December 1st, 2008
08:54 AM ET

Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy...and that new high-def TV you wanted

Jack Gray
AC360 Associate Producer

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone, now it’s Christmas time in New York.  Frankly, I had forgotten all about it until I saw Santa trying to scalp tickets to Barack Obama’s inauguration.  I was struck by how shameless and cynical Santa had become.  Then I continued on my way to Central Park, where I watched smiling couples stroll arm-in-arm and tried to guess who among them were having affairs.

People tend to say that Christmas has gotten too commercial, but I beg to differ.  Take for example that sweet, soft-spoken couple I sat next to on the subway today.  I mean, if I didn’t know any better I would have thought they were Mary and Joseph themselves.  Because if there’s one thing I remember about Mary and Joseph it’s that they got into a obscenity-laced fight over whether Baby Jesus wanted an iPhone or a Blackberry Storm.

Of course, the economic crisis is only adding to holiday stress.  And Jolly Ol’ Saint Henry Paulson apparently isn’t doing enough to calm investor jitters.  I feel like he’s about one congressional hearing away from recommending all Americans ask Santa for Powerball tickets.

Take comfort, though.  It’s not all doom and gloom this Christmas season.  In fact, if you want some holiday cheer just take a drive to Times Square and visit President Clinton.  He’s the one standing outside the Hawaiian Tropic Zone restaurant holding mistletoe above his head.

By the way – a quick holiday tip for Dick Cheney:  You’re wasting your time water boarding those detainees at Guantanamo Bay.  Just force them to listen to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You.”  Of all the things the Patriot Act covered I don’t understand how it didn’t cover banning that song.

It’ll be interesting to see if the movie industry can withstand the economic crisis.  Because remember, the studios release some of their biggest films around Christmas.  Although, am I the only one who’s confused to hear the words “Mickey Rourke” and “Oscar buzz” in the same sentence?  Apparently Mr. 9 and 1/2 Weeks has a new movie coming out called The Wrestler, in which he is said to give a tremendous performance.  It’s OK, I don’t mind if you go check to see if hell has frozen over.

Speaking of hell freezing over, today is the day when Hillary Clinton is formally introduced as a member of the Obama administration.  What a difference a few months makes.  I can hear her now:  “Oh wow, secretary of state, (awkward pause) just what I always wanted.”

Which, coincidentally, was also Baby Jesus’s reaction when he got his new BlackBerry.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Christmas 2008 • Economy • Jack Gray
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Lilibeth

    Hi Jack, sorry to be so late in responding. It's been a whirlwind of a day.

    Where has the year gone? It seems like only yesterday when we celebrated Christmas last year. Speaking of gifts, my husband is like Santa Claus. He likes to buy gifts for everyone, especially gag gifts. This year, I told him we should only buy "serious" gifts, but he won't hear any of it. I guess he likes to see the reaction of people when they open their gifts.

    What about you, Jack? What do you want for Christmas? Can you reveal it in your next blog? You've been such a good boy, blogging often. I bet Santa will grant your wish.


    Edmonds, Washington

    December 2, 2008 at 1:37 am |
  2. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    Hey Jack!
    Glad to see the holiday weekend has left you with a great sense of humor!

    However, the all time worst Christmas song has got to be Cyndi Lauper's "Christmas Conga". Yes, I even hate to admit I actually bought Cyndi Lauper's Christmas album. Not sure what Cyndi was thinking when she decided to mix Christmas with the Conga. You should check it out, only if you want a good laugh. Not to mention, it takes cheesy to a whole new level.

    And Baby Jesus with a Blackberry? Now that's just a bad visual, however, getting a text message from Baby Jesus would be pretty cool....

    Thanks for blogging today. Always look forward to your posts.

    December 1, 2008 at 11:36 pm |
  3. mshamburge

    I disagree. Mariah Carey's song is classic and catchy. And I, for one, could listen to it all day. But then again, I am a member of its target demographic.

    And on that fateful day, when I am discovered dead and half-eaten in my apartment due to the large number of cats in my apartment that haven't been fed since I keeled over, rest assured that song will be playing on my iTunes. Because I will have kept it on repeat. Because it is an awesome song that speaks to single women such as myself. And also because Mr. Fluffy likes it when we dance around in circles to it.

    The Little Drummer Boy, however, should be drawn and quartered for banging his drum... bah rum pum pum pum.

    December 1, 2008 at 10:00 pm |
  4. pati mc., camp hill, pa

    Well Jack, if Baby Jesus does not want His BlackBerry Storm, he can feel free to re-gift it to moi! I would love one, thank you very much. (um, would it be a sin to pray for one? – I am thinking "yes"....*ahem*).

