Hey what's up hello! As Christmas arrives, we can't help but notice how romantic society has made Christmas. Today we try to figure out how that happened and why Christmas is viewed as romantic.
Episode Transcript: www.soundsfakepod.com/transcripts/why-is-christmas-romantic
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SARAH: Hey what’s up hello. Welcome to Sounds Fake But Okay, a podcast where an aro-ace girl (I’m Sarah. That’s me.)
KAYLA: … and a demisexual girl (that’s me, Kayla)
SARAH: talk about all things to do with love, relationships, sexuality, and pretty much anything else that we just don’t understand.
KAYLA: On today’s episode: Christmas is Romantic.
BOTH: Sounds fake, but okay.
SARAH: Welcome back to the pod!
KAYLA: Not a creature was stirring, not even a M’ouse.
SARAH: Wow, I really teed that up for you and the audience-
KAYLA: Will never know.
SARAH: And they will never hear the teeing up.
KAYLA: But she did.
SARAH: But I want everyone to know that was on me. (pause) Hey guys! I have my new mic now, we are both newly mic’d.
SARAH: We are still- I literally opened my mm maybe 20 minutes ago.
KAYLA: Minutes before recording (laughs) this woman opened the box.
SARAH: I’ve had it for a week I opened the box 20 minutes ago. So we’re still trying- we’re still working things out.
KAYLA: We’re not audio engineers.
KAYLA: But what I have learned-
SARAH: Despite a number of student films I’ve done sound on, I don’t know what I’m doing.
KAYLA: We’ve already learned- and it’s something we’ve already known is that Kayla is really loud, because my microphone is so- it’s maybe close to a foot away from my mouth right now and my gain- and gain is- I don’t know what gain really is but it’s how loud you are and it’s out of a hundred and mine is at 13 right now and I think I’m about to turn it down again because I’m so loud (laughs).
SARAH: Now I’m about 4-5 inches away from my mic and I’m at 38- although.
KAYLA: (gets quieter) I’m gonna turn my gain down, but now it seems really-
SARAH: Yeah, maybe turn it back up. I can always adjust in post. I’m not encouraging you to say “oh we’ll fix it in post”, but in this circumstance I can adjust it. (laughs)
KAYLA: (back to normal) If you say so.
SARAH: Anyway do we have any housekeeping?
KAYLA: (begins humming halfway through) Ummmmmmmmmmmmmm~
SARAH: (Hums in a higher harmonizing pitch) Ummmmmmmmmmmm~! That- I’m gonna say that’s a no. Kayla, what are we talking about this week?
KAYLA: This week we are talking about Crimmass.
KAYLA: Because it is the winter holiday that Sarah and I celebrate.
KAYLA: And we’re talking about the romantici- romanticization of Christmas. Not in the way- Cause I looked up the words “romanticization of Christmas”
KAYLA: Because that would be a good title and what I found was articles by Christians, about what I think was really the commercialization and what they said was romanticization?
KAYLA: Not in the Christian way, but in the way of people taking Christmas and saying “this is a holiday for romance now”
KAYLA: And that is what we will be discussing today, class.
SARAH: Well personally, I think I understand the impulse to romanticize Christmas in the sense of viewing it as this like idealized, perhaps unrealistic and unreachable thing where it’s like (affected British accent) “everyone’s together and there’s perfect snow outside, and you’re inside, cozy warm with your warm beverage by the fire~” Like, like that.
KAYLA: Like that type of romant- Romanticizing it that way like the perfection of it almost.
SARAH: Yeah. I absolutely understand the impulse to do that, but what we’re talking about here is more so of the fact that for some reason Christmas is seen as also a romantic holiday??
KAYLA: It’s like a second valentines day now somehow?
SARAH: This kind of came up because - me and Kayla both realized, so my parents got engaged on Christmas Eve.
KAYLA: And mine got engaged on Christmas day.
SARAH: What year was it?
KAYLA: Oh god, don’t ask me things like that.
SARAH: I actually don’t know I know for sure what year my parents got married. I think they got married 1992, I think they got engaged Christmas of 1990…??
KAYLA: I could try to do some backwards math from my sister’s birth year but I can’t remember how many years after their marriage they had her, so I can’t do that.
SARAH: It genuinely doesn’t matter.
KAYLA: It doesn’t.
SARAH: Point being, a lot of people get engaged at Christmas. I had a cousin get engaged on Christmas, it’s like a thing.
KAYLA: Yes. And I do get that, because- okay here’s the- here’s- backing up- I understand… okay no, backing up even more.
SARAH: Keep going.
KAYLA: To me how I (laughs) - I’m just gonna keep pushing it back. The way I view Christmas is less in a romantic sense in more of a familial sense.
KAYLA: Like to me, if I were to classify Christmas it is more about family because for me personally, that is the time when I am, one of the only times of the year when I get to see my extended family like aunts and uncles and cousins and things.
KAYLA: And we have always been a family that did big family Christmases, I understand that is not the reality for a lot of people-
SARAH: Right but- I was thinking a similar thing because in the exactly 2 minutes I spent thinking about this before we recorded-
KAYLA: I have notes you guys! I took notes!
SARAH: Oh! I did too, but I only thought about them for 2 minutes.
KAYLA: I am prepared.
KAYLA: Well probably same.
SARAH: Because I know I can’t remember shit if I don’t write it down (laughs). But I also had that thought of Christmas being about gathering with family and loved ones who you don’t necessarily get to see often, and I definitely think that is a big angle in Christmas, or in the way that Christmas is portrayed and the way Christmas is sold, more so than any other holiday, except maybe Thanksgiving in the United States. Which is great that there’s this emphasis on familial whatever, a lot of times it is blood relatives and they are ignoring the found family of it all, but it's- it’s so odd to me because like this is a holiday that’s like, it really does celebate the- celebrate the platonic, but at the same time… It’s like, it just depends on your viewpoint, or depends on what you want to make of it — obviously that’s everything, the way something is will depend on what you make of it — but it's interesting to me that these two things exist at the same time when there’s not a lot of nice platonic holidays. Like you already have valentines day? Why do you need Christmas too?
