Buckle up for Vatican III, jerkwads, Dread Night is here!

There's a new holiday in town, friends and enemies, and you already missed it.

First off, I don't want to hear any "Dandy come lately"s out of anyone. I didn't let you know about the holiday before because I was testing it out still. If everyone starts celebrating a new holiday before all the kinks are worked out, you end up with crappy holidays. How do you think we ended up with Valentine's Day and Pap Smear Weekend? Right, someone jumped the gun, and now we're stuck with gifts in February and two days of mandatory, gender-irrelevant pap smears. I'm not looking forward to that again.

No worries about this new one, though, because it proved to be a real doozy. I think people will be moaning and whimpering for generations to come, every time Dread Night rolls around.

What is Dread Night, exactly? Well, I'm glad you asked. You're familiar with "Christmas Eve," correct? It's technically not even a holiday, and yet there it sits every year, wasting a whole day before Christmas. Dread Night will replace Christmas Eve, replace it so fully and ruthlessly that not only will you be unable to remember Christmas Eve, but to attempt to do so will cause you great pain.

Dread Night, one of the longest nights of the year, I'll remind you, will be an annual period of hope, prayer, and, above all else, fear. What could one possibly fear? What would you pray for, with wonderful Christmas morning right around the corner? Survival. Survival, salvation, preservation from bodily harm - the works. You see, on Dread Night there is no certainty that Christmas morning will come. In fact, just the opposite - in the depths of Dread Night, we will suspect that the chances of the sun ever rising again are much slimmer than the possibility of the alternative. And so, on Dread Night, we sit. We sit in the dark, and we rub our cold hands together, and we rock back and forth, wondering what is to become of us and the world, hoping that the Baby Jesus will see fit to return the next day to save our miserable selves. But he may not. He probably won't. If only the some random trick of the cosmos might convince him to pity us, if some grace of soulless Fate might allow us one more year...

But Dread Night is five full chambers in a revolver.

And should the sun finally rise in our black and dilated eyes... imagine the relief! Christmas is pretty great as it is, but, after Dread Night, Jesus Morning will be water in the desert, junk in the syringe.

I introduced Dread Night to a test audience on Monday. It was a little difficult at first to get the point across, but once the idea got into their heads, I could see it start to take hold almost immediately. They started to get nervous, and no one wanted to make eye contact. These are good signs.

It's going to take some effort to get people to shake the habit of enjoying themselves on the night before Christmas, but Dread Night can do it. You just need some fear and stomach curdling angst. That's what Dread Night is, after all.

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