Cigar Lifestyle

Christmas in the Eyes of Zman

Oh, how I used to love Christmas and the whole holiday season, I swear I really did - when I was younger, I loved everything about it. I loved to sing the songs as they played on the mall store's Muzak. I loved to shop for gifts and tried to get something that everyone on my list would enjoy. I LOVED decorating the tree, putting up a wreath, and wrapping all the presents. I watched all the specials and knew every word and every song - Rudolph, The Year Without a Santa Claus, Frosty, Charlie Brown, a Christmas Carol, It's a Wonderful Life, and the Grinch. I wished everyone a merry-merry as I passed them on the street and would countdown the days after Thanksgiving. I just LOVED Christmas.

Now, as the years have passed I've grown a little older, a little wiser, and a hell of a lot more sour. I have truly done a 180, and when it comes to the holiday season, you can take your ho, ho, ho and shove it straight up Blitzen's tight fur-covered blower. My name is Tommy Z and yes, I have become a Christmas Curmudgeon.

It's really kind of odd because by nature, I am not in any other way a curmudgeon. Actually, I don't like curmudgeons, you know those old sourpuss pricks, the Andy Rooney types who find fault in anything and everything that exists. I'm not even remotely a negative guy by nature. In fact, people who know me will vouch that I'm quite the positive dude, 24/7 - except during the latter part of December. It's that twelfth month that messes with my head when I do the most bizarre transformation, becoming the Grinch, Heat Miser, Scrooge and Mr. Potter all in one.

Wow, how I have grown to loathe the whole holiday season. It's a scam, people, like Lucy Van Pelt said to the block-head, "It's run by a big eastern syndicate, you know." It's all about corporate profits as retailers will do as much as 60% of their yearly total in the weeks between turkey day and December 25th. It's all about separating you

Okay, my blood pressure is rising and steam is beginning to emit from an orifice or two. I'm clipping and lighting a La Gloria Cubana Gilded Age as I write because I need to calm my nerves. I get upset when I think about what the entire Christmas concept has become and a puff or ten of this sweet and dark leaf will put my brain in a stable place. Ah, much better - for now.

Last year, somehow, some way, my dear wife convinced me to head to Walmart on Thanksgiving night, to stand on line until 3am for the so-called amazing Black Friday deals. Let me paint a vivid word picture for you... a double root canal is like an all night, soaking wet porno romp with Jenna Jameson compared to Black Friday at Wally World. It's a side of the human race that no one should ever see - good and decent people morphing into ruthless, vicious animals, all for that no-name 36-inch flat screen and blood sputtering video game that junior simply cannot live without. This was in my top worst experiences of all time as it increased my disdain for the Christmas season, ten-fold. How I let my self get talked into that, well, I take full responsibility for my pathetic lapse in judgment. Just thank God that they don't sell axes in my local store, because I'm pretty sure I would have been the star of the morning news report.

Here's the deal... the economy blows, jobless rates are at an all-time high, and bankruptcies and foreclosures are horribly commonplace. Businesses have shut their doors or moved their operations to countries whose employees are given nothing more than a bowl of steam for lunch. All right, I KNOW this is all so very Debbie Downer, but hear me out, dammit because I'm actually going somewhere with this.

Keeping in mind everything I just said, you turn on your TV in December and there they are... the commercials... those television ads that play on your frail and fragile emotions, making you feel like a worthless sack of equine shit for not rushing out and spending everything you have on their products. There it is... the luxury car in the driveway, that sparkling $70,000 foreign auto with the gargantuan red bow strapped to the roof. The hubby leads wifey into the snow-covered driveway as he pulls his hands away from her eyes and she jumps for joy. If I wrote that spot, the wife would certainly grant several precious moments of anal in return for her husband's thoughtfulness, but that's just me thinking aloud. And apparently, Santa has put the reindeer out to pasture, replacing them with a gleaming fleet of German automotive excellence to haul his bulbous rosy ass around the globe.

Then there are those wretched jewelry spots with some poor schlep who skated by the skin of his teeth from becoming a casualty of corporate downsizing, as he spends a month's salary on a museum quality bracelet made of something called chocolate diamonds. Good God, this is lunacy, my friends and I'm now torching up an Inferno by Oliva because my doctor says I gotta relax. Okay, listen, I'm just gonna lay it on the line... Hey Jane Seymour, I'm not buying one of your silly-ass bling encrusted hearts... I can tell you right now that every kiss will not begin with Kay... and honey, I'm sorry, but he didn't go to Jared, he paid the fucking mortgage instead.

Hey, okay, that was a cathartic release if there ever was one - kind of a steaming mental mistletoe dump. But, I'm serious guys, we cannot let "the man" control us any longer. Buying our kids everything they want only puts us in hoc for months as we skip a few bills to make 'em happy. Then, sometime in early February, you start to realize that heat is not overrated and should be a tad higher on the list than Guitar Hero 28, complete with the authentic cigarette encrusted Slash top hat.

It's becoming clear to me that I should have taken my meds before writing this article, but that's not important at the moment. I felt the need to shake you people up into joining me in the Just Say No holiday campaign. I created a Kick Starter account so I can fund ads on local cable to start, then take it national. So who's with me? Anybody?... Helloooo?

Listen, the only thing we should spend our hard earned shekels on are cigars because that's what relaxes us and truly brings more joy to the world. If everyone on this planet enjoyed a good cigar on a daily basis there would be no more wars, no more strife, no more Dr. Phil (we can only wish).

I want to personally thank you for listening to my maniacal rant-a-thon and I urge you all to follow my lead this holiday season and buck the establishment. I said buck, but, you know what I really meant. The only shiny red nose I wanna see is your face after you've downed a tankard of single malt while shoving a laser lighter up Frosty's ice covered culo.

'Tis the season - my big fat white ash. God bless us... everyone.

- Tommy Zman

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Tommy Zman Zarzecki


Tommy Zman, is an obsessive enjoyer of life’s leafy pleasures. Growing up in the bowels of northern New Jersey, parented by an eccentric Polish father and a neurotic Italian mother, what else could this man possibly be other than a humorist? ZMan’s a real throwback to a time when men were kings of the castle and smoking a cigar in public didn’t label you an outcast and a pariah. He’s an old–school down to earth guy - but when it comes to p.c. tyranny and nanny-state legislature, he’ll draw his sword and swing for the fences. Tommy gathered a faithful following as a longtime feature writer at Cigar Magazine, and his testosterone laden FaceBook community, CROMAG NATION™ is truly the last great bastion for Men’s Men.

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