The 12 Days of … Nothing Special, Really

The holidays are approaching again and every year they seem to come earlier. Christmas decorations emerge before Halloween even rears its ghoulish head, and Thanksgiving is almost glossed over in the rush to Dec. 25. This year, though, intrepid Swamp Fox reporters asked themselves, “What do people who don’t celebrate Christmas do during the holiday season?” We traveled across the College’s campus asking non-Christian students how they celebrate over winter break. Are you doing any of these fun winter activities?

AGNES MATTHEWS“Well, I suppose I’m not a Christian, but my family just really doesn’t observe any sort of holidays in general, ever. Whenever my sister and I brought home flyers from grade school about the holiday parties our classes were throwing, my dad threw the papers in the fireplace and yelled about how holidays were frivolity made up by Communists to stop us hard-working citizens from achieving our best, most productive lives. After my dad was arrested for assaulting a man in public for wearing an Easter Bunny costume, my mother said we were allowed to celebrate holidays however we wanted, but it’s just never really been my thing. Instead, I visit my college friends’ houses over break and observe their holiday activities. I don’t think they’re evil, I just want to know more.”


Pastafarians mingle at a holiday celebration.

Pastafarians mingle at a holiday celebration.

STEWART GOMEZ “My friends and I are all devout Pastafarians. We still decorate a tree, but we hang a Flying Spaghetti Monster at the top and dress as pirates. Our female friends are especially scantily clad pirate wenches, as the scripture dictates. You know, people are always going on about how humans are descended from primates because we share 99 percent of our DNA, but humans and Pirates share over 99 percent of our DNA. Isn’t that fascinating? Anyway, it’s not traditional, but my friends and I usually rig a keg up to a mini paper-mache volcano and put up cardboard cutouts of almost-naked ladies in celebration of what awaits us in heaven: The Beer Volcano and the Stripper Factory. We are all touched by His noodly appendage!”


EMILY (JUST EMILY) “Oh, I don’t do anything special, really. I haven’t believed in holidays since my hamster died on Christmas morning when I was eight. I usually spend most of winter break catching up on making tiny panoramic dioramas of fictional locations, since all the work I’m doing to get my degree in biochemistry eats up most of my time during the semester. It really is true that you have to hate people to major in biochem. Then, I knit hamster sweaters for the local animal shelter. No one really accounts for how cold hamsters can get during the winter, especially in a drafty concrete building. On Christmas, I just spend the morning in deep contemplation on the lifespans of hamsters, and in the evening, go out to dinner with my Jewish friends at the Panda Express. Sometimes, we even splurge and go to the nice Chinese restaurant. Winter break is good.”


HANK JACKSON “Aw man, my roommates and I have the best winter vacation. The guys on the atheist forums we’re on gave us this radical idea: We go around with eggs, silly string and anything gross and rotten we have on hand, and trash houses with Christmas decorations. It’s pretty easy to get the rotten things, because we pretty much never clean our apartment, and I drive us out to the middle of the state to my upper-middle class neighborhood so there are plenty of nice-looking, Christian homes to wreck. My roommate Jacob usually tries to think of witty burns to silly string onto the sides of the houses as fast as possible, while Zach and I egg all the Christmas trees and angels. What do you mean, that’s illegal? Can you change our names? Wait, no, come back. Hey!”


Teenage atheists vandalize a house.

Teenage atheists vandalize a house.

JONATHAN FRYER “That’s a great question! As the Emotion Lord will foretell, far in the future on Mars, the entirety of existence will be absorbed into one Wanker-Being as the great and kind Wankershim expands across the universe. While the Dawning of Wankershim is still far off, we gather together in the winter and sit in deep thought about how we humans can be more tender and emotionally close to one another. The winter is always the best time to contemplate kindness given its icy embrace. Until the day when we are absorbed into His divine wanker-being, long after Wankershim escapes the Holo John and begins to expand, we will sit, we will wait, and we will be kind. Everything’s always been Wankershim.”


BUCK HOLLINGSWORTH “Well, every year around Thanksgiving my family and I head out in our truck to a plant farm and knock a tree (like, a really specific tree) over with a sharp object, then pull it back home. Then we put it up inside and slap some shiny pieces of metal and plastic onto it, and let it slowly rot for at least two months. Then, toward the end of December, we take a bunch of really fuzzy, impractically sized socks labeled with our names on them and tack them up onto the wall behind the tree. An old, wrinkly dude breaks into our home and puts stuff under the tree, and steals all our cookies and milk on his way out, and his caribou get hoofprints and deer poop all over our roof. The stuff he leaves is usually pretty good, though, and after we figure out what it is, we head out to a big building where we listen to a pretty intense speech about a really nice dude who was technically a zombie. Wait, no, that is a religion, sorry; you asked about non- religious stuff ? Usually, it’s warm enough to go muddin’.”


Holiday muddin'.

Holiday muddin’.

*All words from His Excellency The Swamp Fox are to be taken in jest. (Plain English: This is satire.)

**This article first appeared in the November 2015 issue of The Yard.

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Madeline is a Computer Science major with an interest in Art. She draws a webcomic and plays video games in her spare time. Madeline enjoys eating sushi and really likes socks. She hopes to eventually make videogames and own two cats while living on the West Coast.

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