Zishi Li

DEAR JACK:

The holiday season could not be coming at a worse time this year. I have 12 finals, 60 papers and no one to love. I read your previous column on “How to land bae.” It changed my life; I look like a Ken doll now because of one-too-many late night cuddle sessions with my roommate’s space heater. On top of all my stress at school, things at home aren’t swell either. I don’t know what I’m going to give any of my family members for Christmas, and it’s causing a lot of tension. What can I buy for the people I love and hate the most? I need your advice, so long as it doesn’t melt any more of my naughty bits.

— Space Heater Hedonist

DEAR HEATER:

I think this is a bigger problem than you may realize. It appears you have contracted a resilient strain of the “Christmas Day Dumps.” Please allow me to explain. In the fifth grade, my middle school presented “Dr. Newheart’s Christmas Cure” for our annual Winter Pageant. In the musical, a group of secular children become afflicted with a serious case of holiday-onset ennui. No matter how many presents their parents buy them, they still are not happy. The gaggle of boys and girls visit a doctor to diagnose their dissatisfaction. After a battery of tests, they discover “it’s not the measles and it’s not the mumps,” but that they were simply “way down in the Christmas Day Dumps.”

There is only one specialist in the world who can cure the Christmas Day Dumps, Dr. Newheart. The youths desert their capitalistic parents and travel to Dr. Newheart’s laboratory. Upon arrival, the kids ask the homely secretary to see Dr. Newheart. The secretary becomes confused. “I’m Dr. Newheart,” she answers. Now the kids are confused. “You can’t be a doctor,” one (played by yours truly) shouts, “you’re a woman!” (That was my only line in the entire musical.) The children are reluctant to take the doctor’s advice because she has a vagina, and everyone knows you can’t trust vaginas.

Dr. Newheart attempts to explain to the boys and girls that the cause of their shit attitudes is not due to their lack of presents. They are in the dumps because they have forgotten the reason for the season: Jesus. Dr. Newheart sings that only the divine light of Christ can rid their souls of the shadows which darken their days. Miraculously, the kids forget that Dr. Newheart has a vagina and follow her advice. The heartwarming tale ends with each boy and girl finding joy in the presents underneath the tree.

That’s what Christmas really is, a day to forget about all the female genitalia in the world and enjoy store-bought goods with people who could one day give your their organs. What else is family good for? When purchasing gifts for the walking blood banks you call relatives, ask yourself these simple questions:

1. How do you want that person to react when they open your gift? Surprised? Excited? Scared? Terror makes the holidays memorable. Frighten your mom by giving her a positive pregnancy test in elegant green and gold wrapping paper. Delight your cousin with a photo-collage of pictures of them sleeping. Surprise your sister with the masticated hand of her middle school crush.

2. How much do you want to spend on each person? If you’re on a budget, I always recommend stealing an item of theirs sometime after the summer solstice but no later than the fall equinox. Nothing is better on Christmas morning than finding your long-lost dog, Peppers, underneath the tree. He might have developed rabies while he was hidden in an alley behind the house for several months, but it’s the thought that counts.

3. What do you want your gift to say? Do you love this person dearly? Have you gone through a rough patch recently? To heal any old wounds, make some new ones. Enter into the ultimate covenant of friendship — a lethal blood pact. Swear to kill one another’s mortal enemies. Failure to fulfill the hemoglobinic oath requires the other party to sacrifice you to the holiday devil, Krampus. Nothing says “I love you” more than invoking the Christmastime demon. Open your eyes, sheeple: Do you really think it’s a “coincidence” that S-A-N-T-A is nearly identical to S-A-T-A-N?

Happy holidays and may visions of sugar plums dance in your head.

Your friend,

Jack