KAYLA: Yeah it is interesting because I think they exist at the same time. I think in general society views holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas as very family oriented.
KAYLA: But I also think like, Christmas has become very romantic, like “oh it’s our first Christmas together”
KAYLA: or “We’re getting engaged” and the engagement thing I get if you want to do the engagement with, or in front of family which is something that like a lot of people feel the urge to do?
SARAH: Or if you want to be able to tell them soon after in person.
KAYLA: Right so that-
SARAH: That makes-
KAYLA: -for practicality’s sake I understand that.
KAYLA: I feel like I’ve seen so many things of like “oh..” you know I think it kind of goes along with like cuffing season, I guess.
KAYLA: which is like “oh it's getting colder out so you need someone to cuddle with” but it's like “oh I’m gonna be spending this Christmas alone” or like… I think I recently heard someone say like “as a single person you know like, Christmas is for couples so I didn’t have anyone to spend it with”
KAYLA: And they like exist at the same time which is really odd, but I did some research. Are you ready?
SARAH: Can I say something really quick before we jump-
SARAH: Okay, I will. I think it is- you- what you said just now kind of reminded me of the fact that even our- the way our culture views platonic bonds and family is still built around their traditional cishet monogamous relationship, like sexual romantic relationship-
SARAH: -So even when we are talking about familial or platonic love it's still based around those specific types of relationships and the families that are built outward from that? So like even if it is focused a lot on family, its still at the same time everythings revolving around the love and sex the romance-
KAYLA: That's very true-
SARAH: -of it all.
KAYLA: -because your traditional family is built from-
KAYLA: - a couple that is traditionally an opposite-sex couple.
SARAH: And this isn’t Christmas, but I think very similar things happen around Christmas: the concept of like a Friendsgiving- why do you need have a different name for this celebration that-
SARAH: -you have with people who you’re not blood-related to?
KAYLA: Yeah, or like what I’m picking up is that it’s a big deal for your partner for the first time to come to family thanksgiving or family Christmas.
KAYLA: And it’s seen as quite alternative to bring a friend. Like I know you and I have both done the thing of bringing a friend to family gatherings, but it is seen as like the alternative move to bringing a partner.
SARAH: Yes. And it's- I don’t know, other people in my family have done that before and in hindsight, we were like “was that their girlfriend? Like was that her girlfriend?”
SARAH: (laughs) Um but like, cause that’s just the implication, you have a plus one and its your romantic sexual partner, it’s not your Miranda, except in my family…(whispers) it is my Miranda…
KAYLA: Miranda is your Miranda.
SARAH: Miranda is my Miranda.
KAYLA: Would you like to hear my research?
SARAH: I would.
KAYLA: I found an article called- on findmypast.com, but I took a screenshot of it so I don’t remember what it's called.
SARAH: Mm bad co-host.
KAYLA: Yeah. It was basically talking about how like modern-day Christmas came to be and it kind of started by talking about like pre-civil war Christmas wasn’t like a national kind of holiday for America, it was not widely celebrated, there wasn’t a culture around it. Civil war I guess because people were missing their family that were soldiers it became more of a thing.
KAYLA: And there was something about a Christmas tree- we’re not here not to talk about founding of modern-day Christmas… Anyway, another part of it said, it was talking about how common Christmas day weddings used to be-
KAYLA: -which I think could be a contributing factor, so I was trying to think about where, historically, did this come from, like what can we point back to of why we might view it this way.
KAYLA: So it used to be very common that Christmas day weddings happened, because for working-class people it was one of the few days of the year where they were guaranteed to get work off.
KAYLA: So they both could have a day off to get married and then maybe their family would have the day off, so - not that weddings used to be as romantic as they are now… I think weddings used to be back in the day a lot more-
KAYLA: And as time goes on they become more about things like love.
SARAH: Yeah and more about just the- more of the grandeur of it all and the presentation-
SARAH: I mean that certainly was true for the very very rich, in the- in the distant past, but it’s possible now for more people to have that more lavish, you know, weddings situation, at least in like wealthy nations.
KAYLA: Yeah, so I don’t know, so I just thought that was an interesting history-
KAYLA: - of what used to be. Cause its not common anymore. Now there’s a wide stigma against holiday weddings, because people are like well now I have to- you’ve told me what to do on my holiday.
SARAH: I’ve heard of people doing New Years weddings and their guests getting so annoyed at them.
KAYLA: Oh yeah I’ve heard of fourth of July weddings that people are super pissed about - yeah holiday weddings…
SARAH: My cousin got married on the fourth of July, but it was- the wedding took- it was small wedding first of all, and the wedding took place at the family cottage where we normally spend the fourth of July anyway.
KAYLA: So really it’s fine.
SARAH: Yeah it was just like, more people came to the fourth of July and also there was a wedding and a dj.
KAYLA: Anyway this is not our wedding episode which will happen one day… I have some other theories though about where this may have come from.
SARAH: Well can I say something about the Christmas day weddings?
SARAH: I will! Um, I think… it is it is interesting that there is that historical precedent of getting married on Christmas day, but that precedent itself is so unromantic like…
KAYLA: Yes yeah. Like this is the ONLY day that we have off from our terrible factory jobs…
SARAH: Like “we don’t have labor laws so we have to get married on Christmas day!”
KAYLA: I was just thinking about earlier today I wanted to tweet about how I hate Henry Ford because it’s really all his fault.
KAYLA: This capitalist society we find ourselves in…
SARAH: Yeah. Labor laws are good, join a union if you can. Anyway! You know why we have weekends… you know how we have a five-day workweek…
KAYLA: Dude I have some… do you remember Jake from NERDS, I don’t think ever crossed over with him, but I play d&d with him now, anyway the work that he is now leaving has a union and their company started sending them anti-union propaganda that they found on Reddit because Redditors were like attacking their union…
KAYLA: They were like picketing the other day and the police were called. It's very dramatic.