    So, I see that I am not the only one who has sat, or strolled though Central Park discussing who was zooming whom. Thanks for removing that little tinge of gulit, Jack. Heh heh.

    Let's start a petition to ban "All I Want For Christmas Is You". Count me in. Unless you would rather that we "Jackite's" dedicate it to you! ha ha ha ha.....

    December 1, 2008 at 9:10 pm |
  5. Annie Kate

    Hey Jack

    Great post as usual. Missed you last week with your posts so am really glad to see you back.

    We had a great Thanksgiving – no major catastrophes except for dropping a pie. And that wasn't really major – everyone was too full to eat it anyway. Christmas will be here before we know it. The year has really gone fast this year – seems like yesterday that I was watching Anderson welcome in the new year in Times Square with Kathy Griffin. I just need to get the shopping done and then manage to remember what I got for each one on the list.

    Have a great day and hope to see more of your posts.

    December 1, 2008 at 8:05 pm |
  6. Megan Dresslar (Shoreline, Wa)

    Hellooo Jack!!!
    I had blast time Thanksgiving my sister home!!! I couldn't wait for christmas!!!! I love your joke blog!!!! I wonder why you always share with viewers and me........ Oh really???? Jesus wanted blackberry storm???? Yes! sure! I wish that I wanted one blackberry storm for christmas! LOL! very funny!!!! That will be great joke! Thanks for cheer me up today...... I can't wait to see more your blog joke! Take care Jack!

    December 1, 2008 at 7:13 pm |
  7. Tammy, Berwick. LA

    I love the holidays. I do. I give, I cook, I bake, I shop, I wrap, I write and mail cards, I celebrate with all who are near and dear, I stay away from the passive-aggressive relatives I had Thanksgiving with, I collapse from exhaustion, and then on 12th Night I start all over again for Mardi Gras. It's all way too fun to be cynical about. The holidays, like everything in life, are what we make them out to be.

    December 1, 2008 at 7:06 pm |
  8. Jim,

    Jack- being the Banks are As bad as if not worse than Scrooge with their greed,& throwing people out of their homes,& the Comercialism of the Holiday has got to the point where it only teaches more greed & promotes a Me,Me,Me mentality maybe we should stop & think about Why we celibrate? God sent his Son to set people free from bondage to sin, to open the eyes of the blind,heal the sick,& to lay down his life on our behalf- should we not lay down our lives & feed the hungry,clothe the cold, shelter the homeless?The best gift you can give is obeying Jesus own words-"As You have done unto the least of these- You've done unto me."

    December 1, 2008 at 1:14 pm |
  9. Fay, CA

    am I the only one who’s confused to hear the words “Mickey Rourke” and “Oscar buzz” in the same sentence?

    These days Mickey Rourke is mainly a perfect example of plastic surgery gone bad, but he was in some pretty good movies in the 80's before he went a little nutty–his new wrestling movie actually sounds interesting.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:04 pm |
  10. Renee

    Jack: You have become a real favorite these days....Bill Clinton in a Speedo...let me get that out of my mind. I have work to do!

    Betty Ann: Forget the pepper spray and mace. Wal-Mart has a sporting goods department. Shot guns and all!

    December 1, 2008 at 11:21 am |
  11. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Yes, Christmas is sliding into home plate. 24 days and counting! A blackberry storm or an iphone? Well, I don't know what Jesus would want, but Alvin and the chipmunks want a hula hoop and Bing Crosby is dreaming of a White Christmas. So I guess we all deck the halls and frost it with the snowman of our choice. That is Christmas and it's a great time of year, with or without an iphone..blackberry storm..or Mickey Rourke..Happy Monday.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    December 1, 2008 at 11:10 am |
  12. Maria

    Happy Monday All,
    I wish you had a nice holiday, I was working on Friday and Sunday and I spent Saturday in shopping malls. I think Mary told Joseph that baby Jesus wants Raspberry and Joseph thought, she meant BlackBerry Storm…..If everybody believe Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is you”, no one will head to shopping malls and it will worsen the economy crisis, ask Ali Velshi….Jack, I have question, why Anderson thought a middle age man can beat Michael Phelps?? I am sorry Anderson you lost the game, but you win people smiles. Have a good one.

    December 1, 2008 at 11:10 am |
  13. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    P.S. Do you suppose all those anti-gay marriage people are some of those miserable married people having affairs like those strolling through Central Park? Makes you wonder, huh?

