Wednesday, December 14, 2005

 

Let's Put The Ass Back in Xmas


At this time of year, one of the holiest times for Christians, there is a big push on to "Keep the Christ in Christmas". I respect that, but it makes me wonder how this whole huge holiday thing came about.

I mean, a recent survey of the ten all-time favourite Christmas songs revealed that seven of them were written by Jews. People who don't believe that Christ was the Messiah at all, but who seem to have an ear for a catchy tune.

Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Coming To Town, Jingle Bells ... these are not religious songs in case you haven't noticed.

This whole thing puzzles me. I mean I don't go running out to buy presents at Ramadan, I do not celebrate Eid, I don't put up Hanukka lights and stockings. Kwanzaa leaves me completely unaffected. But here I am, a non-Christian, caught up in the frenzy to celebrate the birth of the person I refer to as "grandma's imaginary friend".

I think the time has come for the separation of Church and Retail. I would like all of those who are celebrating a religious thingie to go to the left and frolic with glee and candles and nativity scenes and call it Christmas.

The rest of us, who have somehow gotten caught up in this consumerist frenzy, please form a line to the right. We shall now celebrate xmass and buy a lot of Barbies and cake and then eat turkey.

This does not mean that I am not religious. I would say that but then god would kick me in the ass. I receive instructions from my deity on a tediously-regular basis. It's just not the Xian dude.

And this does not mean that I don't believe in Jesus. I think he existed and I think he totally rocked the house, I just don't think he was any more the son of god than am I.

And I think both Jesus and my god are pretty much confused about how the purchase of "Transformers, Robots in Disguise" makes you holy.

Please feel free to ask me if you have any questions.

Comments:
I, too, am puzzled by how Transformers are holy. Your suggestion is great. And the early Christians quite explicitly decided to celebrate the birth of Jesus on an existing holiday (midwinter/yuletide) as part of their missionary strategy. So they don't own this holiday. Plenty of northern hemisphere cultures think it is a good idea to have a big festival around the shortest day of the year.
 
Do you have a bug in my house? We are pretty much the same here. We decided it is okay to celebrate the birth of someone who was a great man, but no more the son of god than the rest of us.

Rock and party how you feel. Oh yeah, eat turkey and all that too.
 
And as well as midwinter/yuletide/soltice, the Romans had Saturnalia at this time. I think there's a need to party in winter, maybe it's to keep from getting sad or close to paying off our credit cards or something. I think for me it's just the tradition because it sure ain't jeebus's b-day. Besides, don't we celebrate birthdays with cake and ice cream, balloons and clowns?

I do at least find xmass lights and ornaments to be cheerful. Well, unless we're talking about those ginormous inflatable lawn dealies. Or white wire deer that move their heads with a mechanical groan. Those definitely are the ass of xm
 
Agree agree agree agree agree -
 
Hannukah stockings? Now there is a new one.
 
And shitcan the music!

Just say no to jazz, rock, and rap carols!
 
You think the "Christ in Christmas" rehtoric is bad there, you ought to hear it here in the Deep South. I can't even listen to the morning radio any more without wanting to educate all the rednecks that think there is no other winter holiday, or at least that no one else is entitled to celebrate one. And I had to laugh about God and his confusion about transformer-purchasing making one a True Believer. God has a sense of humor, if you ask me, and he's rolling on the floor about this time of year.
 
heh. putting the ass back in x-mas, I've been waiting for this post.

and the separation of religion and retail is FUNNY! and true. oh so true.
 
Are they really selling Transformers again? Jeez.

Spending my first pre-xmass season in the deep south has really been a wake-up call for me. All this crap about christians being persecuted at wal-mart would just never happen in Canada. Makes me really glad to be home (in Canada) for the holidays right now, even if it's not my holiday.

Absolutely the music should be banned in all retail outlets. It's bad enough we're obligated to go out and take part in the gift frenzy even though, as non-christians, we shouldn't have to celebrate the Season of Getting. They don't have to rub it in by making us listen to the same schmaltzy crap, year after year.
 
I always thought the Happy Holidays thing was an easy way to wish people Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in one fell swoop. But that was when I was a little girl in the deep South and didn't know any Jews or have any idea that there were Muslims or any other religious beliefs out there.

Now that I have children we celebrate the Winter Solstice as a party because we want the light back!!!
 
