A friend suggested I write something about Christmas to perhaps increase my web-cred and gain some much needed fans for the book, something subversive about our material culture; people climbing on top of one another to get that last tickle me stupid… how it connects to our base nature and love of the inbred ingroup. But even after losing power for three days, even after having to spoon my pet tortoise just to keep her warm (and in all likelihood breaking a cohabitation law somewhere), I can’t do it. The charity of my oldest, dearest friend and the aggregate altruism on display in my silly paradox of a city is enough for me to ignore our sloth of a mayor failing to respond quickly enough to an emergency just to keep a tenuous grip on power; it’s enough to overlook the douchebags treating every intersection like a drag race; it’s even enough to quiet the journalistic inkling in my right testicle that power was preferentially restored to traditionally “Whiter” and richer areas of the city. Seriously though. There’s a lot of coloured people without power still, and yes, that includes Asian people. You shouldn’t post maps showing where the crews are working because we know where everyone lives!
But shhh shhh no no… Not today. Rusty is warm. I’ve got a couch to crash on. I feel fat and doughy. All is still normal thanks to the tireless workers trying to get the city running again. It’s not your fault that the city is mismanaged. 100 points to all of you.
Having said that, Christmas for a long-retired Christian is a strange time. Family members feel the need to force you to pray a little longer; people suddenly feel the need to go to Church when they normally wouldn’t; even the name of Jesus is casually sung in our typically most secular of spaces. But unlike those Atheists full of the same righteous indignation as the Christians pissed off about Santa’s (i.e. Satan) flying hellhounds stealing the show, it doesn’t really bother me. The truth is I secretly love Christmas.
I know. Shocking, eh? Yes, I’m well aware of all the bitter “it’s a pagan holiday refurbished as Christianity” arguments and the material ridiculousness of the whole production. Meh. Let it go for one day. I honestly like the snow, the lights, and the sometimes insane effort involved in making sure someone isn’t forgotten, even the homeless. Yes, we should value each other this much every day of the year. Yes, there will be epic lineups and the occasional stamping of a stranger to get that last toy. But that’s a mom or dad desperate to please their child, desperate enough to fight to the death for a device that will be on sale and in stock a couple of weeks later. During the holiday season, I oddly appreciate such moral relativism and irrationality on display. Call me sentimental.
It’s no different than when soldiers stopped fighting and sang carols to one another during world war whatever. It was stupid and illogical; they would soon go back to shooting at each other, and anyone could’ve cheated. Nevertheless, imagine if the whole world followed this unwritten pact. Christmas, Xmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Festivus… I don’t really give a shit what you call it. It may only be one day but we’re out for more than enough blood the other three hundred and sixty-four.
So even though you may feel the need to show your extreme allegiances on such a grand occasion, lay down your arms if just for today. You can go back to either injecting or purging Christ from our daily lives tomorrow... on Boxing Day. Although I can’t remember the last time I was happy on Christmas, I can respect the magical stupidity behind it, especially if it’s in Claymation. Gift cards are stupid. Don’t ever give me a fucking gift card.