Just Say No to Christmas | Cover Story | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Just Say No to Christmas 

The guide to not celebrating Christmas

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Hedonists: Righteous Scrooging
Hedonists are about pleasure, whether from sex, gambling, beer, good films or possessions. Soak up a few gallons of whatever floats your boat.

Piece and Love
Partner swapping: the ultimate white-elephant gift, and quite an alternative way to express peace and love. A local swinger we contacted rejects the label “hedonist,” using instead the portmanteau “sexpressive,” meaning “the consciousness of our divine right to be sexually expressive.” Our anonymous sexual being feels “we have twisted [Jesus’s supposed b-day] into a consumer nightmare. … If there is not a war on Xmas, there should be.” Still, he celebrates “just like the typical American” and uses the holidays to “celebrate with like-minded people.” Aroused? Visit Swingular.com, SwingLifestyle.com or The Utah Polyamory Society (Groups.Yahoo.com/UtahPolyamorySociety) and swing in the New Year.

Dolla, Dolla? Bill.
Loralie, aka Heiress, claims she’s danced at every boobery from Salt Lake to Ogden, and that she’s never worked Christmas. “But Christmas Eve? Yes.” As usual, Duces Wild (2750 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City, 801-467-4600, DucesWildSLC.com) attracts the married and lonely that day. “They come in for one last dance before [going home to reality],” says the petite blonde. “At Christmastime, they make sure we’re taken care of.”

Since City Weekly loves you, we called around and found that Trails I (921 S. 300 West, 801-363-2871) is open 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Southern Exposure (3420 S. State, 486-0100, MySouthernX.com) from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Afford Escort?

Some real nice ladies offer Xmas loners the “Girlfriend Experience.” Should you order up 30-60 minutes of good conversation, be sure to ask:
• Are you open on Christmas? In what sense?
• Any holiday discounts?
• Do you offer Xmas-related services, like Arctic Circle does with eggnog shakes?
Websites like UtahBackpage.com and even City Weekly’s own CWListings.com offer “Ho, ho, ho winter specials.” Cash-strapped? Try OnlineBootyCall.com or Craigslist. Just wrap it—or risk the gift that keeps on giving.

Jesus Wants Some Jim Beam
Is the only Christmas spirit you recognize called bourbon? Some bars are open. Scott Kerbin has poured the hooch at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (726 S. State, Salt Lake, 801-521-0572, MySpace.com/BurtsTikiLounge) eight of his 13 years at Salt Lake City’s favorite dive. It’s tradition for him, and he thinks family gatherings drive customers to drink. Burt’s gets a “pretty good rush” on Christmas. They open at 8 p.m. and book karaoke.

During Piper Down’s (1492 S. State, 801-468-1492, PiperDownPub.com) early years, Dave Morris used to ask his patrons their holiday plans. Enough said “nothin’”—no interest, nowhere to go—that Morris opened up for them, offering a nontraditional celebration. “I figure they’re sick of turkey and ham, so we serve Heavenly Spaghetti.” Piper gets more unconventional on Christmas Eve with the “Nightmare Before Christmas Goth Party.” Staff and customers dress as Tim Burton characters or in simple, somber black, while a DJ spins bummer tracks. Does this reflect Morris’s viewpoint? “Christmas is for [my kids],” he laughs, “not really for me.”


Movies where Santa spills blood or Santa’s blood spills just scream “alternative Xmas.” Add these to your Netflix queue: Black Christmas (original), Santa Claws, Christmas Evil, Don’t Open Till Christmas, Silent Night, Deadly Night …

Gingerbread Arthouse

As with chain theaters, Christmas is a big box office day for arthouses. Smaller, often better, films “are traditionally on the slow and steady path to gaining word of mouth,” says Tori Baker of the Salt Lake Film Society, which runs the Broadway and Tower theaters. Reporting these numbers to distributors is crucial to these films. So screw the Squeakuel and take the fam to see The Road. Or, at the Broadway (111 E. 300 South, Salt Lake, 801-321-0310, SaltLakeFilmSociety.org), enjoy the free screening of It’s A Wonderful Life at 7:30 p.m. on Christmas Day. Sure it’s free on TV, but here, it’s a 35mm print!

Put it all on Red 25!

You can piss away money on cheap tchotchkes and Heavenly Ham, or unzip at the blackjack tables in Wendover, Mesquite or Vegas ’cause casinos stay open. Alternatively, defy state and federal online gambling laws (at least ‘til U.S. representatives Barney Frank and Jason Chaffetz finish crossing swords over proposed legalization legislation) and try online poker at PokerStars.net or FullTiltPoker.net. Know the risks, and research the poker term “donkey” before you engage the sharks.

