I am usually the Grinch of the Christmas season at least in my mind. I intentionally hold my tongue and let others enjoy one on the most popular times of the year. Some Christians like to say “Remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season,” which I think is pure bullshit based on Christian behavior during that that time of the year gorging themselves (gluttony), feeling up Aunt Sarah and getting shit faced on Papa’s egg-nog and then driving away without a care in the world.
I could list several legitimate reasons for disliking the holiday such as the loss of my last Christmas with my mother and the Christmas I spent away from my children. These are sad reminders for me, but the main reason I despise the holiday is the crass commercialism that surrounds it. It has become Christmas—the never ending season—based on Wall Street marketing mentalities. It is also a time of great expectations and broken dreams.
What used to be one of my favorite times of the year has turned into a nightmare of shopping, greed and unbridled materialism. Instead of the spirit of Christmas and the jingle of sleigh bells, I see the ghost of Christmas and the only jingle I hear is the steady ch-ching of the cash register. When I see the festive red and green Christmas décor, I think red represents the amount of debt we drop into each year spending green we don’t have for things we can’t really afford and will still be paying off next Christmas.
It’s a shame because Christmas was one of my favorite holidays. It used to be a time for sharing, visiting with family and friends and just being close to the ones you loved. The only part of that is true now. We still do the same things, but it all seems to have a cost. Too many Christmases I’ve heard complaints about not being able to buy this or that and complaints about the gift received and not received. These are the adults. The kids are even worse.
I tolerate Christmas. I suffer through it each year hoping that it will get better, knowing that it won’t. The self-serving displays of charity that occur every year around Christmas time are especially irritating. Although I am happy for the recipients, I am not impressed by once a year contributors.
No one except nonbelievers, atheists, agnostics, humanists and the non-religious seems to know the roots of the holiday called Christmas. Few know that is came from ancient pagan roots. The birthdays of Marduk, Osiris, Horus, Isis, Mithras, Saturn, Sol, Apollo, Serapis, and Huitzilopochli. Of course, that would require having an interest in what you believe and not blindly accepting, which is one thing our group can be accused of not doing. We are curious by nature. Maybe even nosey.
Being born Catholic, the Christmas tradition was strong within my family, but over the years, I have discovered that capitalism and Christianity “make strange bedfellows” if not outright hypocrites. Nevertheless, I’m ready for Santa to bring his fat ass down my chimney and drop gifts for the kids and maybe, this year, he’ll leave that damn telescope I prayed for 50 years ago. Still, I guess if there is anything that still brings a smile to my face at Christmas time is the sight of my children and grandchildren on Christmas morning. Their smiles still warm my heart and make me say, “Merry Christmas.”