SARAH: I saw a thing on Twitter today that was like “we have jobs available, you need to be at least 18 years old, you need to be able to work however many hours a week, you need to be willing to cross the picket line…”
SARAH: I was like ummm. And on my way to work this morning I saw a car that they had written on the windows in paint and it had like “IATSE local like 705 or something” like they wrote their local union on their car and I was like that’s fun!
KAYLA: I also saw a TikTok of some Amazon workers that were like picketing a bus stop and it was like a whole thing. And the first Starbucks ever got a union.
SARAH: It did! In Buffalo.
KAYLA: There was video of them celebrating, and everyone’s like “well… that Starbucks location is gonna get shut down” (laughs)
SARAH: Well they- Starbucks had literally been sending people to try and get- anyway, we won’t get into this. Either way, this is about Christmas-
SARAH: It’s just so funny to me that people that get married on Christmas was such an unromantic notion-
SARAH: -and then it became this romantic thing. Anyway, continue on with your research-
KAYLA: Because now you have like winter weddings too that are like Christmas themed and yeah, anyway. When I was first trying to think of why this happened my first thought was advertisements.
KAYLA: And every kiss begins with Kay because every Christmas all of the jewelry stores come out with these… I mean every store and every business has its Christmas section now
SARAH: (really affected voice) Limited edition love Christmas necklace ring~
KAYLA: Yeah, but… and just like that. But Kay especially like the jewelry brand, they always do these Christmas commercials and it always very romantic Christmas whatever, and it made me remember how you know how engagement rings used to not be a thing and then diamond companies were like… shit no one’s buying diamonds so they made up that you’re supposed to propose with a diamond ring?
KAYLA: I feel like the same thing happened. Businesses got a hold of Christmas and were like, we need to maximize the consumerism of Christmas even more so now we need to make it a romantic thing so couples feel pressured to do even more when it comes to gift-giving.
SARAH: I mean that’s very possible because I mean, people have been talking about the commercialization of Christmas since… Christmas. Well since Christmas-
KAYLA: Since Jesus was born~
SARAH: -since Christmas of 1960.
SARAH: I mean they talk about the commercialization of Christmas in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Like, like this isn’t a new thing, this isn’t a new notion.
SARAH: But I think that is an apt- an apt little note there. That so much of the commercialization of Christmas is also about sex and romance because that’s what- that’s what our entire society revolves around so you can’t have a commercialization of a holiday like this that is meant to bring people togeller- together and celebrate family and the people you love, without turning it into a romance thing-
KAYLA: You know what makes me think of?
KAYLA: You know the Folgers commercial that people think is incestuous?
KAYLA: So for those who don’t know-
KAYLA: It’s like quite a few- I just want- you know we gotta make sure everyone knows.
SARAH: Folgers is a coffee brand.
KAYLA: Folgers is a coffee brand, very-
SARAH: Like you buy at the grocery store.
KAYLA: Yeah very like not fancy very like…
SARAH: Comes in a big plastic tub.
KAYLA: Yeah not fancy, not expensive. But several years ago now, there was this Christmas ad and it was like this young woman in the kitchen making her Folgers cup of coffee or whatever and this young man comes up to the door and he knocks. She’s like “oh my god your home!” and he’s like a returning soldier and they like hug and its like full thing and she like makes him a cup of coffee. They are siblings, but it does come off as a little… cause they don’t look enough alike, and they’re like the same age, and the parents aren’t there so it's not like a family setting anyway.
KAYLA: But anyway, I feel like it's interesting that it was so quickly-
KAYLA: - coded that way.
KAYLA: Because like we’re already primed to expect that almost, because I think like Christmas commercials are either a full family with kids-
KAYLA: -and you’re buying toys or its a husband and wife that buy dodge jeep rams or whatever and he buys the black one and the red one expecting that she’ll want the red one and then she’s like “I get the black one!” and he’s like “oh darn!”
KAYLA: You know?
SARAH: I also think that I forgot- and then I forgot, because I was thinking about something and then you distracted me-
KAYLA: -with Dodge Jeep Ram?
SARAH: Yeah. Um.
SARAH: Dodge Jeep Rams??
KAYLA: THat’s what a car-
SARAH: Are they both Dodge and Jeep?
KAYLA: You’ve never seen a car dealership that’s like Dodge and Jeep?
SARAH: Oh I understand.
KAYLA: They’re like all together?
SARAH: I thought that you were saying that that was the name and brand of the car was Dodge Jeep Ram.
KAYLA: Yeah! There’s probably one out there.
SARAH: Oh I remember!
KAYLA: Folgers? Incest?
SARAH: I re- SHH- I remember! It’s also a thing of people being “oh I need-” this is partially to do with the whole cuffing season of it all, but it's not just about cuffing season like “oh I need someone to spend the winter months with” It’s also like “I need someone to bring to Christmas” which-
SARAH: - which kind of goes back to what we're saying earlier, your plus one is always assumed to be your romantic sexual partner — people don’t wanna be alone on Christmas and they don’t wanna, well, you- if you’re you’re with people you’re not alone, but go off? But it really does play into the whole compulsive heteronormativity of it all.
KAYLA: Well yeah, it's like every time you go home for the holiday-
SARAH: Compulsory! I said compulsive (laughs)
KAYLA: Well, you know… like every time you go home for a holiday it's like “oh do you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend yet?” or “oh…” this also randomly made me think of, which was another inspiration for this episode, we were thinking about doing an episode on turning romantic Christmas songs into non-romantic ones like we’ve done for other song episodes, and there are so many- I- think about it…
SARAH: Last Christmas…
KAYLA: Last Christmas, Santa Baby, Baby it’s Cold Outside…
SARAH: Santa Baby is weirdly sexual.