That's What I Call Xmas Music!
“Jingle Bell Rock” make you mental? CthulhuLives.org sells H.P. Lovecraft-themed Xmas compilations A Very Scary Solstice and An Even Scarier Solstice, which blaspheme Christmas spirituals (“Unholy Night”) and pervert cloying classics (“Here Comes Yog-Sothoth”) and novelty tunes (“Harley Got Devoured by the Undead”). Placenta Ovaries (www.placentaovaries.net/blog/downloads) offers four volumes—84 songs—of Xmas madness called I Love You Baby Jesus, Happy Birthday! Highlights include Tiny Tim’s “Santa Claus Has Got the AIDS,” The Frogs’ “Here Comes Santa’s Pussy,” and more from Edward Furlong, Venom, El Vez, The Kids of Widney High, Eazy-E and Dolemite, Wesley Willis and Tammy Faye Bakker. Finally, scan the 'net for Sonic Youth’s covering Martin Mull’s “Santa Doesn’t Cop Out On Dope.”

Ebay While No One’s Lookin’

Workin' It
Some folks would rather work through the holiday; others have no choice in the matter. Here’s how some local workers spend the day.

Whatcha Gonna Do
A moonlighting officer told us holiday beats depend on seniority, but officers with grown children and single cops sometimes step in for those with young families. “I haven’t worked Christmas in two years,” says this seven-year vet, but when he did, “between calls (usually for domestic violence), we return to the station to eat and socialize.”

Nurse Prickett
Registered nurse Jason Prickett works at Intermountain Medical Center. He’s worked “every Christmas for the last 10 years,” sometimes as the low man, but mainly—since he was single—in deference to coworkers with families. “Christmas brings out the lonely people,” he says. One holiday in Fort Worth, a homeless woman brought a Fisher-Price karaoke machine to serenade the waiting room. Few enjoyed her screeching, says Prickett, “but it made her happy.” This year, Prickett will be honeymooning in Belize.

GPC's in a Sack
Oh-nine makes two years in a row that “Jose” has worked at 7-Eleven. Before that “I was locked up,” so he’s never had Christmas off with his children. He figures a man’s gotta do, and “people only come in for batteries and beer.” The postprandial Bud rush is nuts, but that’s nothing compared to one year when an odd-looking customer strutted in as Jose was bathroom-bound. He returned to find the patron bent over, perusing the salty snacks, short skirt riding high. “She … he … I could see his fuckin’ balls, man. He must’ve been wearing a thong or something because they were really [protruding].” Merry Christmas, Jose? “Yeah … Jingle balls.”

“Dave,” runs a prominent department store. He’s worked “many” holidays in his 38 years with the retailer. It was tough with youngsters, but accepted. Ironically, now that Mr. and Mrs. Dave are “empty-nesters,” his employer no longer mandates day-after sale prep on Xmas. “We go skiing.”

Xmas Legal
Courts close on Christmas, so attorneys might work late on Christmas Eve just to get that precious 12/24 postmark. In-house corporate counsel, though, serves at the pleasure of the CEO. One night before Christmas, “Mark’s” workaholic jefe made him stay late to stitch up important affairs before the bossman jetted to paradise. “He then spent his ‘vacation’ lobbing bombs [at me] across the Pacific. I was fortunate to escape most of the post-Christmas Eve rantings.”

Tip Calculators
City Weekly’s Nick Clark pushed plates at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley one Christmas. He agrees with ex-Big Daddy’s Pizza driver Jim Reavis that people are 50-50 regarding Xmas generosity. Clark, who had to climb Parley’s Canyon in a little Honda Civic “while it was dumping snow,” was stiffed only once—on Christmas Eve. “They said it was the worst service they’d ever had.”
Reavis has profited from working the holiday. “It’s still a good tip day,” he says, but long waits due to weather and volume leave some people livid enough to stiff him as well.

Fitness Freaks: `Roid Noggin'
With gyms shuttered, do fitness fanatics burn off the roast beast at home? “Well hell, yeah!” says competitive bodybuilder “Jono” Markham. He keeps workout gear at home and at his day job, Eurosport Body & Paint. “Jono’s Dungeon of Pain is open!”

Snow skiing burns 413-690 calories per hour and resorts, says Ski Utah’s (SkiUtah.com) Luke Ratto, “are always open.” Sundance has nightskiing— “that’s new this year”—as do Brighton, Park City Mountain Resort, Wolf Creek, and Powder Mountain. Nick Como with Solitude says they get “about half tourists and half locals” on Christmas and may have vacancies.

Foodies: Urrrrrrrp
Many hate family feasts; some are banned from them. And what’ll you do if A Christmas Story’s Bumpus hounds invade and eat that juicy, woulda-been delicious turkey?

City Weekly dining editor Ted Scheffler recalls a similar Christmas when he was a grad student in NYC circa 1981. “I and most of my friends didn’t have family nearby. Christmas [was] a dim sum brunch in Chinatown and two movies: Das Boot and Body Heat.” He says the dim sum brunch at Red Maple Chinese Restaurant (3361 S. Redwood Road, West Valley City, 801-747-2888, RedMapleSaltLake.com) is “a great, unique Christmas Day meal!” If you get Bumpussed, grab a nice Peking duck—just like in A Christmas Story—at Little World (1356 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-467-5213).

