Have yourself a special Christmas

‘Tis the season for Christmas television specials. What better way to celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus than by watching “A WWF Christmas Smackdown?” What could possibly say “Peace on Earth, Goodwill To Men” more than a “Britney Spears Goes a-Caroling Buck Naked” special? How about this for spirituality – “Survivor: Bethlehem!”

What could recall Mary and Joseph’s stay in a manger in Bethlehem better than a “Christmas Getaways of the Rich and Famous?” No doubt Mary and Joseph would have loved the creche in the entranceway of the Aspen billionaire’s house where any hay, firewood or buffalo chips are kept outside the house. It’s funny, everyone wants a creche, but no one wants to go to the trouble of finding real sheep and goat manure to give it that authentic holiday smell.

Sure to be a holiday classic, “Three Wise Guys” is a twist on the tale of the Three Wise Men that you and your family will want to watch for years to come. In it, three capos from “The Sopranos” come to visit the baby Jesus by following the swamp gasses of Elizabeth, N.J.’s night sky. Naturally, they run into trouble on the way and they have to whack a few people before getting to the manger of Paramus Park. When they finally get to the manger, they give Jesus gold, frankincense and cannolis – all of which have fallen off the back of a camel.

By the time Dec. 25 rolls around, we’ll have seen a Rock Christmas, a Rap Christmas, a Country Christmas, a Corny Christmas, an Xtreme Christmas, a Borat Christmas, a Paris Hilton Christmas, a Wisteria Lane Christmas, a CSI Christmas, a Hallmark Christmas, a Capitol Christmas, a “South Park Christmas,” a motocross Christmas, a “How to Shop for Christmas” special, an “Expensive Presents You Should Buy for Christmas,” special, a “We’re Not Kidding, Get Out There and Buy More Stuff for Christmas” special and a “If You Don’t Spend Every Penny You Have Buying Presents This Christmas, Osama Wins” special.

One of the many ads you’ll see on these specials is for a robot vacuum cleaner and its new twin, a robot mop. Mary and Joseph sure could have used one of those. I’ll bet their house was full of wood chips and sawdust all the time. Those carpenters always make a mess. A shop vac would have come in handy, too. And Joseph could have used one of those electric razors you see advertised this time of year. He always looks a little scruffy in the pictures.

We’ll have seen hundreds of 20-minute long segments in the middle of the morning news that teach how to Christmas shop. Isn’t Christmas shopping pretty much the same as non-Christmas shopping? You go to a store, pick up the thing you want, take it to the counter and pay for it. Do we really need to have TV show to explain it to us? It’s shopping, it’s not brain surgery. Unless you’re buying someone brain surgery as a Christmas present, which is probably not a bad gift idea.

There are specials that show us what toys are “hot” this Christmas. But the toys are only hot because they’re on TV. If TV didn’t tell us 50 times a day how hot the new Tickle Me Elmo is, something tells me that it wouldn’t be that hot.

I don’t even get to watch too many of the Christmas specials. It’s seems I’m never home watching TV this time of year, I’m always out shopping.

Jim Mullen is the author of “It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life” and “Baby’s First Tattoo.” You can reach him at jim_mullen@myway.com

Copyright 2006, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.

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