#125 Merry Xmas (2004)

All Rights Reserved © 2004 Thomas W. Day
Scrooge has nothing on me.  "Bah, humbug," would be the nicest thing I can say about this phony, greedy, superstitious holiday.  I grew up in a tense, unbalanced Midwestern home where this particular holiday brought out all the worst in our tension and imbalance. 
Giving and getting presents was only a part of the stress.  Like most Americans, we were driven by guilt to spend every nickel we had on things that the receivers would want nearly as much as a case of the clap.  Like many Americans, the "festivities" were wrapped in superstitious semi-Christian ritual designed to make every freakin' moment as guilty and unpleasant as possible. 
In my old age, now that my kids are grown and living happily (I hope) in their own families, I do my best to avoid everything about this nasty commercial ritual.  Of course, the superstitious aspect of Xmas is lost on me.  I'm not Christian, Jewish, or Islamic, so the Jesus, Jehovah, Mohamad, or Superman myths are just a collection of sheep herders' tales amongst a long, long list of sheep herders' tales that have complicated human history and rational thought since the first caveman painted a space ship on a cave wall and claimed that someone had stuck a probe in his butt. 
I can't escape the guilt crap of being a Midwesterner.  I still buy something for everyone I love.  I try to convince myself I go through this ritual for some reason other than the ones that actually motivate me.  It's not true, though.  I'm as guilt driven as I was when I was a child in my father's house.  I'm just fighting harder to reclaim this dreary time of the year from the marketing scumbags who currently own the period between Thanksgiving and Xmas.  I figure that the more people I can convince to do the same, the fewer marketing jobs there will be and the better the rest of us will live.  Or something like that. 
I'm not mortified enough to try and pretend that I like Xmas, though.  I am upfront about how much I hate this stupid holiday.  I'm not talking about dislike, distrust, or distain, either.  I mean I "hate" Xmas and everything it stands for.  Xmas is not about love, sharing, compassion, friendship, family, or faith.  It's about greed, power, control, guilt, and fear.  Scary people trying to sell garbage and superstition to timid people who hate their lives so much that they spend more than they earn to massage their guilty, selfish hearts for long enough to make the scary folks a little richer and more powerful.  Even buying some little thing for the people I love is contributing to the things I dislike the most about my country.  Someone stronger, more patriotic than me would completely ignore the holiday.  A person worthy of the title of "American citizen" would go public in his dislike of this holiday and do everything in his power to break the chain.  I guess I'm public now, maybe I'll have done some damage to the chains in my own life.  You are free to work the links of your own chains. 

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