Now that Christmas is fully upon us (it’s Christmas Eve already? WTF), it’s time to clear up a few things about the popular holiday. There are more than a few lies going around about this whole Christmas business, so of course, being my typical opinionated self, I figured I’d dabble in my own theories on the joy and wonder that is Christmas.
Santa Claus is supposed to be mysterious and unseen, not ho-ho-hoing at me while I shop for overpriced gifts. I’m all about the real Santa but I’m not too fond of the idea of getting a picture taken with some creepy wannabe at the mall. If you think about it, every department store Santa whose lap you’ve ever sat on was just some creepy fat guy who put on a red suit and fake beard (unless he had a real one, which is more likely these days). Without the red suit, he would just be some creepy fat guy and I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t let my kids sit on the lap of someone who is probably a pedophile. Just saying. I wonder if the department store Santas have to endure a rigorous screening process before being hired?
And even if I did agree with the idea of letting my child sit on some strange man’s lap, doesn’t that kind of kill the magic of Santa Claus? Because that child is going to believe one of two things. 1. They are going to think the creepy man’s lap they are sitting awkwardly upon is the real Santa Claus, thus ruining the magic. You aren’t supposed to see Santa, you’re just supposed to know he’s there and he’s always watching (also creepy, what about when I’m on the toilet? I don’t want him seeing that). Or 2. they are going to know he isn’t the real Santa, because c’mon, how many fake Santas do you see over the course of about two months? They clearly can’t all be the real Santa, so then you have to wonder why are there so many impersonators? And if this is an impersonator, and you are acknowledging the fact that he’s not the real Santa but simply a fraud, what the hell are you doing sitting on his lap? This is just going to confuse kids and make them resent their parents, who have forced them to, essentially, cuddle up to some strange, smelly man they don’t know. Clearly why most photos with Santa end up looking like this:
Retail stores invented the idea of gift-giving. Just like most holidays, I’m convinced it’s the retail stores that somehow incorporated the idea of spending money at Christmastime. I like buying people presents; nothing delights me more than watching their faces light up when they unwrap that thing they’ve been hoping for all year. But we live in such a consumerist society that it makes me vomit in my mouth just a teeny bit. I turned on the news this morning only to hear about mass graves in South Sudan, meanwhile people here in my country are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, trying to buy last-minute presents for people who probably don’t deserve them anyway. If we’re going to spend money and give gifts, why not give them to the people that actually need them? A few years ago, I suggested to my family we no longer buy each other Christmas presents. As the baby of the family, it seemed a bit silly to be buying presents for each other when we could be putting that money spent to better use. For the last few years, instead of buying friends and family presents they really didn’t need, I’ve been buying presents to donate to Toys for Tots. So the next time you’re about to ask someone to buy you something for Christmas, maybe think about how lucky you are to have the things you already do have and ask them to spread the wealth, instead.
And for that matter, if you want to argue that the idea of gift-giving came from the idea that three kings (it was 3, right?) brought baby Jesus presents on his birthday, which is “supposedly” why we celebrate Christmas in the first place (tell that to anyone who buys Christmas presents), well then why does everyone else get presents? Shouldn’t we just be buying them for a tiny, baby-Jesus-like person? Or just leaving them in a barn somewhere?
I’m going to hell for that one. Moving on.
Anti-environmentalists started the tradition of the Christmas tree. I think it’s pretty obvious that anyone who hates the environment would decide to chop down an Evergreen and put it up on display in their living room. Now don’t get me wrong, my family and I used to cut down our own tree every year when I was younger, and it was one of my favorite traditions. The lights, the ornaments, the smell of the pine needles permeating the house. But I would still mourn the loss of that tree’s life, especially once the season was over and we had nothing to do but haul the dying tree out to the woods to rot. It’s very similar to the idea of mourning the turkey I eat on Thanksgiving. I’m still going to eat it, and it’s still going to taste delicious, but I can’t help but feel sorry for the poor bastard, simply because someone long ago decided a turkey would be the traditional Thanksgiving feast. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite in your eyes, but I don’t really give a tiny rat’s ass. Besides, this post isn’t about my hypocrisy in life, of which there is probably an abundance, it’s about my theories on Christmas. Anyway, I can’t imagine why people are so eager to destroy the plant and animal life around them, without ever any regard for any other living thing but themselves. It’s like when I am constantly yelling at my students for ripping the leaves off of trees, reminding them that they wouldn’t like it if someone pulled their fingers off one by one. Oh, you don’t want me teaching your child? Get over it.
Christians clearly feel the need to one-up the Jews. Think about it. Jews have 8 days of Hanukkah while Christians feel they need to have Twelve Days of Christmas. Who invented that song, anyway? What the hell is a partridge doing in a pear tree, and why would anyone want that? If you ask me, those are terrible gifts to receive.
I have so many more theories about Christmas, life, the universe, everything… But I think that’s enough to get your own brain thinking as you tear through your presents tomorrow morning. Or at the very least, I’ve given you something to bring to the dinner table tomorrow when you can’t take anymore of your great-aunt’s cheek-pinching or your baby cousin’s crying or your uncle’s inappropriate comments.
Until next year, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!