KAYLA: Oh Santa Baby is incredibly sexual.
KAYLA: And then you have traditions like kissing under the mistletoe and stuff like that.
KAYLA: Or like daddy- saw mommy kissing Santa Claus or whatever like…
KAYLA: So much! And like why?
SARAH: There is so much.
KAYLA: It really is the more I think about it, Christmas is not for single people. Nothing about it is coded for friendship or for single people.
SARAH: No. And Christmas is such a, you’ve done it again, Kayla, what was that? You talked a little bit too long and made me forget what I was gonna say…
KAYLA: I’m so sorry for talking on my own podcast.
KAYLA: You’re so right. I’ll see myself out.
SARAH: (still laughing) Um, um , oh no… you said, you said- you were saying…
KAYLA: Christmas is NOT for single people.
SARAH: I recall! Christmas music is such a big thing. Such a big part of the culture and the whole- the vibes of Christmas. The Christmassy feeling. And there are certainly plenty of Christmas songs that could be read as romantic, but could also be read as platonic like you know, the.. I'll BE Home For Christmas, you know, There’s No Place Like Home For The Holidays, it could be it could be it could go either way. But then there’s a whole genre of romantic Christmas songs, which is unsurprising given the fact that as we’ve discussed on this podcast several times — most songs are in some way about romantic slash sexual slash both, love or relations of some sort. So it’s unsurprising, but it's just like, well we take that and then we stick Christmas in it. Give it some sleighbells put a wreath on it.
KAYLA: It’s just like.., It makes me wonder when this happened, you know?
KAYLA: Because originally, Christmas was not Christmas it was a pagan holiday- a pagan winter holiday and then-
SARAH: About the solstice.
KAYLA: - and then Jesus was born, not in winter, and the Christians said-
SARAH: Probably in spring.
KAYLA: -we are co-opting the pagan holiday just saying Jesus is born…
SARAH: Because we don’t want people to celebrate this pagan holiday.
KAYLA: Yeah. And we’re just going to take that over right quick and then it was a religious thing, and then no we’re here and Christmas like- I know there’s the think pieces every year and there’s the news about they’re killing- what is it they always say? Every year there’s some news…
SARAH: About Merry Christmas? About how you can’t say Merry Christmas anymore?
KAYLA: There’s a war on Chri- The war on Christmas that’s what it is.
SARAH: Oh the war on Christmas.
KAYLA: Because we’re not- it’s not Christian anymore and now we’re saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas or whatever. But Christmas is not in a wide sense- I understand if you’re a religious person you probably find it quite religious because you’re going to midnight mass and all that stuff.
SARAH: Yeah we used to always go mass on Christmas Eve and stuff.
KAYLA: Oh same. But like the societal view, at least in America, I think from our perspective from we have experienced it is not that. Christmas is now-
SARAH: It’s not that and it has never been that.
KAYLA: No, it is a commercial thing, it is a holiday like any other- it’s like Halloween-
KAYLA: It’s not like there’s anything deep behind it necessarily anymore…
SARAH: Or there’s not anything inherently built into it.
KAYLA: IT’s more like traditions at this point, and things- you just do it.
SARAH: Like it’s like, you could make Thanksgiving a religious holiday if you want to make it about religion, and like again, I don’t wanna make it seem like we’re saying (preppy voice)“excuse me, Christmas is not a religious holiday~” because for so many people it very much is…
KAYLA: No we’re talking about the overall societal view of it-
SARAH: Yeah and I think-
KAYLA: -fully recognizing- Sarah and I, I think have very similar Christmas experiences and that many people have very different ones.
SARAH: Right, I think it is just like, in the broader culture it never really been about religion.
KAYLA: Oh it’s always been about money.
SARAH: It’s always been about money and family. Somehow- somehow both. But of course as we’ve said before, the families that are acceptable to ~Father Christmas~ are the traditional cishet monogamous white picket fence families.
KAYLA: Do you think that when Christians did the bible they were like…
SARAH: “When the Christians did the bible”
KAYLA: (laughs) yeah just like how Lizzo did Squid Games.
SARAH: Yeah. Several of them.
KAYLA: Do you think when — yeah. Do you think when they were like “they brought Jesus Frankincense and Myrrh” and whatever the other one was-
SARAH: (imitating the “I have brought you Myrrh” vine) Myrr-dur!!
KAYLA: (laughs) Myrrdur! Do you think they realized how perfectly poised they had made this holiday for consumerism and capitalism? Like literally in the origin story of Christmas they were like, “and gifts were had!”
KAYLA: And then now here we are.
SARAH: I mean…
KAYLA: Do you think they-??? You know?
KAYLA: Did they do it on purpose?
SARAH: Look. I don’t think either of us — ironically — have a lot of faith in religious institutions to do things out of goodwill. (laughs)
SARAH: Am I saying that Christmas was invented to sell frankincense and myrrh? No.
KAYLA: But all I’m saying is the only reason I know what those are…
SARAH: is because.
KAYLA: Christmas. It’s big frankincense. That’s what's driving Christmas.
SARAH: That’s so true, it’s big frankincense.
KAYLA: Big frankincense and big myrrh.
SARAH: Without big frankincense, we would not know— Actually I have no idea what frankincense is. Everytime-
KAYLA: No idea.
SARAH: Everytime I hear frankincense I’m like Mmm Frankenstein incense.
KAYLA: like is, like is it a metal of some kind?
SARAH: I d- I just- I think myrrh is some- is goldlike I think. But that could be totally wrong. Watch myrrh be edible.
KAYLA: I don’t know how to spell it. Frankincense is… a plant? Oh nonono. It’s a resin?! “Frankincense is an aromatic resin”
SARAH: They’re both resins extracted from trees!
KAYLA: Why did I think it was a metal? Oh it’s because in the pictures they’re always carrying them in those little like metal canisters.
