Consider This: Wait and Mash All the Holidays Into One

Consider This: Wait and Mash All the Holidays Into One
Illustration: Benjamin Currie

Medical experts are begging, warning, and bargaining with us to hault the holiday parties. One epidemiologist likened a Thanksgiving gathering to gasoline on the fire, and run-down California health officials have made a potential Christmas transmission surge sound like a reactor meltdown.

I can ask a million ways to StaY hoME pLeAsE, but consider this: how about we start planning for the biggest holiday of our lifetimes, a new holiday, a circa spring/summer 2021 pageant so unholy and extravagant that it eclipses the memory of all inferior holidays before it. It’s the holliest jolliest holiest of sexy spooky ceremonies. And also, it’s everyone’s birthday.

This is your day, and you can fill it as you wish. These are merely some guiding principles.

Give thanks

Accept the fact that the foreseeable future might be unimaginably miserable. This is to say that if you’re lucky enough to emerge from your pajama pants with a roof over your head and a new podcast, start this party off by burning some Thanksgiving herb for whatever pagan TikTok deity you may now worship. Then go nuts.

Essentials

Perhaps certain guests long deprived of physical contact would like to leave this party dripping in saliva. In that case, think about a New Year’s countdown on hourly loop, mistletoe on every portal, and an abiding sensitivity to those friends who are taking way too long in the bathroom.

If you’re going for a more family-friendly ambiance, maybe shower your guests with the Proustian experience of holiday odours. Smashed pumpkin, stale beer, party store funk, fireworks sulphur.

Soundtrack mood: Here’s a festive song!

Reinvent

We elected the back-to-normal president, but things never go back to normal in America, as a tradition, a framework. Shit happens, we adjust, and change. New Year’s Eve 1940 probably seemed ok.

So let’s look to the future with the eternal wisdom of our greatest living philosopher, and ask ourselves: Does a Christmas tree spark joy? Would this party really be better with a Hellraiser meat head centrepiece? Or a covid piñata? A dreidle inflatable?

This is also an opportunity for personal reinvention, since nobody has seen us in a year. Introduce yourself as someone with now-silver league status on Duolingo. Holaaaa!!!

Etiquette

Scream “SURPRISE!” at everyone entering the party to let them know you haven’t forgotten their birthday. Dim the lights to conceal your guests’ residual maskne. “How’ve you been?” is not a question anyone wants to answer.

Food

Holiday meal staples often consist of some combination of bread, protein, and sugar. If bounty is in store, consider an unsweetened pie crust cornucopia filled with fun size KitKats and chocolate coins with a side of holiday fowl, perhaps a vegan turkey loaf. If not, a hotdog checks all of these boxes.

Gifts

I dunno! I’m not the boss of you! But I look forward to smelling your fondue breath. I really do.