    December 1, 2008 at 11:08 am |
  14. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Holy Jack!!
    We made it through Thanksgiving and what a wonderful time I had with my family, best of my recollection. I have to sober up now.
    I hope you, Sammy and little Regis Hussein had a swimming holiday.
    Wal-Mart has become a scary place. Well, it always was to me. I can not believe that people would want a toy or gadget or any material thing so badly that they would stampede through a door completely oblivious to the helpless man on the floor. Is this what Christmas is all about? The Prince of peace would not be so proud.
    I was in Wal-Mart the other day and the Christmas carol "All Through the Night" was stuck on a loop. I listened to it for about 30 minutes all the while moving faster throwing crap into my cart in an effort to escape.
    When I turned down the dog food asile I spotted an employee and asked," Does this song drive you crazy on a loop?" He went absolutely NUTS! He started throwing dog food and yelling it was making him insane! I said ,"Whoa, calm down. Remember, at least you have a job."
    "Oh, yeah." he replied. Ok~ disaster averted.
    FYI:When in Wal-Mart always keep in mind that the pepper mace is in the sporting goods department. It could save your life!
    Obama's cabinet is pretty darn cool. I'm so glad Hillary is second best, I mean secretary of state. She and Bill will do a swell job!
    Time for Christmas! I'm not buying any gifts this year because of the economy and because it is just too materialistic. Inspite of my children wanting ipods, PC's and blackberrys. I'm reading the Christmas story and giving them some incense. Hey, if it's good enough for Jesus. . .
    Ok~Great blog for Monday!
    ho ho ho!

    December 1, 2008 at 11:02 am |
  15. Natalie

    Jack-it seems as if your long await return to the blog-o-sphere was well received. Far be it from me to withhold your much deserved salutations, so here goes-"Jack, Oh-Em-Gee (gosh) it's nice to see you blogging again!"

    Now that THAT'S outta the way, let's move on to Christmas. Well...your synical view has truly hurt me, Jack. Those couples in Central Park are in love, DARN IT!!! I won't believe otherwise, not even if the couples tell me themselves.

    I do, however, agree with you about THAT MARIAH CAREY SONG....argh! That song has been plaguing me every year since the 10th grade. OK ALREADY! I get it, I don't have you....I want you....yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. Removing that song from the holiday-Chris Cringle-"Santa in the Mix" radio station rotation should be Obama FIRST act as the 44th President!

    But other then that, Jack, I think you should cheer up. The holiday season isnt about money, or the new Blackberry Storm. Come on. Its about the possibly of a better America. Even if the current America SUCKS! Let's at the VERY least be happy this is our last Christmas without George W. Bush as commander-in-chief.

    December 1, 2008 at 10:31 am |
  16. Presley

    The thing I have been looking forward too all morning, JAAAACK!
    That's my Amy Wino-esque homage to you.
    And wouldn't you know, I brought my Frozen Hell Ice Skates, on sale during Power Hours, 70% off.
    Gee, why no mention of Anderson and his Olympic triumph getting beat by Phelps? I totally DVR'd that.

    Hope you are having a Chico's kind of day.


    December 1, 2008 at 10:14 am |
  17. Cindy

    UMM...Jack...They have Christmas decor thrown out before Thanksgiving even rolls around! They are pimping their stuff sooner and sooner every year it seems. It wouldn't surprise me at all if they didn't start putting it out before Halloween.

    And the Christmas season just wouldn't be the same without those oh so smart customers that get up before the crack of dawn just to race to the door to try to get the oh so great deals awaiting them inside! And you know secretly that they just love the pushing, shoving and possible fighting that they can get into. Nothing like two hyped up housewives going at it over a toy! LOL

    I hope that you had a great Thanksgiving and you and Sammy didn't get into too much trouble carousing around NY alone!!


    December 1, 2008 at 9:37 am |
  18. Pamina

    Hi Jack,
    Well, it's good to have you back! Glad to see the current economic state has not tainted your holiday spirit! I thought I heard that sales on "Black Friday" were up 3%. By the time Christmas rolls around, I might actually be able to buy that flat panel tv I wanted. This way I can see Anderson in High Def. Maybe it will come with a set of Ginsu knives, all for $19.95. How can anyone claim the holidays are commercialized?!

    December 1, 2008 at 9:23 am |
  19. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hi Jack, Glad to see your post this morning. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. Another Christmas is well on it's way – is that why I'm feeling anxious lately? So, the couples were canoodling in the park again ey? Your right, betcha the majority are having affairs. Such as life.
    Anyhow, here in Michigan we got a beautiful coating of new snow over night. Very beautiful, just like a winter wonderland. I spotted a red-tailed hawk in my backyard this morning – it's going to be a good day. Hope you have a good one. Glad you're back.

    December 1, 2008 at 9:08 am |