SARAH: Mm. yeah that’s true.
KAYLA: Very deceiving, Jesus.
SARAH: Yeah, Jesus, it’s YOUR fault that they brought you gifts!
KAYLA: It’s Jesus’s fault for being born in like may or whatever.
SARAH: There was something about dates or like plums or something-
KAYLA: I don’t remember that one.
SARAH: -that proves that that bitch was born in the spring.
SARAH: That’s the reason they think he was born in the spring. They like mentioned…
KAYLA: Like some plants or something.
SARAH: I just called Jesus a bitch we’re all, you know… (laughs) we’re all living our life.
KAYLA: I just want to say that we don’t disrespect religious people as long as they’re not shoving it down our throats.
SARAH: As long as they’re not telling us that we are lesser people.
KAYLA: As long as they’re not like that lady in the dollar store one time, came up to me and just told me I was a sinner.
SARAH: I uh…
KAYLA: And then I had to call Sarah to get rescued.
SARAH: You did call me. I recently was talking to some of my coworkers about how conservative or how strict our parents were and I was like “oh yeah my mom is very much like, you know, don’t drive until you’re 21, no premarital sex” and they were like “hold on, wait up wait up. Your mom was all no premarital sex but she is down with the gays?” and I was like “yes” (laughs).
KAYLA: Listen she really works in interesting ways okay.
SARAH: Julie didn’t know she was progressive until I was in college.
KAYLA: She was- a late bloomer.
SARAH: It was a fun surprise for her. Anyway…
KAYLA: I have another, pi- another genre of media that I would like to discuss.
SARAH: I demand that you hit me with it.
KAYLA: Movies, Sarah. The Christmas movies… the romanit- Okay so I found-
SARAH: The Love Actually’s…
KAYLA: Yeah the Love Actually’s. Even the classic films like White Christmas
KAYLA: The most classic Christmas Film of all time? A double romance movie. An incredible movie, I’m not mad about the movie, I love it. I found a blog-
SARAH: Sorry I’m just thinking about that movie that came out a couple years ago with Amelia Clark where Henry Golding where you think throughout the movie it's a love story and he’s like the boy and actually it turns out that he’s dead and she received his heart in like a transplant.
KAYLA: Bro that movie made me so sad.
SARAH: Did you watch it?
KAYLA: I absolutely saw it! I believe in the theater and it was so heart-wrenching…
SARAH: Oh my god.
KAYLA: It was SO SAD! It’s this Christmas movie and there’s this sad girl working in like Christmas store or whatever-
SARAH: There’s a romantic plotline in Elf!
KAYLA: Yeah and it’s good. And then so she’s sad, she’s like emo and works in this Christmas store and this guy keeps coming in and they fall in love and shit. Then it turns out-
SARAH: (whispers) he’s dead…
KAYLA: - cause then she goes to his apartment and its like hella empty and this guy is like “no one lives here” and she’s like “wha?” and it turns out it was the heart inside her all along and the guy she fell in love with was a ghost because his heart, was hers? Because of heart transplant?! And then they could never see each other again?!!
SARAH: Was he a ghost or was she hallucinating him?
KAYLA: Yeah it’s., you know, it’s a little fuzzy on that.
SARAH: Mkay. Well my boss, who, who makes hallmark and lifetime movies-
KAYLA: Did he work on that movie?
SARAH: He did not. That’s Netflix, babe. I think it was Netflix…
KAYLA: Excuse me! Maybe I watched it on Netflix then.
SARAH: Yeah. But he does hallmark and lifetime movies and that means that half of the movies he does are Christmas movies.
KAYLA: They’re so- and Netflix is really getting into it too-
KAYLA: And listen- I am not mad about this genre of movie. The Christmas Prince?
SARAH: Oh my god.
KAYLA: The Princess Switch?
SARAH: Our client wrote Princess Switch 1 and 2. You're welcome.
KAYLA: I think I DM’d your client on- didn’t I?
SARAH: I don’t remember.
KAYLA: I think I DM’d her at one point-
SARAH: You were very excited about the fact that the company I work for represents-
KAYLA: - and was like “thank you so much for the Princess Switch” (laughs)
SARAH: -the person who brought the Princess Switch to life.
KAYLA: The Princess Switch franchise is incredible. Listen I am a sucker for a hallmark movie, I find them so comforting because they are all the same and the plotlines and the acting is so terrible. I find it very comforting.
KAYLA: Anyway that is all to say is that the genre of Christmas hallmark movies is-
SARAH: It’s its own genre!
KAYLA: -its own thing. Like just as valentines day has been Hallmarkified, so has Christmas and I think that’s another thing that adds to the romance of it all- is that the film industry was like “well somehow we've GOT to make money off of Christmas” and making kids claymation movies wasn’t enough even though …
SARAH: They’re great.
KAYLA: They’re so good! The Year Without A Santa Claus? Absolute fucking banger of a film.
SARAH: Also like, you don’t see Hollywood being like “let’s make Thanksgiving movies” because Thanksgiving is not seen as a romantic holiday.
KAYLA: It’s not sexy!
SARAH: It’s not sexy (laughs)
KAYLA: Cause all you’re doing is eating a bunch of food and being nasty!
SARAH: Like you get full of tryptophan and you fall asleep (laughs).
KAYLA: That’s the thing like, there’s just something about Christmas because you think about other major holidays and there is like, Halloween movies.
KAYLA: They’re not romantic.
SARAH: No they’re scary.
KAYLA: Why not?
SARAH: Because Halloween is not about romance how Christmas somehow is. It all comes down to how come Christmas is somehow a romantic holiday when Thanksgiving is not, when Halloween is not?
KAYLA: It just…
SARAH: It- it- I don’t know! I understand but also I can’t explain it.
KAYLA: For me it's almost a chicken and the egg situation.
