Okay, so it may well be grouchy old man time. My current beard certainly supports this position, as did the couple times yesterday when I nearly fell over while standing still. The reason for the latter is at least partly because I’m more than a little sick, but the former is more a function of the season.
Yes, I’m the guy Bill O’Reilly warned you about.*
I don’t mind Christmas, at least not as an intellectual exercise. Something that gives joy to so many people is by definition a good thing. But in large part my experience of the holiday season is more one of inconvenience. Of loneliness. Of heartbreak. Christmas to me is a reminder that I’m really not like other people, and likely never will be.
Am I expecting Jacob Marley to come rattling chains at my door tonight? No. But neither do I expect to have a Merry Christmas. I’m having a Wednesday, followed by a Thursday. And all the Whos in Whoville can’t convince me otherwise. I’ll attend a few gatherings, drink a few bottles of whatever, and eat too much just like the rest of you. These are expected and mandatory parts of my life. They’re just nothing special, and I’m willing to do them with any of you at any time.
My personal war on Christmas has nothing to do with my faith (or as some describe it, my lack thereof). People are free to believe whatever they want, as long as it doesn’t harm others. But despite its trappings of comfort and joy, American Christmas is one of the more exclusionary and secular of “holidays,” and for those who object to the hypocrisy it’s often a very lonely time. It’s designed to drive people into debt, to bombard them with images of things they have to have just to “keep up”. It should be about family, and love, and support for those in need. Instead, it’s about puppets, and diamonds, and cars with big bows on them.
At least, that’s what our televisions would have us think. When they’re not yelling at us about how un-(insert social group)an we are for not believing in (insert sacred, or not-so-sacred cow).
And let me tell you, I want to believe in Christmas. I want to have a world where people are nice to each other all the time, and give each other gifts that don’t need to be wrapped and hidden away. I want to teach our children what Jesus and Buddha and Mohammed were actually saying about life, rather than whitewashing them and hanging them on a tree. I love the story of Saint Nicholas, as I do that of Odin. By all means, let’s have someone who thinks of and sacrifices for others.
In fact, let’s be that person ourselves. (Minus the whole seven days on the tree thing, because ick). Let’s win the “war” by not fighting at all, and just loving one another.
Let’s not chop down someone else’s sacred tree just because we can. Let’s enjoy miracles. Let’s…
Let’s just be happy, at least for a little while. Enjoy your Wednesday, folks. Happy/Merry/Adjective Noun.
*no link for you, because screw that guy. Happy Holidays, jerk.