Monday, December 25, 2006

More Humbug

It should be more than obvious by now that I'm NOT a big fan of the Christmas season. It irks me to no end that a lot of my favorite radio stations switch over to full-time holiday music this time of year. I mean, how many renditions of Jingle Bells and O Holy Night should any person be subjected to?

You can't open the newspaper or turn on the TV without being barraged with glitzy ads selling products that few people truly need, but most everybody wants. (One of my favorites, from year's passed, was the hot dog cooker. All this crazy contraption would do is cook hot dogs, nothing else.)

Everywhere you go people are wishing, "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays", yet their words are superficial, at best. It's like when the cheery sales clerk or casual acquaintance says, "How ya doing?", but doesn't really give a flip how you're REALLY doing. Most times, they don't even wait for an answer before turning to another customer or launching into a long monologue about whatever is on their mind.

Despite how it may appear from my recent posts, I'm not anti-joy or anti-festive. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love to laugh and I do it quite frequently. My chief gripe with this holiday season is that the joy on display is too often artificial. It follows the societal form without getting anywhere near the substance. It's as if too many of my fellow brethren are following a strict recipe, "Add 2 ho-ho-hos, sprinkle in a salutation or two, wish someone you despise 'Merry Christmas', then simmer for 20 minutes."

What's even worse, for me, is that many of the people who are pushing the orthodox Christian version of this one-day observance of "Joy to the World" are the very same people who support the illegal and immoral war in Iraq, the building of a fence along the southern US border and any law that seeks to separate them from anyone who thinks, looks, believes or acts differently than they do.

One day platitudes just don't cut it! If they truly believed in the words of "O Come All Ye Faithful", "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and "The Little Drummer Boy", then they'd realize that you can't encapsulate love and peace in one day or one season per year. You've got to practice what you preach 365 & 24/7.

But, alas, they don't seem to get this at all! In essence, then, the yuletide season turns into nothing more than a salvation-based form of mental masturbation. It's quick. It's easy. And then you can get back to hating everyone different than you in the wink of an eye.


  1. The contrast between what people say and do in one part of their lives and in another part of their lives tells us there's something powerful at work there. I admit I never have quite gotten my arms around the hypocrisies in all forms of religion or even the hypocrisies in the rejection of religion. One can at least say that people manage not to see the evil in their own mirrors, yet it is there as many theologies and philosophies have said for a long time.

    So do I need to understand the hypcrisies better in order to forgive them or is it enough just to hate them? And do I hate enough of them? That is what I ask God about, whoever and whatever God is. He says I need to breathe, but I can use both the understanding and the hatred. All the hypocrites die eventually. Then the understanding is enough.

  2. I've been trying a personal experiment lately--when the clerk asks, "Did you find everything you needed?" I reply, "No."

    Nine times out of ten, that's where it ends.

    So why do they ask?


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