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Holiday. Celebrate.

I was raised on Santa-full, God-less Christmases. I was expected to sing carols, but I was not asked to Believe. So it’s understandable that I don’t think there’s an all-powerful being to celebrate. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the holiday season. I like parties and bright lights and shiny decorations. The feeling of community, knowing everyone else is celebrating at the same time, giving gifts to each other. An entire month of celebration is a wonderful thing, even if the idea of it being a full month is inspired by corporate greed. Because after all…

‘Tis the season of Bunny Flavored Lies! Gods exist and if you do what they want, they’ll reward you! Santa Claus is real and if you’re good he’ll get you presents! Families love each other and enjoy being together! Buy lots of stuff and everyone will be happy! These fluffy pink lies look great on the outside, but within them hides the truth: no one is watching over us, being a good person doesn’t guarantee happiness, families can suck, and money, as always, buys only things.

The holiday season stirs all this shit up, all these feelings of not being quite good enough, of having to somehow make everything Special. It is a time for self-pity and self-aggrandizement. The media takes advantage of our vulnerable emotions, and we fall prey to all the advertising that convinces us that spending money, one way or another, will make us happy. This country is literally being destroyed by the culture of bullying and greed, and the idea of this excessive spending in Jesus’ name is bizarre to me.

As the world falls to shit around us, let us take a moment to note some of my favorite things about the holidays:

  1. The magic of the Internet. Not only can I avoid the murderous rage that builds within me while shopping in stores during the holiday season, but I can send free e-holiday cards, and at this point emails are considered appropriate as thank you cards!
  2. Starbucks holiday specialty lattes—just try one and you’ll see.
  3. That incredible moment when I remember I’m not only giving gifts, I’m going to be getting them too!
  4. Remembering how lucky I am to have a partner to cuddle with on the long dark nights, no matter how pissed off I may be at her.
  5. Crying while watching as “the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day”. Sob! THAT is what Christmas is all about, my friends—an excuse for sentimental sobbing.

Narrator: Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,

Was singing! Without any presents at all!

He HADN’T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME!

Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling:

Grinch: How could it be so?

It came without ribbons! It came without tags!

It came without packages boxes, or bags!

Narrator: And he puzzled and puzzled, till his puzzler was sore.

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.

Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.”

 

The end of the year is a natural time to take a look at ourselves and our lives. To celebrate making it through, and toasting to those who didn’t. To hope that the new year will be different; that this particular chime of midnight will push us towards the changes we already know we desire.