Thursday, December 01, 2005

Xmas: It's not a gaming device

Few holiday things irritate me as much as the "Keep Christ in Christmas" crowd who believe that an important way to keep him in is by eliminating the term "Xmas." The term, of course, has been around for centuries, and originated when the Greek letter Chi was used to represent the word "Christ." It is a Christian, or Xian, tradition. Some Christians show how ignorant they are all year round, but these particular Christians aggressively advertise their ignorance of their own religion when they start the campaign to do away with Xmas. (This is the same crowd that uses "Spare the rod and spoil the child" to mean beat the child, when the rod in the Bible is a shepherd's rod, which is used to guide sheep, not beat them.)

Of course, there are other things that bother me about the holidays: People who go to homes where they are sure to be abused by family members, or people who go to family members' homes when they really do not want to--they want to stay in their own homes. And people who spend all kinds of money they do not have on gifts.

Then there are all the women who lapse into a neurotic frenzy during the holidays--cooking, decorating, shopping, negotiating with relatives, worrying, and generally acting as though world peace depended on whether two dozen custom-made wreaths get hung correctly.

During the holidays, people knock each down in stores in order to buy the last sale cd player or television. They get drunk and ruin everyone's dinner (no sympathy here, though, because they shouldn't have been invited). They reward Wal-Mart, one of the biggest abusers in the community, by buying every last item available.

I used to avoid Christmas altogether, it made me feel so annoyed. Now I observe it in ways that are pleasant: a Christmas tree (no lights), fresh pine and fir boughs throughout the front of the house, simple gifts (often purchased on our annual fall vacation), and a few small dinner parties. I like the way the fresh greens smell, and I enjoy wrapping the gifts.

The holidays in general, though, seem to me to be a caricature of the American obsession with doing "what you're supposed to do" without ever questioning whether it is practical, morally right, or even desirable.


As I said on my blog, the Christ part of Christmas always bothered me, to the point I can never put an angel on the top of my tree.

One year, when my daughter was heavy into Buddhism, I took a white scarf and wrapped it through the branches. It was lovely, and we do this every year as a nod to Buddha, another great philosopher who was born in April, I believe.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:50 AM  

We have always put a white dove at the top of our tree.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:34 AM  

I don't even do a tree! But I live alone and I don't like to bother. I agree: I opted out of "Christmas" years ago. Now I'll go to an Xmas get-together at my aunt's on Xmas eve and to my sisters for a couple of hours on Xmas. That's it! Presents ONLY for my nieces & nephews (adults don't need 'em). And I love candles and poinsettias. But I really do sit back and watch the frenzy with disappointment and... OK, disgust. WTF? Who actually enjoys it? The grotesque over-commercialism has pretty much ruined it. I see kids literally buried in presents while adults sit there waiting for them to open EVERY SINGLE ONE and the kid looks bored or traumatized. Sickening...

I'm with ya. Why can't we just put up some evergreens and call it a day?


By Blogger Unknown, at 8:45 PM  

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