The idea for this post was lifted from writer John Scalzi’s great blog Whatever. Last year he published his list of Ten Least Successful Holiday Specials of All Time. My favorites are “Ayn Rand’s A Selfish Christmas,” “A Canadian Christmas with David Cronenberg,” and “Christmas with the Nuge.”
Inspired by John’s example, I came up with my own list.
Happy Valley News Hour Presents Least Likely Christmas Specials
1. The Five Stages of Christmas: A Kübler-Ross Holiday Special
Let Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, author of On Death and Dying, walk you through the five stages of Christmas:
Denial: This is going to be the best Christmas ever! My family is totally functional! All of my unmet childhood needs finally will be fulfilled! Hurry up, Christmas morning, hurry up and arrive!
Anger: Wrong color? Wrong color? Are you aware that Daddy bought that sweater in Hong Kong? That’s right. And since the thieving bastards Daddy works for are too cheap to upgrade him, Daddy has to fly coach to Asia, which means Daddy sat with that uncomfortable pile of wool between his feet for 16 hours. So maybe you should take another look at that sweater and answer a simple question. Do you like the color now? Well do ya?
Bargaining: Ruining Christmas? Oh really? Well then how about this? Daddy will stop drinking when this family learns the meaning of the word gratitude.
Depression: Daddy will be out in the garage until January first.
2. Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s Christmas Comes to the Gulag
Join Prisoner Щ-723-58 and his crew of counter-revolutionary merrymakers as they celebrate Christmas in the Sevvostlag Corrective Labor Camp in the beautiful Kolyma region of Siberia. Anticipation is high at the gulag as the prisoners work day and night to complete an especially challenging stretch of the Kolyma Highway (aka “the Road of Bones”) in preparation of a visit from “Old Whiskers” (played as always by Joseph Stalin). Join these enemies of the state as they enjoy a Christmas dinner of lukewarm gray water and play traditional work camp games such as
- Hide Your Valuables;
- Keep Warm;
- What Disease is This?; and
- Who is the Informant?
Will the workers meet their production quotas? Will their endless labors please Uncle Joe? What will they receive in their stockings? A lump of coal would be too much to wish for, but will they at least earn additional food rations, medicines, or perhaps a thin blanket? Join us to find out. One thing is certain — with a temperature outside of -70 degrees C, it’s sure to be a white Christmas!
3. Unreal Tournament Yuletide Team Deathmatch
Hope you put gibs on your Christmas list, because you’ll be getting ’em by the bucket here at the Unreal Tournament Yuletide Team Deathmatch! We’ve assembled four of the North Pole’s meanest, most insane UT04 clans — Sniper Claus, Donner Stag, Die Blitzen Kore, and Wicked Rüdolph — and we’re tossing them all into a very confined space in what promises to be a high octane, no-holds-barred Nativity fragathon! It most definitely will not be a Silent Night (though it may prove to be holey — for the losing clans, that is). So pack the sleigh with your pulse gun, your flak cannon, your minigun, and your Ripper and meet us at the spawn point. Santa says you’d better come, or he’s gonna climb down your chimney and frag your sorry ass!!
4. Larry Birkhead’s Paternity Test Christmas
Who is the real Father Christmas? Only the DNA lab knows for sure!
Come celebrate this most blessed holiday with Anna Nicole Smith’s lawyer (Howard K. Stern), her photographer (Larry Birkhead), her bodyguard (Alexander Denk), and Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband Frederic von Anhault (how did he get in the picture?) as they all anxiously await the test results that will identify one of them as the father of her inheritance, er, I mean baby!
After Santa delivers the wonderful news (Spoiler Alert: it’s Larry Birkhead), watch as Larry pulls together an elegant, last minute Christmas dinner from whatever happens to be in his refrigerator (turns out to be Chinese takeout, six kinds of prescription medication, and a jar of mustard). He’ll also show viewers how to make a functional diaper from paper towels and masking tape, and share what he remembers from the very special night when he made a baby with Anna Nicole!
Hear Larry’s heart-warming holiday greeting: “Everybody, I hate to be the one to tell you this – but I told you I was the one who was going to bring you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”
Photo: Anna Nicole Smith and her baby daddy; photo credit: Splash News (www.splashnews.com)
5. I’m Dreaming of a White (Power) Christmas
Join the Grand Wizard and his merry Klansmen at their annual Solstice Klanvocation!
All are welcome! (Unless you happen to be Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or Sikh. Or black or Hispanic or gay. Or a gypsy.)
Over the course of this hour-long special, the Grand Wizard will present his Alternate History of Christmas.
Some of the highlights of his presentation include:
- Jesus was not a Jew
- Really, he wasn’t
- I’m serious. His father was a Roman centurion and —
- Bear with me here — his mother was a member of an ancient Aryan tribe that swept south from the Frankish Empire to occupy the Holy Land
- Really. Not a Jew.
6. Sweatshop Christmas
Join the wacky kids of the Number Six Glorious Dragon Toy Factory and Iron Ore Foundry in the Guangyun Industrial Zone, Guangdong, China as they work their little fingers to the bone churning out Christmas toys for the good little girls and boys of the United States of America! These plucky kids would be dishonored if American consumers had to pay a penny more for their molded plastic toys! As a special Christmas bonus, the plant manager has agreed to cut the work week to just 70 hours for workers aged 11 and under, and raise the wage to an incredible 2.25 RMB per hour (US$0.30). He’s also arranged a very special treat for Christmas morning: a glimpse of daylight!