Sunday, November 27, 2005

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Yay! Christmastime is here!

I didn’t hear my first Christmas carol until the day after Thanksgiving. It was Dr. John’s version of “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer.” It was followed by all the classics by Bing, Frank, Dino, Ray Charles, John Denver and of course those lovable Chipmunks. Needless to say, I was SHOPPING.

Yes, shopping. That is how we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior in America. We shop. And shop and shop and shop. And fight and shop and fight. And shop.

And fight.

Four days ago, on my way home from work, I saw a man beating his son (presumably it was his son) while attempting to hang a string of Christmas lights on the front awning of his house. The string of Christmas lights was hopelessly tangled as they always are this time of year, and the boy, who looked to be about seven or eight years old, had carelessly walked directly into the massive snarl. The dad instantly dropped the focus of his labors and grabbed the kid’s sweatshirt with his left hand and walloped him repeatedly with his right. Jesus would have been proud.

Or he IS proud. That’s what I meant to say. I keep forgetting that he’s not some guy who got killed by the Romans 2,000 years ago, but a living, infinite being with whom I can forge a meaningful bond.

Anyway, to honor this Son of God who Died for Our Sins, we must shop. And decorate our dwellings with garish symbols of pre-Christian paganism. And shop.

And fight.

I have not yet heard of any occurrences of the annual separation-of-church-and-state fracases that seem to accompany this glorious season, but no doubt they are right around the corner. Some hyper-Christian civil servant will erect a manger scene in a government center somewhere and the Secularists will raise their angry voices in protest. The ACLU will be called upon, once again, to set the situation to rights and the Christian symbols will be replaced by pagan ones. But as Molly Ivins once famously observed, erecting a Nativity scene is probably the only way to get three wise men in a government building.

From all this, you might be inclined to believe that Big Daddy Malcontent hates Christmas, but nothing can be further from the truth. As mentioned above, Christmastime has pagan origins. The ancient Germans would mark the shortest day of the year by gathering with family and friends to eat, drink and be merry in an effort to fortify themselves against the coming winter doldrums. And, if times were good, they would exchange a gift or two in honor of the friendships without which life would be dreary. Decades of conflict with the Romans hipped Caesar to the tradition, proving that good can come from bad. As the Roman Empire morphed into the Holy Roman Empire, these German traditions became the accepted method for celebrating the birth of Jesus.

So, whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa or some nebulous incarnation of the seasonal merriment, the central theme remains the same: Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward Men. Lack of it is at the heart of Big Daddy’s malcontentedness, so naturally he is Down with Christmas. Peace.


JimBeamPI said...

Big Daddy, you left out the most important part of Xmas, the drinking. Drinking Tom & Jerrys, egg nog & brandy and Guiness until I vomit press cookies. The drink is what makes me want to shop and then fight. Get between me and a Xbox 360 and I'll flatten your ass. I'm sure my daughter would love her Fisher Price Castle more if she knew Daddy smashed some sucker's grill to get it. Peace.


Mr. Fong said...

bout 40 drunken Santas rioted in New Zealand, robbing stores, toppling garbage bins, smashing bottles and assaulting security guards.

Wearing Santa Claus costumes, they rampaged yesterday afternoon through central city streets in Auckland and vandalised a giant Christmas tree in the foyer of the Sky City Casino, the Herald on Sunday reported.

They were taking part in an organised example of "Santarchy", Alex Dyer told the paper, describing it as "a worldwide phenomenon designed to dismantle the commercialisation of Christmas".

Three men were arrested on charges of being drunk and disorderly, and two security guards needed medical treatment for cuts after being hit with beer bottles.

One storekeeper told the paper that the Santas walked into his shop, said "Merry Christmas" and then helped themselves to beer and soft drinks.