Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas by Lewis Black

I have awesome memories of Christmas from when I was a child. I don't think that I ever actually believed in Santa Claus, but it was fun to pretend. It was so easy to get into the spirit back then. Christmas carols were warm reminders of the season. My mom always used to drive us around different neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights. As I've gotten older, I haven't gotten into Christmas as much. I appreciate the meaning behind the holiday, but everything seems like a big to-do and kind of a hassle. This year, as I was driving home from my oh-so-glamorous bookstore job (Probably one of the reasons for my malaise- retail holiday times), I drove past some light displays that made me feel like a kid again.

In that spirit, I was going to watch all of the eighty million holiday special episodes out there, recap them and come up with some sort of holiday moral for all of them. I was going to read holiday books and it was going to be spectacular. Then I got lazy. I ended up watching the Chrismukkah episodes of The O.C. and...that's about it. I also read this book, Lewis Black's I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas.

It doesn't make much sense that I would read this book while in the thralls of my Great Christmas Revival (That Never Happened). It was partially in my fervor to grab anything remotely Christmas-related (Actually, that was my excuse for the Gossip Girl book I reviewed before this one) and also because I love anyone from The Daily Show and especially humor books from anyone from The Daily Show. I thought I might get someone to commiserate with over the occasional suckiness of Christmas. There was some of that, but also a celebration of the holiday that just cannot be denied.

In the book, Lewis Black explains why he logically shouldn't be celebrating Christmas, the most obvious being that he is Jewish. He gives some of the good things about Christmas (Gathering with friends, indulgent and yummy food, making donations to charities as penance for being a not-so-good person sometimes) and some of the bad things (High prices before Christmas, difficulties of choosing gifts). Along the way, he tells stories of his childhood, his obsession with clothes shopping, and gives reasons why he is happy to be single, especially around the holidays. It didn't give me a great big holiday-induced fever, but I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas was funny enough to make me laugh. It's nice to know that other people have just as complicated a relationship with Christmas as I do.

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