KAYLA: Of like which came first? Was it these mass media productions? These songs, these movies, these advertisements? Did those come first and it made us view Christmas as romantic or was Christmas always kind of viewed this way and that’s what fueled this media? I’m sure it's a mix of both.
KAYLA: That they’re cycl- circular- cyclical circular?
SARAH: Yeah cyclical.
KAYLA: Whatever they’re feeding into each other. I just,,, what?
SARAH: Why don’t we have…
KAYLA: When did this happen!
SARAH: How come we don’t have Easter-based romcoms?
KAYLA: When did this happen!
SARAH: How come the only Easter movies we have are like, Peter Rabbit? You know? Why don’t we talk about-
KAYLA: Well because Easter has remained very religious, I think.
SARAH: Why don’t we talk about the inherent romance in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ?
SARAH: This has been a joke.
KAYLA: Easter is the resurrection, Sarah.
SARAH: Well, okay, good- Good Friday films.
KAYLA: I feel like that’s even sexier.
SARAH: What about Ash Wednesday?
KAYLA: I feel like there’s even more to be done. And here’s the thing about the rising of Jesus Christ, our lord and savior, god in heaven above-
KAYLA: -is that we all know he was fucking Mary Magdalene and so the-
KAYLA: -imagine the romantic comedy, the tension, of Mary Magdalene being so sad that her boyfriend was crucified and then he comes back!
SARAH: (whispers) and then he comes back!
KAYLA: That gets to be like- you know how like every romantic comedy there’s like-
KAYLA: -they have the argument, there’s a miscommunication and that’s why they-
KAYLA: -break up and then they get back together? The crucifixion is that plot point.
SARAH: That could honestly be an incredible shit post of a movie. Like it would make people so mad.
KAYLA: I know! That would be like Sharknado but better.
SARAH: It wouldn’t be able to have the prestige factor because so many people would be mad at it.
KAYLA: Absolutely not.
SARAH: But the fun factor could be dialed up to 11.
KAYLA: Get on it. Write this film. (laughs)
SARAH: Ehh. I don’t know that that's my genre but..
KAYLA: Yeah not so much your genre, but someones gotta do it.
SARAH: Someones gotta do it!
KAYLA: Someones gotta do it!
SARAH: What is my genre? Who knows.
KAYLA: Who’s to say? Not Jesus apparently.
SARAH: Not Jesus (pronounces it in the Hispanic way, Hey-sus). Unless I ever name a character Jesus, I guess?
KAYLA: Anyway! I just wanna know when it started. I wanna know what happened?
SARAH: Well it started when Jesus was born, Kayla. It was 0-
KAYLA: Not really, it started with the Pagans.
SARAH: Now here’s a question. Here’s a question: (squawks)HOH! You have BCE and CE, but, but-
KAYLA: I don’t think we’re supposed to call them that anymore.
SARAH: No, that is what we’re supposed to call them BCE and CE is the new one.
KAYLA: Oh that’s the new thing okay.
SARAH: Before Common Era and Common Era.
SARAH: And before that we had BC and AD, Before Christ and After Death. Now my question that I just thought of… so we count upwards from Jesus being born. Did that mean that we were counting down? Did we go from December to January? Prior to the birth of Jesus.
KAYLA: I don’t think the modern- the modern calendar I don’t think existed at that time.
SARAH: It didn’t and we retrofitted it, but that- to- that - here’s a question, here’s a fucking question. I- I know that the modern calendar didn’t really exist in its current form at that time but- so like the year 10 BC was before the year 9 BC, so does that mean on December 1st in 10 BC it turns to January first and it’s 9 BC or does that mean you go backwards through the year.
KAYLA: This is no- this is too much for me.
KAYLA: This is so painful.
SARAH: Someone- I think the answer is that on January 1st it just goes back a year instead of forward a year, but my brain did just… (laughs)
KAYLA: My brain hurts so much from just that. That was awful.
SARAH: Um anyway, Christmas. Jingle bells.
KAYLA: I feel like there must be a listener out there who knows more history of Christmas than us and will be able to be like “you are actually stupid this entire episode”
SARAH: Oh I’m sure someone to tell us that! It would be silly to think someone won’t.
SARAH: I was wondering if I lost you for a second there.
KAYLA: Can I tell you a thought I had?
KAYLA: So you know how we’re 24 which is something I learned last week?
KAYLA: Something I’ve noticed about people who do not like our podcast is that…
SARAH: They don’t like that we’re 24?
KAYLA: No one of the insults that they do is that we’re stupid college girls.
KAYLA: How old do you think we have to get until people stop saying that.
SARAH: I think the entire 20s are off limits.
KAYLA: Yeah I think you might be right. I think we need to become- and then the new thing can be like (old lady voice)“they’re just in their dirty 30s”
SARAH: (old lady voice) “Old hags~!”
KAYLA: (old lady voice) “They’re just old hags!”
SARAH: (old lady voice) “They’re just unmarried old hags…”
KAYLA: We are not calling anyone in their 30s old hags… just ourselves. This isn't about anyone else-
SARAH: This is a-
KAYLA: This is about us!
SARAH: This is a hypothetical hater on the world wide web.
KAYLA: Yes. Anyway.
SARAH: No but I think a lot of people-
KAYLA: I can hear Barefoot Backpacker now saying “you’re calling me old”.
SARAH: -people’s problems with this podcast is that we are 24.
KAYLA: I think I agree. I think the issue is that we’re 24 year old women which is a very controversial thing to be.
SARAH: And we have- not as controversial as 23, but still pretty controversial.
KAYLA: We have too much fun I think is the issue people have with us.
SARAH: We have the perspectives of — get this — 24 year olds. Weird.
KAYLA: That’s so crazy.
SARAH: But that is of course wrong and bad.
KAYLA: And bad!
SARAH: Anyway Merry Christmas.
KAYLA: Merry Chrimas.
SARAH: Murm’mcrisler. No but I think that kind of covers it. Do you have anything else you want to add on the terms of- on the front of the weird romanticization in the romance way of Christmas?