• The Grand America’s Garden Café (555 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-258-6708, GrandAmerica.com) serves a traditional dinner buffet from 4-10 p.m. It’ll set you back $45 per ($22.50 for kids), reservations required. But if you’re seeking a buffet with more seasoned greetings, check out Ganesh Indian Cuisine (777 Fort Union Blvd., Midvale, 801-569-3800). Ganesh will operate its normal business hours on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, which includes a flavorsome lunch buffet and dinner off the menu.
•  Several  Park City  fine dining establishments including The Mustang (890 Main Street, 435-658-3975, MustangParkCity.com), Butcher’s Chophouse (751 Main Street, 435-647-0040, ButchersChophouse.com) and 350 Main (350 Main Street, 435-649-3140, 350Main.com) are open—most with same hours and menu.
• Queer-friendly Café Marmalade (361 N. 300 West, 801-746-2884, MarmaladeSLC.com) is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., brewing up coffee, grub and activities for the gay community.
• Don’t wanna leave home? Big Daddy’s Pizza (downtown, South Salt Lake, Sandy, Draper, Kearns/West Jordan, Woods Cross/Bountiful; BigDadPizza.com) delivers 365 days a year.

An! Ti! So! Cial!
So you want no part of Christmas, whatsoever—you really hate it. Options, peaceful and otherwise:

Into the Wild
Millcreek Canyon’s picnic area gates are closed, but the ski trail is open. “You’ll need snowshoes or cross-country skis,” says Craig Cheney with Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation (SLCO.org/Parks/MillcreekCanyon/index.html).

Holly Baker with Zion National Park says they’re open, but beware icy trails and hazardous road conditions—watch forecasts and take appropriate precautions. Download Zion’s Winter Map & Guide here: NPS.gov/zion/faqs.htm. Or just bring a chubby friend and a boning knife… (NPS.gov/Zion)

Home Alone
Books are a great escape, particularly if they’re set in Harry Crews’ deep, sweltering South or the beaches of Baja and Central America (Allan C. Weisbecker’s surf/road trip memoir In Search of Captain Zero).
Backlogged with tasks and projects? Heed Bre Pettis and Kio Stark’s “The Cult of Done Manifesto” (BrePettis.com/blog/2009/3/3/the-cult-of-done-manifesto.html), which says “banish procrastination” and “failure counts as done—so do mistakes.”

Spread your own good cheer. Remember to delete your browsing history, cookies, and temp files and save the good stuff to a thumb drive on your keychain.

Being An Asshole to THOSE Who Enjoy Xmas

The antisocial/misanthropic could harass the Whos in Whoville…
• Dress as Zombie Santa and feast on slab of baby backs in front of their kids.
• Apartment dwellers: Grab that cheap guitar you can barely play, and practice “Silent Night” on 11 for three hours.
• Deliver undesirable secret Santa gifts (hospital biohazard containers, copies of The Secret) via ding-dong-ditch.

Anthrax, in “Antisocial,” sing: You put a price tag on what you see/This one’s for you, that’s for me/If that’s winning I’d rather lose. Does this sum up your frustration with holiday materialism? BuyNothingChristmas.org aims to de-commercialize Christmas. Capitalism, they say, “favors the rich, abandons the poor, is heartless, and is based upon the assumption that people buy things out of self-interest.” Sound like Commie propaganda? Get this—the BNC’s founders are Canadian Mennonites and the org’s full purpose is to conquer overconsumption by North Americans and “re-design a Christian lifestyle … richer in meaning, smaller in impact on the Earth, and greater in giving to people less privileged.”

The best way to counteract holiday commercialism is to give of yourself. Check out the United Way Website (Volunteer.United-E-Way.org/Utah/Volunteer/) or help here:

Bundle up and visit Chuckwagon Operation (500 S. 600 West, under the bridge, 801-254-4945) anytime between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Xmas Day to help serve meals. Donations accepted. The Good Samaritan Program (347 E. South Temple, 801-328-5633) needs volunteers from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. to help with sack lunches.

Plunder your cupboards!
The Utah Food Bank (3150 S. 900 West, Salt Lake City, 801-978-2452, UtahFoodBank.org) most needs peanut butter, tuna fish, low-sugar canned fruit, canned vegetables, canned stews or chili, boxed meals, macaroni and cheese or pasta. Closed Christmas—don’t deliver 'til Monday.

Although The Road Home (801-819-7298, TheRoadHome.org) holds no volunteer orientations in December, it’s almost January. Apply to attend the next one online.

George Carlin said a house is “a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get… more stuff!” Spend Xmas in your closet gleaning donations for those in need, especially men’s & children’s clothes, sleeping bags, and household items.

Wash the Dishes
‘Member how Mom sometimes asks: “Any volunteers?” No day like today.

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