December 25, 2008
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If you are a kid or if you have a kid, you are excused from reading this. Just write me off as another Scrooge/Grinch/bitter lonely person who hates Christmas. For the rest of us- the realists- I think this holiday should officially be renamed “xmess” because that is what it is- a total mess.
This year we have had horrid winter weather. When people have to break off cactus to shovel the snow out of their driveway, we can safely declare the climate to be a mess. I am seriously considering filing a lawsuit against Al Gore for failing to provide the global warming he promised us.
Yuletide ™ is all about money. This time of year is all about selling things to keep businesses afloat for another year. It’s about buying things to shut the kids up and to make sure you don’t offend your Aunt Edna (you have to give her those electric snuggle socks or she will be saying awful things about you at the next family reunion). And it is the season of giving- things to assuage the guilt of living a life of rampant consumerism. Amazing how buying one toy or throwing one can of green beans in a bin between Thanksgiving and Christmas makes it okay not to appreciate how good you have it the rest of the year.
Of course you can’t forget the importance of family and other relationships at this time of year. It is now that we gather together with those closest to us and reflect on how important those we love are too us. To screw around on our spouses at holiday parties, get drunk and kill each other over who gets the drumstick and for children to hate on their parents because they wanted the blue five-hundred iPod not the green one.
They call this the “silly season.” The origin of this seasonal sobriquet is that people tend to kill themselves in greater numbers this time of year. They do this for a totally stupid reason- they are alone. So they have been snubbed by their families, they are too dysfunctional to have friends and their significant others called from an orgy to break up with them. Do these people not realize they are the only ones who are truly blessed this time of year? They don’t have to worry about not being able to get to the mall through fifty foot snow drifts. They don’t have to spend a dime on anything except that web cam sex service. And instead of dealing with the fighting and yelling and complaining, they can spend a quiet day with the bottle of their choice and the channel 9 Yule log.
Before this time of year was usurped by various religions and retail establishments, it was Pagan holiday. Each day the ancients quivered in fear as the sun became smaller, colder and less present. In their eyes, the world was coming to a cold, dark end. Then the day came when the sun was revived. It came came back and with it came light, warmth and life. They celebrated with gratitude.
What a concept.