The 20 Specials of Christmas: South Park

Yesterday I said that South Park often used the preaching technique invented in A Charlie Brown Christmas. This special seemed like a good follow-up.

A Very Crappy Christmas retells the creation of Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s original short, The Spirit Of Christmas. And, in a way, it’s also a great counterpoint to A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Although people always claim to want a Christmas without the shopping and gift-giving, the reality of it makes Christmas boring and depressing. The gift-less Christmas in the city of South Park not only ruins the economy, but seems to put everyone in a crappy mood.

The special says that all the complaining about buying gifts comes from a selfish desire for convenience, not any actual need to “go back to basics.” Not that holiday shoppers fare better, of course — the episode mocks them for being the self-centered pricks that they usually are.

Rather, A Very Special Christmas is a demonstration of Matt & Trey’s pragmatism. Rather than take a side or smooth out the discrepancy between religion and consumerism, A Very Crappy Christmas shows that the holidays are actually about people acting like selfish, self-righteous assholes.

Mike Drucker is a lovely man with many positive characteristics. He has written for Saturday Night Live, The Onion, McSweeney’s, and Nintendo. He’s also a stand-up or something, I guess.

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