The Meaning Of Christmas

Whoa, you’ve stumbled across the super secretest secret of all the secrets by checking an old review months after it was published. You really, really need to get some hobbies or something.

I’d put my Stanley Parable Advent Calendar entry here, but as you can see, I’ve pretty much written every word one could conceivably write about that game. I love it, obviously. It’s in my top three for this year, no questions asked.

So, that out of the way, I will instead bestow upon you the truest incarnation of holiday meaning, a real world ghost of Christmas past, present, and future. The pulsing in our hearts, the infinity in our minds. The greatest gift of all. The song that knits together even the most disparate of cultures – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Other Thing – at their very connective tissues, cell-by-cell. That which we seek from love, from education, from violence. The greatest terror and the most profound beauty. Not god, but perhaps something like him (or is it her)? The reason we build statues, monuments, and preposterously tall Lego sculptures. What we see when we look in the mirror and find that – despite cavernous shadows under our eyes and wolfman-like stubble in every aged crease – we’ve never been happier with the person staring back. The melodic note that punctuates both a child’s laughter and the crescendo of war. The secret, intangible ingredient that makes that one brand of water bottle you buy better than all the other brands. The dividing line between beast and man, between man and machine, between machine and that terrible twist at the end of Battlestar Galactica. Your favorite blanket, fresh out of the dryer. The perfect midnight air you breathe as you sail down the road at night, top down, blasting Total Eclipse Of The Heart on repeat and baring your soul to the universe and also that one construction worker who sees you do this every single night, like clockwork, and has thrice seriously considered attempting to have you committed to a mental institution. The cherry atop the perfect ice cream sundae. A slap in the face that finally wakes you from a state of emotional dormancy. That which lies at the heart of unconditional canine loyalty. The perfect combination of additives that makes a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte taste like food despite the fact that it’s definitely not. The world. Human nature. The illusion of time. The feeling we experience when slurping down a spoonful of ice cream that’s just melted enough. What dolphins see when they dream. THIS IS WHY YOU CRY.

Are you ready? OK then, here goes nothi–