I don’t celebrate Christmas
Written by Plexus Radio on 1 December, 2019
I don’t celebrate Christmas
There is one and only one significant reason for the extended Christmas season, culminating on Christmas Day. Christmas stimulates the economy. It keeps the economy ticking over. It has bugger-all, zip, zilch to do with the ‘birth’ of Jesus Christ (JC) since there’s only a one in 365.25 chance that Christ was virginally birthed on the 25th of December. Probability dictates therefore that there is no Christ in Christmas, only $$$.
Christmas is celebrated under totally false pretenses, if one celebrates the birth of JC. The ultimate origins of Christmas have to do with a rebirth, not a birth. Christmas evolved from a winter festival that celebrated the rebirth of the Sun – the return of ever lengthening hours of daylight and the heralding of the return of spring, warmer weather and the growing season. Nobody has a clue when JC was born or even for that matter whether or not JC even existed in the first place.
A far more serious negative regarding the Christmas period is the impact on far too many of our companion animals. Way too many animals are given as Christmas presents without real though as to whether the recipient wants a pet, wants that particular kind of pet and can not only afford the animal but have the ways and means to look after the animal for the long term commitment that’s necessary. The often quasi-related bit is that more animals get dumped and abandoned at the Christmas holiday period than at any other. Selfish humans who put holidays first, often just can’t be bothered to undergo the time and expense to make suitable arrangements for their animal(s) while their way. This places massive stress on the abandoned animal(s), and a massive burden on animal shelters and animal welfare agencies that have to try to cope with the flood. These agencies usually have to rely in the main on donations from the public, and this Christmas burden really stretches their budget as well as their physical capacity to care for these most innocent of the innocents.
Another serious Christmas negative is the impact of spending Christmas alone, which should be in principle no different than the impact of spending any other day of the year alone, assuming you don’t view Christmas in some sort of ultra special sort or way. It’s one thing to be alone and bored at a special time of year, quite another to be alone and active without perceiving that time of year as anything overly special.
I think that society needs to strip away this super aura that Xmas Day has. If it has no special aura to you, you’re unlikely to treat it as something special. But if you’re convinced it has a special aura, you could suffer psychological effects because you think it’s special but the experience is passing you by.
IMHO Christmas is just about as ultra phoney as it is possible to get while getting away with apparent sincerity. One apparently sincere thing about Christmas is that it should be a time for spreading goodwill, and often that is done with just a smile and a friendly greeting. But, staff at the stores wished me a Merry Xmas all by rote – they didn’t have the slightest degree of sincerity about them. It was just something their supervisors told them they have to do. Nearly every establishment has a “Merry Christmas” sign, but in reality the very people who put up the sign really don’t give a damn about you and your Christmas experiences.
That Christmas phrase “Peace on Earth, goodwill towards men” or the dozens of variations on the theme, should of course be year round, not something stated once a year if it’s to have any meaning at all. By accenting these sorts of warm and fuzzy things at one particular time of year, suggests that these warm and fuzzy things aren’t really relevant at all other times of the year. Why single out these warm and fuzzy sentiments at Christmas and only at Christmas? If that’s the case, that it’s a year round thing, then there’s nothing really special about Christmas.
I note by the way that Pope Benedict has prayed for God to punish the world’s “oppressors” and bring about “true brotherhood” at his 2010 Christmas mass. Let’s just say that the pope’s batting average when it comes to prayers being answered, any pope for that matter, is zero. World peace ain’t just around the corner – never has been, probably never will be – the pope’s prayers remain unanswered! I sincerely doubt that any God-fearing Christian would want to put good money up and bet me that the pope’s batting average will improve anytime soon. I’m not holding my breath that “oppressors” will be punished anytime soon by God, and as for the creation of a “true brotherhood”, well pink elephants and flying pigs are more likely IMHO. Tyrants come and tyrants go, but there will always be a few around, just to give popes something to pontificate about.
Christmas music is inane – either it’s spiritual in nature which is totally inappropriate since Christmas was originally a pagan occasion and had nothing to do with anything religious or holy (see above), or else it’s pure pop, usually pap and sap. All that wouldn’t be so bad if you could escape from it, but you’d better turn your radio off and if you venture outside the home anytime in the weeks leading up to Christmas, well, wear earplugs. I mean by the 20th time you’ve been subjected to “White Christmas” – well, it’s 19 times too many. Besides, anyone who has shovelled snow, or driven in it is definitely NOT dreaming of a white Christmas.
Many of the traditional pop songs regurgitated again and again and again at Christmas time really has nothing to do with Christmas at all, rather more a celebration of winter and winter activities – hardly appropriate for residents in the Southern Hemisphere where it’s high summer. I mean “Jingle Bells” (and “Jingle Bell Rock”), “Frosty the Snowman”, “Let it Snow”, “Sleigh Ride” and “Winter Wonderland” really can be deleted from the Christmas repertoire since they have nothing to do with Christmas.
And often the pop songs that do mention Christmas are really just novelty songs of little real relevance. I mean there’s “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause”, “Santa Clause is Coming to Town”, “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” – Once is more than enough per year having to listen to such pap. Then there’s the downright repetitious tripe – “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” repeated ad nauseam.
One of the more insidious things about much of Christmas music pap is that it is of such a nature in the main that it has that tendency to enter your consciousness, your mind, and roll around and around and around, finally sticking there like flies on flypaper.
Speaking of Christmas songs, one illustrates the Christmas greed very well, as in the “12 Days of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me…” well one hell of a lot of a lot of gifts – talk about gift-giving overkill. As I said earlier, it’s all about the economy, stupid!
Economics is what’s really driving Christmas. I mean most retail businesses make a third or more of their annual profit out of the Christmas shopping frenzy in the month or two in the lead-up to the Big Day. To further illustrate the point, we’re constantly reminded about how many more shopping days there are till Christmas. And you can bet you’ll be saturated with news items on a near daily basis about how the retail trade is faring – above or below expectations in the lead-up; will there be a last-minute splurge; after-the-fact was it a good or bad season for the retailers.
Speaking of the retail trade, as noted above in regards to the sheer phoniness of Christmas, how many people, you don’t really know; staff at the checkout counters, etc. says “Merry Christmas” parrot fashion to you? Most if not all I suspect. But of course they are just going through the motions because it’s expected of them. That’s not to say they actually hope you have an un-merry Christmas, it’s just that deep down they really don’t give a damn one way or the other – they have their own set of troubles – so their “Merry Christmas” usually lacks sincerity. It’s just rote.
Christmas is something – at least for those who involuntarily do it – to be endured, not enjoyed.
By John P. – Science librarian; retired.