I just read about Avegant Glyph, a virtual reality headset made for the mainstream. Really? How is that or the Oculus Rift being targeted to the masses? You still can’t wear Google Glass without being snickered at, right?
And then I realized I kind of wanted it.
Because $499 is a small price to pay to hide from your awful family holiday videos.
Let me back up for a moment: Some of us have the holiday spirit. Sure, we’ll add a couple of bucks onto our grocery order to fight hunger. Why not volunteer at a soup kitchen or donate old clothes to someone who really needs them? Buy Barbies and Legos for a toy drive? Why not?
But although we feel the spirit of giving, some of us (ahem) don’t feel the spirit of decorating. I wish I were visually inclined, but here’s the deal: I don’t possess the room in my home to stow things to use for a six-week period to celebrate the grimmest, darkest time of the year. I don’t feel the need to turn my living room into a red-and-green Crate & Barrel display. I’d rather make popcorn for myself and not for a tree. Etsy, Pinterest, Martha Stewart, or anything even remotely design-oriented is about as attainable to me as a Christmas gift for a toddler stored in the cabinet on top of the fridge.
But then… I get holiday cards in the mail.
Yes! Real, paper, holiday cards! With stamps! Delivered by a real person! And when I prop said cards up on a side table: insta-festive. I don’t have to worry about pine needles or the cats breaking ornaments or the increase in my energy bill. When cards show up, I am loved, which is great, but even more importantly, I am relieved of decorating.
So that’s why your family videos are the needle blight on my evergreen. It’s started with “Christmas Jammies,” and everything I hate about that one video could fill way too many columns, but you’ve also got the Slades and the Bocks and soon every smug spawner is going to be thinking they’re fucking Scorsese.
While seeing cards that feature only your kids used to irritate me (hello, I was friends with you before you made your children, so let’s see what you guys look like these days), that’s now a mere holiday light flicker of annoyance compared to having to sit through minutes (that feel like hours) of your family’s inside jokes.
Also, families? I thought you weren’t supposed to have time to do anything. All your time-saving tips, all your hyper-planned activities, and your lack of sleep. I thought it was hard enough to get your kids presentable for a single holiday photo. How in the hell do you have the time and energy for hours of B-roll?
Videos remove the holiday spirit from my mantle and add it onto my screen. Because year-round, if I want to keep up with my friends, I have to immerse myself in technology (Facebook, email, Twitter, etc.). Which is expected, and I get that, but I have to do so during the holidays, too?
The holidays are a reminder that sometimes, things should be tangible. While a viral video may circulate for a couple days, keeping a holiday card from a friend or family member that’s no longer around—well, that means more to me than any stupid rap.
Carin Moonin is a writer living in Portland, Ore. Sometimes she'll even tweet about things she hates at @carinwrites.
Screengrab via YouTube