As an equal-opportunity curmudgeon, I feel no sense of shame in my grumpy mutterings because, in the course of a year, each reader will find him- or herself singled out and injuriously slandered by my offhanded remarks. It is the nature of the beast.
And you’re welcome.
I would say that this is my Christmas present to each of you – except that we are no longer allowed to say ‘Christmas.’ We all need someone to rail against in order to bolster our own sense of self-worth. So come after me with your pitchforks, Good People, because now it’s going to be about Christmas (yes, I’m going there).
A Christmas Story
As a child, Christmas was always the most eagerly anticipated 15 minutes of the year. The 15 minutes were clocked from the moment the children awoke, saw presents under the tree, dragged lazy parents out of bed, and began the paper shredding frenzy.
As an adult, Christmas took on its full dimension as an imperialist machine of global commercial domination, compelling us to don our best consumer cloaks and descend en masse upon any retail establishment within our purview. Under the gentle and kind conceit of “a time of giving”, we are all conditioned to go out and spend until it hurts just a little in order to appease the Commercial Imperative of the Christmas Season.
In fact, it never really mattered to the process what your actual beliefs were. ‘Christmas’ in context was not a religious celebration but a consumer trigger. Today, people are deeply offended by what is perceived as a Christian hegemony over this holiday. They hate seeing the Coca-Cola Santa in every distant corner of the world because it reminds them that someone else’s holiday is being imposed upon them.
And I suppose they are right.
Given this, one can hardly fault the media for eschewing Christmas from the style manual and replacing it with “holidays”, especially since 29 holidays celebrated by at least seven religious faiths between November 1 and January 15 every year. And this is a fact that comes from Facebook. So you know it’s true.
Coincidentally, I was watching the Disney channel this weekend (as you do) and noticed that not a single series, cartoon, or advertisement used the word Christmas at all! I started looking for it, but anywhere it might have popped up, it popped not.
If you have not seen the reason for my apposite grumpiness yet, let me spell it out. Our societal political correction has unseated ‘Christmas’ as the cover story for all of our consumer madness and has left nothing in its place.
We no longer have any preconditioned reason or motivation to get out there and consume. Now it is only spending for the sake of spending. Without it, Christmas shopping becomes holiday shopping, and why would anyone in their right mind rush out to the shops when EVERYONE ELSE is already there competing for parking, places in line, and ‘holiday sale’ items?
Belief is a fickle thing. People struggle to believe in Christmas, in Santa, and in the wide variety of mysterious religious faiths that gave rise to them. And, if you read the news on Facebook, we have also lost our faith in consumerism and commercialism of any kind as well.
Clearly THIS is how the Grinch stole Christmas. No unrealistic stealing of the world’s presents and decorations on a very small sled pulled by an anemic dog: Christmas has been stolen by our own overly complicated approach to it. Having tried to apply a global approach to what is essentially a local phenomenon, we find that the center will not hold.
With the end of our stereotypes at hand, there is nothing left for me but to wish you an Ordinary Amount of Happiness for the End-of-Year Season!
[And if that’s not enough, get a copy of Grumpy in Belgrade to remind you of the real meaning of Christmas.]