Let me state clearly: I love Christmas. The presents; the food; the Eureka, Warehouse 13 and Doctor Who specials; pretending to understand Kwanzaa. I don’t even mind the religious part because there’s a good chance Jesus broke his mom’s hymen on the way out, and if you’re Catholic, then he put himself “up in her” in the first place.
But, no matter how much I get into the spirit (gin), I … that is to say … well, I just can’t get into the War on Christmas.
There. I said it.
Do you have any idea how tough it is to enjoy this time of year without forcing everyone else to enjoy it, too? It’s painfully awkward when I’m the only one in the room who isn’t whipped into a frothy rage at the wish of a “Happy Holidays.” Sometimes, I’ll fake it just to see if maybe I’ll get into the mood if I really try, only to end up even less into it and kind of chaffed.
In a way, I can kind of see how Christmas is a holiday, much less observed enough with a wish that I have a happy holiday accompanied by a stock wintry scene. Why, to even look at me, how could a store clerk even assume that I celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, whatever it is pagans do at the Winter Solstice or Atheist Christ-Non-Observance, that magical time of year when people who believe in nothing do nothing?
It almost doesn’t even seem fair to expect a Wal-Mart employee to know which particular holiday I celebrate just because I enjoy masturbating with tinsel and not because of its deep spiritual meaning.
Up until this point, I had been secure in my faith–secure enough to demand that no one would dare imply that Christmas shared the entire month between Thanksgiving and December 25th with other holidays. Every Sunday, I’d leave my early worship at the local megachurch (2 pm) pumped for Christmas. Of course, climbing a foam rock wall, pounding caramel macchiatos and fist praying with a rock band that was in no way our preacher’s mid-life crisis of faith does that to a Christian warrior.
I used to fly off handle any time somebody renamed a parade or suggest that the city hall couldn’t compete in the local churches’ Nativity Contest. (Last year, First Methodist won by turning theirs into an anti-abortion display for the rest of the year, even the months between April and January when Christ is dead.)
But something changed recently.
It’s not because I’ve made new friends with people who aren’t Christian. It can’t be because I’ve started actually reading the Bible this year and couldn’t find the parts where Jesus describes his ultimate birthday party. (I’m guessing the NASCAR parts were edited out with the other 30 years of his life.) It’s definitely not because of politics, because the Republicans won the House back.
No, somehow, in this pageantry of Christmas lights, TV specials, days off from work, White House ornaments, carols and sweaters–somehow–I’ve found myself in a crisis of combative faith, a faith funk, and I can’t get my holiday anger back.
Or am I just being stupid?