KAYLA: No I guess, just to cover our bases — we obviously talked about Christmas because that is what Sarah and I celebrate, like… that’s our winter holiday.
SARAH: It’s also the… social- the cultural mainstay-
SARAH: - of the culture that we live in.
KAYLA: As people know we are American folks.
SARAH: And a lot of people don’t like that either (laughs).
KAYLA: And that one is understandable.
KAYLA: But anyway, I understand- I think we understand that this might not be the most relatable episode to everyone, but also Christmas has become so in the mainstream now that if you don’t celebrate…
SARAH: Oh yeah.
KAYLA: … you kind of know because it’s been shoved in your face.
SARAH: I know plenty of people who’s you know, who aren’t in anyway Christian who celebrate Christmas in the same way that Christians do, just without the church part.
KAYLA: That’s so true.
SARAH: It’s such a cultural thing.
KAYLA: Yeah, it's like we talked about, I know so many Jewish people that celebrate Christmas cause it's just like how it… you know?
SARAH: I know a lot of Hindu’s who celebrate Christmas. My sister’s friend, so what they do — they’re Jewish — and so waht they do, so they don’t get a Christmas tree before Christmas, the day after Christmas they just drive around and try and find a Christmas tree that someone has gotten rid of. (laughs) First of all-
KAYLA: That’s very good!
SARAH: - keep that Christmas tree up til halfway through January, I support it.
KAYLA: That’s what- that’s what my family does.
KAYLA: It stays up until it’s BROWN.
SARAH: Yup. Until there are needles all over the ground (laughs).
KAYLA: And then you know where it goes? It sits on the front porch until my dad decides to throw it into the woods behind our house.
KAYLA: So then for several months after we just have a nasty dying tree in front of our house.
SARAH: Amazing! But- I’ve forgotten…
KAYLA: Sorry, talked too much on my own podcast…
SARAH: Not again! (laughs) what was I fucking talking about? What was I saying?
KAYLA: That your- someone drives around and finds Christmas trees…
SARAH: Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. So they drive around and find a discarded Christmas tree that someone has discarded on boxing day which is very silly, don’t box your things on boxing day. I have Christmas number 4 on boxing day, for the record. Um, but then- so then they take a tree that they have just found and they don’t have to pay for because it was left on the curb and then they decorate it and it's a new years tree.
KAYLA: That’s very good, I like that very much.
SARAH: Anyway cool… You can tell us about your beef, your juice, your take on-
KAYLA: No. We haven’t done our beef and juice yet.
SARAH: (deep breath, starts laughing) Kayla, what’s our poll for this week?
KAYLA: (laughs) Oh shit we even forgot that! Um…
SARAH: Do you hate that we’re 23- no 24 year old American women? (laughs) yes or yes?
KAYLA: Just listen. I think there are hateable things about our identity.
SARAH: Oh absolutely!
KAYLA: We are 24. We are women. We are white. We are American.
SARAH: I think the fact-
KAYLA: I think two of those four? We can throw away.
SARAH: We are white Americans? Absolute disaster.
SARAH: Horrible. Worst case scenario.
KAYLA: I think 2/4s of our identity, I can understand that we are going to be trashing those.
SARAH: We are also trashing those.
KAYLA: The 24 year old woman thing? Guess we’ve just gotta leave it.
SARAH: Eat my DICK.
KAYLA: Something we can’t be doing anymore in this new year is using people’s age to insult them.
KAYLA: Whether that be old or young.
SARAH: I just saw-
KAYLA: It’s just not cute.
SARAH: I saw today on Twitter someone being like “I can’t believe that there is anyone over 20 on stan Twitter, like what are you doing with your life?” And everyone was like-
KAYLA: We STARTED stan Twitter, what the fuck?
SARAH: Everyone was like “what the fuck are you talk-?” like “do you think you just don’t have interests anymore as soon as you turn 20?” And they were like-
KAYLA: Here’s my thing about that?
KAYLA: People who are over 20 on stan Twitter, invented stan Twitter!
SARAH: Oh yeah.
KAYLA: Like where do they think it came from?!
SARAH: Like fandom came from like 30 something year old women on Tumblr and like on forums and stuff.
KAYLA: Okay, but here is really where fandom started: I was listening to a podcast the other day and the first documented case — “case” (laughs)...
SARAH: The first documented case of fandom!
KAYLA: -of cosplaying from the 1800s like this weird space convention or something?
SARAH: Oh my god…
KAYLA: Where this couple was like “we’re just going to dress up in weird costumes” and no one else did and they were just like
KAYLA: “Hello??” and it was the 1800s.
SARAH: (laughs) Amazing.
KAYLA: Anyway I think a good poll would be “do you view Christmas as a romantic holiday?” or maybe just “why do you think Christmas is viewed as a romantic holiday by society?”
SARAH: Sure! Uh, Kayla?
KAYLA: I’m typing.
SARAH: No. Kayla?
SARAH: What is your beef and your juice on this day?
KAYLA: Hoo, what isn’t my beef? This been a- it’s been a tough week, I just- you know when sometimes you just give up on taking care of yourself and then it all hits you at once that you shouldn’t have done that?
KAYLA: That happened to me, so we are in a crisis right now.
SARAH: Love that.
KAYLA: And that is fine. My juice is that last weekend I went to New Orleans for Dean’s company’s Christmas event and it was just very fun to like to run around the city with my friends and get free fancy dinner and dress fancy and then get a little too drunk because I’m a 24 year old white woman. (laughs)
KAYLA: And sometimes that’s what we must do.
SARAH: Kayla texted me, butter… what did you say?
KAYLA: I was at a gay bar.
SARAH: You said- she texted me the word butter and then she said-
KAYLA: No no, that was the second text. The first text was BTS on the gay bar.
KAYLA: And then I followed up with Butter
KAYLA: So you knew which song was playing.
SARAH: It took me several reads to figure out what she was trying to say.
