I was on the phone with a client yesterday. As we finished our conversation, he said cheerfully, "Enjoy the Season!" I couldn't help myself, I said, "Oh, I don't hunt."
*heavy sigh* Here we go...
Christmas. Let's just preface this a little by reiterating that I don't believe in Christ as a savior or as a god. That being said, I'll try not to rant too much (yeah, right). After all, I know some of y'all are kind of sensitive about the subject.
However. You, the ones to whom I'm speaking directly, the ones who are already feeling riled and offended, you know who you are. The rest of you, the ones who are nodding in agreement (or are about to be), you know someone who needs to read this - pass it on.
I'm trying to understand why you're celebrating Christmas, and just what it is you're celebrating. Don't claim it's the Reason for the Season (Christ), because I don't see it in your eyes, your hearts, or your actions. I've been standing on the outside looking in for a few weeks now, and all I've seen is apathy, aggression, greed, and attitude. You're rushing around trying to do it all in an attempt to live up to some false expectation of merriment, you're spending money you don't have in an attempt to live up to someone else's false expectations, and you've completely lost sight of The Reason (if you ever even truly believed it), so far as I can tell. I've overheard so many conversations that start with a disgruntled sigh, a grimace and then, "So, what are we getting for (insert name)?" I've seen you jerking your children through the stores, talking harshly to them for breathing the wrong way, treating your spouses with disdain and indifference, and not so much as gracing the unseen, underpaid cashier with a smile. Oh, but deck the halls and jingle those bells - you'll raise unholy hell if someone ignores you! I know Christmas Day is going to be no different, you'll grit your teeth through the trials of dealing with relatives you don't care for, dinners you'd rather not cook, and the long headache of opening gift after gift that you don't appreciate (and watching others do the same).
You might go to church, but it'll be a rushed fling to dress appropriately (maybe), speed down the highway and curse others out of your way so you can be on time to (*cough*) worship. You'll look for the closest parking space and bark at your spouse for not being ready earlier, because now you have to park a full 200 feet from the front door. You'll count the minutes until the service is done, because you're missing something on TV, and then dash for the door so you can fight your way out of the parking lot. Tell me again, just what is it you're celebrating? What is it about any of this that is bringing you "Glad Tidings of Great Joy"? It sure isn't merry. Come December 26th, you'll say, "Thank God we don't have to do that again for a year!" (Ya'll catch the irony there?)
I've been sent copious Christmas-esque emails, ostensibly in the Spirit of the Season, ("Look at this! It's hilarious!" or "OMG, too funny!" or "You're gonna LOL at this!" - and so far none of those has applied). They're cartoons and .wmvs depicting Santa being beat up, Santa beating up cops, reindeer turning guns on people, snowmen pooping in ice cream cones, even one rather harsh "joke" in which Santa refers to Mrs. Claus as "The Bitch with the North Pole Up Her Ass." People, please - forget about your convictions (well, you obviously already have), but at the very least, where's your damned sense of style?! And yet, as made news in another country, Santa is no longer to say "Ho Ho Ho" because it might offend women. Still another country has concerned itself with providing a skinnier, healthier Santa, so as not to teach people that being fat is ok (without Santa setting an example for physical fitness we'd all be in the dark, huh?). A new and improved Santa Claus... this is what Christmas revelers are concerned with?
You'll put great thought into whether or not you should allow your children to believe in Santa, yet you'll push dogma and religion down their throats so hard that they'll end up rebelling against it, and you'll wonder where you went wrong.
Why don't we give up this idea of Christmas altogether? Sure, the Christians who truly do believe in celebrating Christ's (supposed) birthday in quiet retrospection, introspection, and prayer, can still do so, unencumbered by the pressures of a material world. Why don't we just set a new date, call it the Winter Holiday of Gift Giving (WHOGG)? Think of all the great advertising to "Go Whole Whogg"! You can still roast the suckling pig, shop 'til you drop (or drop someone else), drink until you're stupid with it, and the great part? You won't even have to go to church!
C'mon... you know you wanna...
Visualize Whirled Peas.