The Wart on Christmas – Gary Young MySpace Blog

The Wart on Christmas

Oh wow.  A mummified dinosaur with skin, muscle and possibly organs.  I’m excited.  We have got to clone it.  Cloned dinosaurs.  Who’s with me?

THE REASON FOR THE SEASON
Well, it’s that time of year again.  Christmas.  The winter holiday season, if you will.  There’s Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and some other ones I either don’t know how to spell and/or don’t know anything about.  Winter solstice is on the 21st.  I think there’s a Baha’i holiday as well.  Maybe not.  My brain has been razzle dazzled by a bacon cheeseburger.  Yeh, I know.  Really the last thing I should … anyway.  Off topic.

It’s that time of year of wanton commercialism and consumerism.   Screw all that good will and peace for our fellow man.  Let’s stand in lines for days on end in the pre-Winter chill and trample each other in order to buy five or six Nintendo Wii’s so we can sell them on eBay at 400% of the retail price.  The reason for the season.

It’s that time of year when conservative Christians whine and gripe about “the war on Christmas” and complain about society’s oppression of Christian expression plus the intentional eviscerating of a beloved centuries old tradition.  And it’s that time of year when liberal activists go totally out of their minds attempting to squash any acknowledgement of Christianity in Christmas, a reactionary power grab.

Many stores prohibit their employees from wishing people a Merry Christmas because it might offend someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas.  You’ll see X-Mas, Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays and so on.  Christmas lights are called winter lights or holiday lights.  Christmas trees are called family trees.  That kind of thing.  Some places are even forbidding the use of red and green decorative lights.  Keeping in mind that much of this Christmas imagery dates back to Germanic tradition that has merged with the Christian aspects of the holiday.  You know, Father Christmas carrying wheat and all that.  Talk about overkill.

SO I START THINKING…
Where’s the common sense Mason Dixon line on this one?  Well, let me just cut to the chase ’cause I want to work on some writing tonight.  I don’t think people should be offended when someone wishes them a Merry Christmas regardless of what religion they do or don’t espouse.

You may say, “Who are you to tell someone whether or not they should feel offended?”

And I say, “I’m me.  Hi.  Nice to meet you.”

I realized that saying Merry Christmas is akin to someone greeting you with “shalom” or “salaam”.

shalom aleichem

As-SalamuAlaykum

These are very ethnic, cultural greetings with some religious overtones if you want to look at them that way.  Saying “Merry Christmas” to someone is the same.  It’s saying “peace be upon you”.  It’s an expression of openness and good will, generosity and cheer.  The positive values and qualities that transcend the individual belief systems.

And yes, it’s that time of year when Christians are especially aware of the ideals of Christianity.  It’s the time of year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  In the midst of (or the beginning of) Winter, it used to be such a warm, cheerful time when people naturally and reflexively exuded amiable, congenial nostalgia.

But what can you do.  There’s not really room for that in our culture anymore.  We’re too busy lashing out and rebelling against traditions like feckless teenagers.  Because we can.  This paragraph probably only applies if you’ve watched or listened to too many talk shows like I have.

Really, though, it’s kind of silly.  It’s as if you say “Good morning” to someone and then they say, “How dare you imply that morning is better than any other time of day.  I work the graveyard shift.  Morning is when I go to sleep.  I find it patently offensive.”

Funny people.

I wish you a Merry Christmas.  Oh wait.  We’re still three weeks away.  This is from a Sesame Street song.

Christmas means the spirit of giving
Peace and joy to you,
The goodness of loving,
The gladness of living;
These are Christmas too.

So, keep Christmas with you
All through the year,
When Christmas is over,
Save some Christmas cheer.
These precious moments,
Hold them very dear
And keep Christmas with you
All through the year.

1:35 PM – 5 Comments – 3 Kudos – Add CommentEditRemove

f(bod)

Posted by f(bod) on Dec 3, 2007 11:23 PM
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Rob

I think that most of the time people saying “Merry Christmas!” are wishing you a happy trees-and-presents season, not commemorating the religious holiday.

That said, if you reject my cheery “Happy Halloween!”, I will call the spirits of the dead to extract satisfaction on your anti-pagan…..self. 🙂

Merry Christmas, whatever it means to you. 🙂

Rob

Posted by Rob on Dec 4, 2007 7:14 AM
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Gary Young

Hey, Rob.

I think you’re right. It’s usually a “Silver Bells” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” greeting mores than an “Away in a Manger” or “Silent Night, Holy Night” greeting.

Posted by Gary Young on Dec 4, 2007 7:19 AM
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Michelle Amador

you need to see “What Would Jesus Buy?” a hilarious and inspiring movie documenting a theater troupe, Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping, in their 2005 journey across America preaching the gospel of stop shopping in an effort to remind people that all you need is other people – we don’t need so much stuff! The movie also features hilarious exorcisms…”Walmart…I release you! I release you!” done by the reverend with the choir to the Walmart sign! “Victoria…I know your secret, Victoria!” I wish they had some video on their site, but alas, I haven’t found it.

Link for theaters near you:
http://www.revbilly.com/features/

Posted by Michelle Amador on Dec 6, 2007 7:28 PM
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Gary Young

Hahaaaa. Freakin’ brilliant. I’m going to have to see that.

Posted by Gary Young on Dec 6, 2007 7:39 PM

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