy” items about the Christmas holiday – with the exception of the ever-growing, far-right, anti-Christmas conspiracy theories (as perpetrated by the use of “happy holidays” versus “merry Christmas”) – are still few and far between. That’s surprising, given the fact that we are this close to the holiday, and because everyone seems to have something to say about Christmas, good, bad or otherwise.

On the positive side, there’s very little grumbling going on this year. Ok, the weather has been a bit nasty, nationwide, during these earliest days of December (Did you happen to catch the Baylor-Texas football game Saturday afternoon? It was really, really cold in Texas this past weekend!), but apparently the foul weather is driving holiday shoppers out in droves. If that weren’t the case, we’d be hearing nothing but complaints from the nation’s major retailers.

However, since there is so little “news” circulating about the upcoming holiday, what little information there is on Christmas is rather stale. Today, for example, I read an article penned by an entertainment columnist who was lamenting the lack of new and original Christmas music. He has a valid point: this week’s number one hit on Billboard’s Holiday Digital Songs chart, Mariah Carey’s version of “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” was initially released in 1994. That was 19 years ago... wow! I don’t care for the song personally, but I’ll have to admit that it’s withstood the test of time.

But wait... the news gets even staler, and I do mean literally stale here. According to the Huffington Post, that bastion of news you just can’t live without, someone has devised a Christmas dinner in a can. Aptly named the “Christmas Tinner,” its contents include a nine-course holiday meal: turkey and potatoes, gravy, Brussels sprouts or broccoli with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and several other items that I wouldn’t necessarily associate with my Christmas dinner. But who am I to argue with such genius?

Ahhh, now here’s the clincher: “Christmas Tinner” was fashioned by a graphic designer as part of a video game. As the Huffington Post columnist points out, “The GAME Christmas Tinner is the ultimate innovation for gamers across the nation who can’t tear themselves away from their new consoles and games on Christmas Day.” The graphic design and culinary arts departments at the inventor’s alma mater were obviously separated by a distance of some few miles. How else could you explain something as gag-invoking as “Christmas Tinner?” Then again, as the article continues, “the can is supposedly sold out on GAME, a UK-based website for video gamers.” Although I can’t claim to fully grasp the concept of “Christmas Tinner,” I’m pretty sure it won’t have quite the same appeal here in the U.S.

I think it bears repeating: we’re just two weeks away from Christmas Day now. I have a sneaking suspicion it will take that long for me to cleanse my mind’s palate after simply reading about “Christmas Tinner.” Hopefully there will be some more palatable Christmas news for me to savor in the not-too-distant future.

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