December 25, 2013


Jingle Bell Schlock (MAUREEN DOWD, 12/05/04, NY Times)

If I hear "Frosty the Snowman" one more time, I'll rip his frozen face off.

It's a scientific fact, or should be, that Christmas music can turn you into a fruitcake. It either sends you into a Pavlovian shopping trance, buying stupid things like the Robosapien, or, if you hear repeated Clockwork-Orange choruses of "Ring, Christmas Bells" drilling into your brain with that slasher-movie staccato, makes you feel as possessed with Christmas spirit as Norman Bates.

I've never said this out loud before, but I can't stand Christmas.

Everyone in my family loves it except me, and they can't fathom why I get the mullygrubs, as a Southern friend of mine used to call a low-level depression, from Thanksgiving straight through New Year.

"You're weird," my mom says.

[originally posted: 2004-12-07]

Posted by at December 25, 2013 12:11 AM

Bah. Humbug.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 7, 2004 12:26 PM

"It might be exacerbated by the stress I feel when I think of all the money I've spent on lavishing boyfriends with presents over the years, guys who are now living with other women who are enjoying my lovingly picked out presents which I'm no doubt still paying for in credit card interest charges."

Yes, it just might at that.

Posted by: Peter B at December 7, 2004 12:39 PM

How pray tell do you turn a fruitcake into a fruitcake?

Posted by: Uncle Bill at December 7, 2004 12:43 PM

I know deep down that I'm supposed to feel sorry for her, but isn't there someone - anyone - else I could direct my sympathy towards instead?

Posted by: M. Murcek at December 7, 2004 1:11 PM

"You're weird," my mom says.

Uh, Maureen, did you ever hear that old saying, "Mom is always right?"

Posted by: Mike Morley at December 7, 2004 1:34 PM

Maureen Dowd's family should start a blog called The Weirdness of Modo.

Posted by: Casey Abell at December 7, 2004 1:41 PM


The rest of her family?

Posted by: Peter B at December 7, 2004 1:42 PM

She must be an absolute riot to hang around with. You can just about imagine her mom standing in the living room, looking out the front window, and then saying to the family: "here she comes, everyone try to be nice."

Posted by: AllenS at December 7, 2004 1:43 PM

You can just about imagine her ex-boyfriends saying to themselves, "Isn't it nice to be with someone who enjoys Christmas?"

Posted by: pj at December 7, 2004 1:45 PM

Isn't if funny how you always have to double check the by line on a Modo column to make sure it isn't just a clever parody of her actual 'work'?

Posted by: John Resnick at December 7, 2004 2:04 PM

John: well said! You have to read the poor thing in parallel: one straight, one as self-parody; she always covers both angles.

Posted by: JimGooding at December 7, 2004 2:09 PM

I just happen to be one of Maureen's former boyfriends and my wife Peggy and I still enjoy the lump of coal which Maureen lovingly picked out for me for Christmas 1971. It sits on the mantle and we even made a little plaque for it so people know what it's doin' there, that it's a family heirloom and to please not toss it into the fire.

Posted by: Bobbie Glasses at December 7, 2004 2:58 PM

Between this column and the earlier one reprinting her brother's e-mail, I think Maureen is -- in her own, slightly skewered way -- trying to come to grips with Red State America, by using her family as an example of not only people who voted for Bush, but for people who hold Red State beliefs.

Dowd's family was virtually invisible in her columns until after Nov. 2; I think she's mentioned her dad's law enforcement history, but that's about it. Now, even though she's doing her own interpretation of Scrooge, she's using her family as a contrast to her own feelings about the holidays, and that comes right after letting her brother have his say about GWB's win.

Admittedly, it's not a great start on trying see the point of view of the other side. But compared to Paul Krugman, Bob Herbert or Frank Rich, it at least shows some signs on the Times' op-ed page of the awareness of life on the other side of the Hudson or Potomac rivers.

Posted by: John at December 7, 2004 2:59 PM

For the first time in years her columns make me laugh a again. Not with her, but at her. But a laugh's a laugh. She is still not as funny as Krugman.

Posted by: carter at December 7, 2004 3:12 PM

Simple. The answer is she can't stand Christmas as an adult because it's not all about her anymore. Poor baby.

Posted by: Genecis at December 7, 2004 3:13 PM

Bobbie Glasses:

So the choice came down to either your wife or a woman who would go on to become world famous and wealthy writing a column for the New York Times?

And who writes things like this:

If I hear "Frosty the Snowman" one more time, I'll rip his frozen face off.

Congratulations on making the right choice.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at December 8, 2004 12:09 AM

She's finally cracking up. Bush's reelection pushed her over the edge.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at December 8, 2004 11:15 AM
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