I'll be blunt; I hate The Holidays. Specifically, I hate Christmas. Not what it represents, but what it has become. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that the original reason it was set in December was so that the early Christians could co-opt the Pagan Festivals during Winter Solstice. To me, that indicates that this was not so much a celebration of the birth of Jesus as it was a political maneuver.
I hate what we, as a culture have done to Christmas. Instead of being a celebration of The King of Kings, The Prince of Peace, The Lamb of God, it has become a seasonal orgy of consumerism and greed. I actually know people who gauge the esteem in which they are held by their family by the extravagance of the presents they receive. And while the shopping frenzy usually begins on Black Friday, the rumblings of things to come can be seen earlier and earlier each year. I can still remember a local appliance retailer in my hometown parodying the phenomenon by having a "4th of July Christmas Sale" The only celebrating going on during the season is by those in the retail business because they know that they are about to reap huge profits in the spirit of Christian love.
And then there is Santa Claus. In what sane culture is the perpetrator of hot prowl burglaries considered to be a hero? Look, I grew up in Detroit. If you woke up in the middle of the night and found some stranger in your house, I don't care what he was wearing or what his stated purpose was, the only appropriate response was a Louisville Slugger to the head or, even better, a hail of hollowpoints to the center of his mass. Most offensively, the myth of Santa Claus is yet another Christian figure whose name and good works have been hijacked by those who neither know nor care about the truth.
Another thing that I loathe to the core of my being, is the music. A bunch of smarmy, obnoxious crap; Christmas music is one of the most heinous crimes ever committed with a musical instrument. Some of it is actually frightening: "He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good..." sounds more like an ominous warning than a description of some jolly fat man. Ironically, my current job requires me to spend all day in an environment where this shit is inflicted upon me over and over and over and over and over and over again. I try to explain to them that having different people sing the same seven songs isn't variety, and I try to explain to them that Amnesty International considers repetitive music a form of torture, but my protests are ignored. And while pop music performers line up to protest the use of their music to offend a bunch of flea-bitten terrorists, my co-workers and I can't even get the management to change the CD in the music system for a couple of hours. And believe me, after nine hours of seven different renditions of "Winter Wonderland", I'm ready to kick over a manger.
However, aside from the rampant consumerism, and the musical excrescence, the thing that galls me the most, the thing that just taxes my self control to its limits, is the way that Jesus Christ has been almost completely eliminated from the holiday that was supposed to be a celebration His birth.
See, I'm a Christian. Not a great one, probably not even a good one. I tend to agree with Gandhi when he said, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians." And, for the sake of clarity, I'm not a very likable Christian either. However, right is right and X-ing Christ out of CHRISTmas is just wrong. It is also symptomatic of a bigger issue: Christians are being marginalized and ostracized from this country. It's considered completely okay to portray Jesus as a gay man, or to place a Christian religious icon in a jar of urine and call it "art", but should someone dare to express gratitude to God for their life, liberty, or achievements, they are punished, if they dare to express their faith in public, they are arrested even though it is perfectly legal to do so! Worse, Christians that wish to engage those of other faiths in a meaningful dialogue are prevented from doing so with the approval and assistance of the agents of the state. Nativity scenes have been eliminated from the public eye because they offend people, and school employees daring to associate with Christians on their own time is grounds for disciplinary action,
So, for me, the holidays are just the amplification of all that is wrong with America. How will I celebrate? I will give presents to my children, I will pray that my Christian brethren stop emulating the girly-man Jesus we've been spoon fed for decades and start emulating the Jesus that kicked ass on the moneylenders, called the Pharisees a "brood of vipers" and died on the cross because it was His duty to do so. Our future depends on it, Christian men need it, and praying is always a good idea.
Then I'll start writing the lyrics to a new Christmas song. I've already titled it "Hey Santa, Kiss My Ass!"