Put The Ewwwww Back In Christmas
Before the ice is in the pools, Before the skaters go, Or any cheek at nightfall Is tarnished by the snow, Before the fields have finished, Before the Christmas tree, Wonder upon wonder Will arrive to me!
- Emily Dickinson
Nice try, Emily, but if people really want to know the true meaning of Xmas, they need to turn to the other famous Dickinson - Janice.
Christmas with the Dickinsons is not only the greatest Christmas special of all-time, it’s also the greatest Halloween special of all-time and, quite possibly, the greatest April Fools’ Day special of all-time.
Terms like "Cringe inducing", "National embarrassment", and "Craptacular" fail to convey the combination of horror and insanity that is Christmas with the Dickinsons. In fact, words have yet to be introduced into the English language that could allow one human being to explain to another the sheer madness (genius?) of Christmas with the Dickinsons. I'll do my best to describe it to you, but - like Stonehenge or any other primitive monolith - you really need see this thing for yourself.
The whole thing kicks off with Janice introducing here new music video, The Twelve Days of Christmas. All I can really say is the the writers obviously threw in the towel after the second day of Christmas: if only the film crew had done the same.
Through the iris, past the retina; look out brain; it's comin' to get ya'!
While the entire viewing audience sits in stunned silence unable to even force the words "What the Hell was that crap?" past their lips, the Christmas special climbs aboard the short-bus and gets rolling with a voice-over from Janice explaining how she’s too broke to spend Christmas in a quality location like Aspen, so she has to settle for renting a small house in Idyllwild, CA. Janice then uses approximately thirty of the next fifty-five minutes to bash the municipality of Idyllwild as being a boring hick town. This criticism of what appears to the rest of us to be nothing other than a charming hamlet is best thought of as an early Christmas present to the Idyllwild chamber of Commerce, since they may now advertise their city being the one spot in America, other than her office, where you're least likely to encounter Janice Dickinson.
Trudging right along, Janice's models arrive for a calendar shoot and the long ride from LA has made them almost as nauseous as the audience. When two of them complain about not feeling so well, Janice launches into a tirade about how she never once arrived at a shoot complaining: even when her feet hurt, or when her muscles ached, or when blood was pouring out her.
Yes, she actually said "even when blood was pouring out my" as if it were some sort of common ailment that all models must endure. In fact, I think she mentioned this malady two or three more times, although I can't be certain as I was screaming in terror at that point. And then things got worse.
After divulging her rectal history, Janice garbs the models in holiday underwear (if you have to ask...) and has them ...
...oh, wait! I forgot to tell you about the parade!
Somewhere between the end of the music video and the wholesale trashing of Idyllwild (AKA "Brown Town, USA"), Janice and her models are asked to ride on float.
"You mean like one of those things in the river?" asks Janice, giving the audience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of watching as the concept of a parade is slowly explained to an adult. High five, America!
Where were we? Oh yeah, models, underwear, calendar shoot...
Following the shoot, Janice announces that she has a surprise for her models. "What could be more surprising than your agent lecturing you about the proper way to remain upbeat while blood streams from your sphincter?" you might ask. Well, it's not a new car - which at least one model was expecting - no, it's caroling in your holiday underwear. Fortunately for the models, Janice's definition of caroling involves meandering over to just one neighbor's house and scaring the bejesus out of them.
God rest ye merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
And don’t forget to smile
When that blood beings to spray
At some point Janice's two children show up and we learn that both of them have Jewish fathers. As if the Jews haven't suffered enough, Janice adds to the woes of the Diaspora by attempting to help her children celebrate Chanukah.
Janice lights all nine candles on the menorah at once. Several topple over.
There is ham on the table.
When asked to recite the story of Chanukah, Janice's teenage daughter says, "There was like some oil and it lasted for like eight days."
Then two of Janice's dinner guests (know as "the kids' Gay uncles") teasingly suggest that they should also celebrate Kwanza, which (no surprise here) Janice has never heard of.
Later, Janice's son, Nathan, gets tangled up in the blinds. 'Nuff said.
The special culminates with the aforementioned parade, which Janice claims to have attended every year as a child, even though she seemed unaware of its existence when first asked to participate.
And therein lays the true magic of Christmas with the Dickinsons. Janice understands (maybe not on a conscience level) that the Holidays aren't about senselessly recreating meaningless old traditions; they're really about senselessly creating meaningless new traditions. So, go ahead and hire an army of Gay men to decorate your tree; light all nine Chanukah candles at once (if Yahweh didn't smite Janice, He won't smite you); dress Santa in a dashiki; go caroling in your underwear; regale the entire office party with tale of how you miraculously bled from your poop chute for eight days and never once griped, because life's too short to spend the Yuletide baking cookies.