Spreadin’ Love 498

Love this woman for not taking shit from a subway flasher

Rich people are repellant.

(I see people are clicking like mad on the gift guides. I'll do some more later tonight.)

I love everything that Christoph Niemann does.


Digital Jesus.


23 thoughts on “Spreadin’ Love 498

  1. I was expecting something worse (“Rich people are repellent.”). They’re just bizarre. Outsourcing Christmas? Someone else establishing your traditions (Christmas tote bags instead of stockings?). Usually you hire people to do stuff so that you can do the fun stuff (i.e. clean my floors, so I can spend more time making hand made cards). What exactly are you looking for time for when someone else fills your kids’ Christmas stockings (tote bags) and decorates your tree? Are you playacting in a set?
    Really, I just don’t get it — there must be something else that’s more fun, right? Do they ski, or spend time on the surf in Hawaii, but still feel like they need a tree and presents under it? I’m perplexed.

  2. “Rich people are repellant.
    “I see people are clicking like mad on the gift guides. I’ll do some more later tonight.”
    No comment.

  3. Eyes rolling. Don’t you think there’s a big difference between buying a $25 book from Amazon and paying someone $50,000 to trim your Christmas tree for you?

  4. Well, “clicking like mad” suggests more than a single book purchase, and if I remember correctly, the gift options extend well beyond $25. Your target audience and readership is pretty well-heeled. Just think of it as their prosperity trickling down to you. It’s a good thing!
    I didn’t read enough in the article to see the price tag. I was just reading Marni Jameson’s “The House Always Wins” (a super book) and she talks about pricing out professional holiday decoration (I think this was in California and Denver, CO). One professional tree designer costs $100 per foot of tree (which Jameson passes on), but she goes for a banister stylist who charges $75 an hour plus materials. Jameson hires the banister stylist, watches exactly what she does and takes notes and photos, and then recreates it every following Christmas. Outside high society NYC, professional holiday decorating is pricey, but not totally impossible, although I personally think that if you like the department store look that much, just open your gifts there. There’s no point in recreating that at home.

  5. Think of all the fun they miss! There’s the fight in the field to choose the tree to cut down. Males like tall & skinny trees, females like short & fat trees. [Don’t go there. please! 🙂 ]
    Then there’s the fight about the proper time to put up the tree. Should it acclimate in the garage for a couple of days, or can it come inside immediately? Will it lose all its needles from stress, or is the treee transporter delaying from a fit of laziness?
    Then, what color will the lights be? Colored or white? Everyone wants white except the 3rd grader. 3rd grader wins.
    Yes, we’re having fun. Why do you ask?

  6. Plus, you miss out on our household’s favorite: Christmas tree chicken. This is where you wait until the last minute (Dec. 22, 23, or even 24) to get a Christmas tree. In those last days before Christmas, the price of trees dives precipitously, until finally they’re only $5 or even given away free (that was a couple years back when it was so cold that the tree sellers fled, leaving a note that the remaining trees were free). Unfortunately, this doesn’t scale up. If everybody waited, the method wouldn’t work. We leave ours up until Epiphany/Three Kings (January 6), so we get full value. There is also the unfortunate possibility of getting left without a tree (we’ve come very close), so bear that in mind.

  7. Our Greek Orthodox friends celebrate Christmas at a later date. (I think this led to a famous schism in the past.)
    At any rate, they discovered that the answer to their problem was to cultivate a relationship with a tree farm which allows families to tag “their” tree. The tree stays in the field until they need it.

  8. I looove everything Christoph Niemann too. In fact, we went to see him at the Transit Museum for a reading of his kids book “Subway”. When I got my book signed, I showed him a photo of Yo’s Halloween costume, which was based on the book. He actually seemed flattered, and asked me to send him a copy of the picture. He’s awesome–kind of a dorky guy who is someone you’d probably be friends with if he were your neighbor.
    I once joked w/Super G that if I could sit next to any 2 people on an airplane, it would be Niemann and Ira Glass.

