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Fake News

A Skeptic’s Guide to an “Enlightening” Family Christmas

“You are probably going to be a very successful person. But you’re going to go through life thinking that [people] don’t like you because you’re a nerd. And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that that won’t be true. It’ll be because you’re an asshole.” — Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — that singular season where regardless of race, creed, credo, or semester of freshman philosophy, contrarians around the world join voices in their most beloved pastime: nitpicking the simple traditions that bring their families joy. So in the spirit of “rationality,” our skeptics have compiled a guide on how to use your evolved brain to  really fucking ruin  enlighten your family’s holiday. Let’s get crackin’, killjoys!

1. Point Out That Christmas is Based on a Pagan Tradition — Have they heard it before? Probably. Do they care? Not really. But is that a reason for you to stop? Heck no. How will they see the error of their ways without your guidance? For you have ascended, the apotheosis of rationality, and it is your divine duty to lead them to the truth: Pagans did it first.

a. Bonus points: Professional spoilsport Neil DeGrasse Tyson (NDT) has almost assuredly tweeted something to this effect. Cite his missive for scholarly support!

2. Declare That Christ Couldn’t Have Been Born on December 25th — Ideally at the height of a joyous family moment, like after singing a beloved Christmas song or at the end of It’s A Wonderful Life.

a. Bonus points: NDT has also almost assuredly tweeted that “Jesus” shares his “birthday” with an even godlier figure, Isaac Newton. Repeat this fact until someone threatens violence.

b. Bonus bonus points: Repeat after me: “If Jesus was born in the winter, how come the shepherds in Bethlehem were out tending to their flock? They only do that in the summer months. Checkmate, Papists.”

3. Trot Out Some Wikipedia Knowledge -i- Interrupt the family blessing by showing a research study on the ineffectiveness of prayer. Don’t just use Wikipedia. Use the footnotes at the bottom of Wikipedia. And pretend you started there. #Intellectual

4. Explain How Your Rich College Friend Does The Holidays Better — Those affluent atheists come from money and care not for the small magic of an intimate family holiday. Reiterate how great it would be to be their son.

a. Bonus points: If they’re Jewish. Or Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

5. Throw Their Eurocentrism in Their Faces — Why does every painting of Jesus make him look like Jim Caviezel? The man (yes, I said man. Not “God,” you sheep) was from the Middle East. Consider another culture for once in your life and please pass the baklava.

6. Hold Your Family’s Feet to the Fires of Capitalism — Santa Claus? A soulless creation of Coca-Cola to help them hock a sugary beverage. Gift-giving? A forced sacrifice to America’s plutocrat lords, a perverse tithe to the very system that enslaves our minds, ensnares our families, and empties our pocketbooks. Stockings? A waste of good socks.

7. Debunk the Puerile “War on Christmas” — Did anyone even mention it? Of course not. It’s Fox News propaganda. But just in case, show the fam’ that YouTube think-piece that thoroughly debunks the notion. Be humble(ish) as they praise thy wisdom.

a. Bonus points: Watch the director’s cut (feat. commentary by NDT)

8. Get Into The Spirit…Of Festivus — So you’ve debunked (and perhaps ruined) Christmas. What now? Easy — indulge in the choice holiday of curmudgeons and party poopers worldwide: Festivus! So gather ‘round that Festivus pole and air the grievance that, because of your snobby fun-sucking, your family has disowned you entirely.

—Happy Holidays!—

We’re now accepting list submissions! Although we’re contractually prohibited from telling you whether Santa had anything to do with that decision. Join the PIC newsletter for weekly comedy headlines. Save 10% on comedy classes at The Second City using code PIC.

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