By Brian M. Howle
Well, here we are once again, poised on the cusp of another wonderfully commercialized holiday season, with everyone running willy-nilly in search of that perfect gift and growing more and more intolerant of each other by the nanosecond.
Do you find the dripping sarcasm encoded in the above paragraph to be getting on your one last nerve?
If you do, give me a high-five, or, um … better yet, give me an “Amen”!
I have written columns during the holidays in years past that touch on the encroaching air of animosity and rudeness that seems to, increasingly, poison what was for most of us and joyous and wonderful time of the year.
So join with me in my open letter to The Fat Man, because I have many questions and comments for Saint Nick in these strange and troubled times…
Hey, it’s me, Brian … I know we haven’t really talked in awhile, but as I enter my 52nd year on this planetary cauldron of miracles and woe, I hope you’re having a good year.
Folks around here – and across the nation – seem to be perplexed to no end over this current social conundrum. For all practical purposes, it could be pedaled to the masses as one of those wild videos you see on TV all the time in those sleazy commercials. And the title the screams to write itself would be “Politically Correct Morons Gone Wild!”
I’m tellin’ ya, big guy, I’m beginning to wonder out loud myself.
Can you ‘splain what the hell is going on with this new-found aversion to actually calling Christmas – so named due to the birth of Christ – well, Christmas?
Now, you know me, Sir Kringle – I’m not the most religiously entrenched little tyke on your rounds each year, and I would never in a million, zillion years try to convince anyone otherwise. But even a part-time heathen like me finds the new doctrine of business – in which all use of the word “Christmas” has been abandoned in favor of the more ubiquitous and less-offensive “Holiday” – to be an exercise in stupidity that, up to now, seemed to be the exclusive domain of Big Oil, Gentlemen’s Clubs and the French in general.
Now, I realize that here in the good ol’ U.S. of A., we like to wave that “diversity” banner around like some kind of perfect attendance award at a kindergarten graduation ceremony.
And I realize that we are supposed to be considerate of others when it comes to their religions and beliefs, which may not quite cotton up to the majority of folks in our country that – so far – are overwhelmingly Christian.
So I’ve always taken care not to bash any unsuspecting Jew or Muslim or Buddhist over the head with the Baby Jesus in the manger whenever December rolls around. After all, they each have their own little way of celebrating the beginning of their respective religions.
The part where I get lost, Santa, is when the heck did those of us of the Christian persuasion (actively practicing or not) become the big bad wolf among religions?
People have been celebrating Christmas, singing Christmas songs and carols and honoring the birth of Christ since, well, the birth of Christ.
As a result, things like Christmas cards and Christmas trees and Christmas parties and, yes, even Christmas worship services have always been just as normal to our populace as breathing.
I don’t know why the socialists who want to destroy our faith system are so obsessed with the idea of killing of the use of the word “Christmas”, but I’ll tell you now, Santa – that ain’t gonna fly down here in the South.
You can tell the rest of the country to kiss our collective grits if that’s the ecumenical wormhole they choose to pursue in hopes of God knows what as they do.
Oh, gee, sorry, I guess using “God” in the mix is a no-no, too, huh?
Anyway, since you know when I’m sleeping and awake and all that, I’m sure you know that my mom and dad both passed away last year. And I’m pretty sure you know that it was all jammed up and not fully processed last year when Christmas came along, especially since mom died a year ago today, on December 14.
I remember once, as a teenager, asking you to bring me a stronger heart and less of this annoying emotional attribute that I possess.
It was, of course, a completely foolish request, and one that you quite responsibly chose not to grant.
And I just wanted to thank you for that omission, Santa, because that part of me is the very essence of both of my parents; of what they left behind in this world, and I wouldn’t change that for anything in your sleigh.
So if they rest of the folks don’t tell you as you make your rounds this year, allow me to do it for them:
Merry Christmas, Peace on Earth and goodwill towards man. May God bless and keep you.
Oh, and Happy Birthday, Jesus.
The previous article was originally published in the December 12, 2005 issue of Alternatives NewsMagazine.