  9. Oh wait, I’m not done.
    For clients with three or four homes, what many would consider a holiday perk may be more of a necessity. Consider the needs of a European couple with a young family — 4-year-old twin boys — who live abroad but maintain a house in Connecticut and a penthouse on the Upper East Side, which they like to visit at Christmas.
    A necessity? NECESSITY??!! I’m not sure if I’m more irritated at the rich people or at the NYTimes (as usual).

  10. Science: Everybody says don’t smash stink bugs or the smell is horrible. When the opportunity came (last one in the office on a Friday and I don’t care what it smells like for 60 hours), I smashed on as completely as I could. It smelled a bit off, but I’ve eaten things that smell worse.

  11. “There is no newspaper so good, were it to submit all its thoughts and actions to the laws, would not deserve being bailed out by a Mexican billionaire after losing a ton of money on dodgy acquisitions done well after it was obvious that internet was changing the whole game.”

  12. In NYC, obviously, one doesn’t cut down one’s own tree: there are tree sellers on the street. When I was very little (like 5 or 6), we used to go with my father on Christmas Eve and buy a tree. He would bargain the tree seller down to a few dollars. Then my parents would decorate the entire tree and put out all the presents while we slept.
    But my parents got richer and lazier and didn’t want to do all the work on Christmas Eve. So we bought the tree earlier and they didn’t have the single manic evening. My wife and I have always been too rich and lazy to get the tree and decorate it on Christmas Eve. On the other hand, we’ve never been rich and lazy enough to hire someone else to decorate it for us. And, like everyone, we believe that our way is the best way, the middle way, and that everyone different from us is an extremist.

  13. When we lived in NW DC and didn’t have a car, it was an enormous pain for my husband to haul a tree by hand the 8 blocks home. I think we probably wimped out a couple of years, particularly if we were traveling. I have a hazy memory that in DC we might have sprung once for a tree delivery service, where they bring the thing to your door, with an extra charge for installing it in the tree stand. I forget how much it was for delivery and the tree ($100?), but that’s city life for you.

  14. Doug,
    You’ve got to spell this out in a bit more detail. Do you mean the schism led to the calendar difference, rather than the calendar difference leading to the schism?

  15. The schism was (basically) because the pope/political stuff. Invading Constantinople didn’t help fix things. But the date of Christmas has always been December 25th the whole Christian world over. The Orthodox just differed on when December 25th is because the east didn’t take to the Gregorian Calendar until 400 years after the west. It isn’t like Easter, where the eastern and western dates are calculated different.
    The Orthodox may do the gift-giving and feasting on January 6th (I don’t know), but that isn’t celebrating Christmas at a different date. It is celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany*. Many Catholic countries do (did?) the big celebrating on January 6 (as Three Kings Day, mostly). Of course, BIG CHRISTMAS may have wiped the board with Epiphany.
    *Which, ironically, is fixed at January 6 for some and floating as the second Sunday after Christmas for others.

  16. Anyway, we always have artificial trees. I only had a real tree one year in college when a roommate had cut down a scrub cedar tree from some pasture. Lacking a tree stand, we put it in our biggest pot and leaned it in the corner. We decorated with beer cans.
    The day before leaving for break, we cooked a turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy. For the potatoes, we had to borrow the pot that was holding the tree. When finished with the tree, we tossed it behind the garage with all the couches that were too horrible to even put on the porch.

  17. Yes, the Orthodox churches (all of them? not sure) have kept the Julian calendar, which puts their December 25 two weeks behind the common reckoning. So the schism has, indirectly, led to the difference.
    (MH, our college solution was to burn couches of that type. But things that are merely Frowned Upon in rural Tennessee may possibly be Seen Differently in other jurisdictions.)

  18. Somebody tried that once (burning a couch) and the cops arrived and they called a fire truck. Of course, maybe if they hadn’t have used a whole can of lighter fluid? Part of the problem may have also been where the couch was placed, but that’s all I want to say about that.

  19. As for the Julian calendar, the Orthodox churches may keep to it back in the old country (I have no idea), but they (at least the Greeks) use the Gregorian calendar in the U.S. And the Catholic Church in Greece celebrates Easter when the Greeks celebrate Easter. I had two Palm Sundays one year.

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