Friday, November 28, 2008

I hate Christmas

Well, OK, that's a bit of a stretch. I don't actually hate it. It's more accurate to say that I don't like what Christmas has become. Other than time together with family, for which people really don't need an excuse to gather, the holiday is pretty devoid of meaning.

It's empty, hollow, shallow, plastic. It's about Santa Claus and reindeer, about snowmen and elves. It's about stuffing your face full of food until you need to unbuckle your pants so you can sit down. It's about being jammed into shopping malls to buy stuff for people that they don't need with money we don't have.

A certain element in our society -- a tiny but vocal minority -- has insisted that Christmas be so devoid of any Christian connotation that retailers, who don't mind taking our billions of dollars during the holiday season, fear offending customers with the radical words, "Merry Christmas."

That same tiny but vocal minority has fits over little baby Jesus laying quietly in a manger...on public property. I guess we're all much much safer if the little lad takes his naps on private property. Maybe it's the camel crap and angels flying around that really bothers them.

I decided a few years back that people can have the Christmas they want: an empty early winter gift exchange party. I would like to do what the old school Presbyterians did and opt out of the holiday but, alas, I have family and friends that expect my participation. Of course, for my daughter the holiday is special and fun and I do enjoy the fun she has. I wish I could see the day through her eyes.

If I could, I'd spend the day down at a soup kitchen. I want Christmas to move me again. I want it to be raw! I want to spend the day doing something that will really change someone. I want something that will cleanse the soul of the secular commercialism. I want to feel it again or leave it to decay in peace.

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