KAYLA: Something interesting that happened was so we were with a bunch of- we were in a large group of Dean’s coworkers, and some of them were people I was very good friends with and others… are there.
KAYLA: And some people are queer so the decision was to go to the gay bar, which made me slightly uncomfortable because the majority of the group was not queer.
KAYLA: And I was like this is not a space for you. And so I told the one guy and he was like “yeah lets go to the gay bar” I told him, “you’re not gay” and he told me it was sexist of me to say that to him.
(burst of laughter)
KAYLA: THis is the same guy who told me that asexuality was fake so…
SARAH: Uhh sounds like a keeper.
KAYLA: He’s a real treat and a real delight of a guy.
KAYLA: I hope he listens to this one.
SARAH: I hope someone marries him on Christmas. Anyway-
KAYLA: (snorts) I hope they won’t because what a terrible marriage.
SARAH: Boose or Jeef?
KAYLA: That was my- Oh someone recently tweeted that they often accidentally call it-
KAYLA: And they thought it would be a good category to add of like what are you lost in the sauce in this week? Like what are you obsessed with.
SARAH: Because we definitely need to add more to this outro.
KAYLA: Well yes, I think it matches well with juice anyway-
KAYLA: -because often juices are what we’re obsessed with, but I thought it was really good.
SARAH: Yeah. My beef and my juice is once again BTS on instagram. I-
KAYLA: Shocking. Close friends story from Sarah is still going STRONG.
SARAH: I was- I am very selective who makes it on that story because they see some shit. (laughs) Yoongi, black hair? Undercut? Does that mean D3 is coming? Are we getting an agust D mixtape number 3? I don’t know. My beef is… it’s just been a weird week. Our hot water was not working over 24 hours.
SARAH: And our heat was broken at work. Um and… it’s actually been let’s see… right now it’s 50 degrees in Los Angeles so you know of course to the angelinos this is frigid.
KAYLA: That must be nice.
SARAH: It’s frigid and it has rained twice in the last 3 days. Basically the city is in shambles.
KAYLA: It’s 69 here!
SARAH: (laughs) it’s 50 here…
KAYLA: Tomorrow the high is 81.
SARAH: I think tomorrow it's supposed to go back to 67 or something.
KAYLA: It’s December and I’m currently sweating.
SARAH: Good. Well you’re moving-
KAYLA: I hate it here.
SARAH: You’re moving maybe… (laughs)
KAYLA: One day…
SARAH: Anyways, I guess my beef is just the minor inconveniences of a first world life. Um
SARAH: Yeah! Yeah. Okay. You can tell us about your beef, your juice, your minor inconveniences on our social media @soundsfakepod. We also have Patreon at patreon.com/soundsfakepod. We do have a new $2 patron.
KAYLA: What’s up!
SARAH: It is the love of my life, Micaela White. Um I don’t know Micaela. I've just decided they’re the love of my life.
KAYLA: Oh wow!
SARAH: So congrats to Micaela!
KAYLA: Bold decision.
SARAH: Congrats to Micaela!
KAYLA: Yeah good job!
SARAH: If my affections are wanted, if it's unwanted I’m sorry to Micaela. Our $5 patrons who we’re promoting this week are: Ashley W , Savannah Cozart, Harry Haston-Dougan, SOUP!
KAYLA: (whispers) good soup…
SARAH: And Amanda Kyker. And we have a new $5 patron who bumped up from $2, it’s Jackie Rubashkin. Thanks Jackie for your additional $3!
KAYLA: Thank you!
SARAH: Wow, so kind! Our $10 patrons who are promoting something this month- this month? This week. Are: Benjamin Ybarra who’d like to promote Tabletop games- I would like to play some board games when I’m home for Christmas…(trails off) Anyway-
SARAH: Anonymous who’d like to promote Halloween and the inherent romance of spooky Halloween.
KAYLA: Oh yes, so romantic.
SARAH: (laughs) My Aunt Jeannie who’d like to promote Christopher’s Haven, and Cass who’d like to promote the best of luck on the journey of self identification and not hopefully getting derailed at Christmas by your extended family. Our other $10 patrons are: Arcnes, Doug Rice, H. Valdísh, Shesh- beesh? You heard me. Barefoot Backpacker, The Steve, Ari K., Mattie Derek and Carissa, Khadir, Potater, Changeling MX, DAVID JAY, The Stubby Tech, Rosie Costello, Hector Murillo, David Nurse, and Sherronda J Brown. Our $15 patrons are: Nathaniel Whitel NathanielJWhiteDesignsdm…
SARAH: NathanielJWhiteDesigns.com, (laughs) my mom Julie who’d like to promote Free Mom Hugs, Sara Jones who is @eternalloli everywhere, Martin Chiesel who’d like to promote his podcast, Everyone’s Special and No One Is, Leila who’d like to promote “Love is love” also applying to aro people and the concept of Christmas…— I meant that Leila was promoting Love is Love applying to the concept of Christmas, not that Leila was promoting… we get it. Shrubbery who’d like to promote The Planet Earth, Maggie Capalbo who’d like to promote their dogs Leia, Minnie and Loki, Andrew Hillum who’d like to promote The Invisible Spectrum Podcast, Click4Caroline, who’d like to promote the documentary Ace of Hearts, Nina Maggart who’d like to promote theeee t- @katemaggart.art on Instagraaam~, and Dragonfly who’d like to promote the fact that one of my managers in work today brought his dog to the office and his name is Bowie and he’s a little weiner dog and he was wearing a sweater. Our $20 patrons are: Sarah T, who’d like to promote Long walks outside and Sabrina Hauck who’s mom and dad would like to say Merry Christmas Sabrina and to all a good night. Thanks for listening, tune in next Sunday for more of us in your festive festive ears.
KAYLA: And until then take care of your festive, festive cows.
SARAH: Put some bells one ‘em. Maybe a jacket!