Halleighlulia - no wait, Halle Berry! I'm with you - I don't do the whole christmas thing. I like presents and eating and drinking wonderful-awful stuff. I shall celebrate my friends and loved ones. I am a joyful godless heathen.
 
Well a happy christmahannukwaanzayuletide to you too. Well the fact that Christmas is a federally declared holiday here in the USofA and I assume in Canada also says alot, not sure of the year it was declared. I guess it does have pagan origins, I mean even our calender was dictated by some priest...St. Gregory...but if you don't wanna celebrate it ...don't.... no ones pointed out that most of the retail outlets are owned by jewish businessmen anyway. Make it what you want.. Wasn't it all winter soltice to begin with anyhoo? As far as Jesus goes... there is nothing in the BIBLE that says to celebrate Jesus's birth. And as far as Jesus being the son of God??? He calls himself the son of Man. The Muslims believe Jesus was a great Prophet. celebrate the holiday however you wish.
 
The early Christians changed the meaning and the name of the various mid-winter festivities to reflect their beliefs and to suit their purposes. I'll do the same.

For me Christmas has become a time to get together with friends and family, enjoy good food, and exchange tokens of our love. It's not perfect, but it better suits my beliefs and my purpose. ;-) Maybe some day I'll get around to changing the name of my mid-winter celebration to something other than "Christmas".
 
I have to say I've been thinking about this alot lately too, having been a "Christian" and a religous person for my entire life until about half way through last year when it hit me like a 2x4 to the head that I didn't actually believe any of the shit. I'm with you. Jesus was a nifty guy, and he had alot of great ideas which have mostly been twisted and cajolled into an organized religion, but Son of God? Nah. So I've decided that Christmas is going to be celebrated in my house like a cultural tradition... like Hannukah is in my house as well (culturally Jewish on one side). With good food and giving of thoughtful but small presents, and spending time with the people I love. Turn it into a cultural holiday just like thanksgiving and Independence Day (or the equivalent in the Great White North)... it just makes it much less stressful. You know... the baby jesus isn't gonna cry if you don't have a tree with tinsel. Now I need to start rationalizing Easter *lol*
 
i'm going to swoon. you said "god". (thud)

ok, i'm up. and yes, they're selling transformers, they never really stopped, they just gave them different names. beast wars, for one, lol
 
You know, I hate ignorant comments like Cheryl's at this time of year. I'm writing another post on my blog, I was going to anyway on this very topic before I even read your post and Cheryl's dumb comment.

As for your post, with ya, girl. But now Cheryl has pissed me off.
 
If I wait for a Jewish businessman to open a retail outlet in my hometown, I'm going to have to wait a good long time (or import one--Jewish businessman). I thought that myth was put to bed 70 (or more) years ago!
 
Winter sucks. It always has, and people have always needed a big midwinter party at which you drank too much, lit huge fires with your hoarded fuel, ate stored food you couldn`t really spare and generally made extravagant gestures to show that you didn`t give a shit.
The Christians took it over and made it Christmas, and before that the Romans made it Saturnalia, and long before that the pagan peoples were doing their thing. It`s just a festival we need at this time of year, deep in our bones.... we need to party hard and spend wildly, to show that we`re bigger than winter.
Relax into it!
 
The virgin birth thing used to keep me up at night. What if it happened to me, and no one believed? Does it make sense that only one woman throughout the history of man can call dibs on the holy cho-cho?
 
Interesting about the jewish christmas jingle writers!

I've been thinking a lot about the genius of the Christian powers that be, in marketing their religion. Here I am, non-christian, determined to raise my children to understand and respect all faiths, and yet, I have to have the tree, the eggnog and the stockings. Why? Nostalgia. There it is, in every store, on every radio station: nostalgia. Man, did they know what they were doing or what?

So I've decided to celebrate the consumerism, rather that the little baby. Yes, it's whorish and disgusting, but I've made 6 batches of cookies for the neighbors, and I hate to cook. I've smiled at strangers, given loose change to the Salvation army bell ringer and sang my lungs out to Hark the Herald Angels. I feel giddy with the hush all over the world, and got tears in my eyes at seeing my kids awed expressions when Santa called. And none of the way I'm feeling has anything to do with Jesus and yet it's all good, happy, productive energy. So that's what I'm celebrating.
 
OMG! You had me choking on my warmed up coffee. I loved the division of church and retail line. Loved it! I just found your website from someone's elses. Natch. Where are the red dishcloths I saw raved about on that other blog?
 
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