[Attention Christians: Lest you be offended by my use of the word X-mas, permit yourselves to be educated about it here, and here, and here. However, I am using “X-mas” in the spirit that it is something different from the celebration of Christmas, the spirit that many Christians do find offensive. Essentially, I’m agreeing with you.]
This time of year we have two celebrations going on simultaneously: Christmas, which is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, and X-mas, which I take to be a celebration of material abundance, whether real or imagined.
[A note to our friends of other faiths: I know there are other holidays not only at this time of year, but throughout the year and I don’t want to slight you or your celebrations. But you do have to admit that X-mas is the 800-pound gorilla of holidays and does more to spur the economy than any other such event. This is not to suggest that you ought to revamp your holidays to include a larger portion of materialism. I’m just sayin’ …]
As usual it’s coming too fast, even though we got a good start this year back in October. Next year we ought to get it going around the Fourth of July, and have a couple of wreaths and X-mas trees showing up overhead in the fireworks displays all across the nation. This might give us the edge we need to make next year’s holiday a joyous and total commercial success.
[Disclaimer: The success of X-mas 2012 may be in jeopardy because some Mayan Calendar scholars predict that the world will end on December 21. This would put an extreme damper on the holiday festivities but, looking on the bright side, it would save many of us the grief of last-minute shopping on X-mas Eve. There are some who would gladly accept the end of the world as a welcome trade-off for the stress of the X-mas holiday experience.]
At X-mastime, the normal frenzy and time-crunch of modern living is magnified by about a factor of ten, so that by X-mas Night most of us would just as soon see the holiday to never darken the doors of our lives again. Many of us do our best to erase those bad memories on New Year’s Eve by drinking ourselves into unconsciousness while predicting better times to come in the next year. I wouldn’t count on that.
Disregarding the possible end of the world, there are other flaws in the X-mas celebration. Besides the stress, heart attacks, intra-family conflicts and rage, divorce, and screaming, disappointed urchins on the morning of the 25th, X-mas epitomizes our practice of using up world resources as fast as we can, thereby creating jobs for store clerks and the trashmen who eventually haul all this stuff to the dump.
[Disclaimer: I confess that while I talk the talk I have yet to completely walk the walk vis a vis X-mas Madness, Natural Resource Abuse, and Landfills. We don’t go crazy at X-mas but still participate to some extent. Soon we have to go to buy presents for the grandkids. See?]
If the world should come to an end in a year or so, my apologies for having wasted your precious time reading this. Happy Holidays.
[Attention Atheists: Please understand that my use of the phrase “Happy Holidays” is in no way an expression of any religious belief that may be offensive to you. Please feel free to not participate in any holiday events or celebrations. Please also feel free to be happy.]
I believe I have now covered everyone.