I despise Christmas.
I love my wife and kids.
These things seem to be mutually exclusive.
On one hand, my children love Christmas. I know I did when I was little. I’m not too old to remember getting excited about the presents and decorating the tree and watching the adults eating and drinking with family that they’d been avoiding all year, arguing and/or punching out any disagreements, and hopefully clearing the slate for the coming year.
On the other hand, Christmas is the persistent and completely retarded worship of the birthday of a literal son of God who was magically conceived, sans fucking, and then born on some hay in a barn. If you yank the carpet out from underneath the holiday by knowing that the Reason for the Season™ is fictional, you’re left with the increasingly disgusting way we celebrate it with an annual orgy on the altar of consumer spending.
I remember when the “Santa is Real” bubble popped. I was five and had recognized my Dad’s distinctive handwriting on the presents. I asked him if he had bought the gifts, and he just said, “Yeah, you’re right. Me and Mommy are Santa.” On the day after Christmas break, my mom received a phone call from school about how little asshole me had gone into kindergarten and laid the vile truth on the other five year olds.
I still played along for the gift-receiving until I was twelve, back when my parents were still dragging us to church on Christmas. It was the defining moment as far as my lack of belief in Christianity goes. That doubtful part of my mind had grown in recognizing the obvious logical fallacies in the bible, and it finally slid into its permanent place with an almost audible click.
That Christmas morning, I made the decision to palm my communion wafer and save it in my pocket. When we got home, under the guise of “walking the dog”, my brother and I went out to smoke cigarettes. We stopped in our usual spot just out of sight of our house, and I fed the wafer to our golden retriever. Not, of course, before saying, “Body of Christ.”…I’m not a complete heathen.
Ever since then, Christmas has been an unavoidable chore every year.
This is an untenable position when your wife is such a Christmas junkie that she’s bludgeoning you with nonstop Christmas music before Halloween, putting up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving, and practically snorting lines of actual snow by the time the holiday rolls around. She’s intelligent, and not much of a believer, so I don’t know how she deals with the cognitive dissonance involved in her extreme Christmas celebration. I want nothing more than for her and our kids to be happy, but every year around this time and I feel like it’s at the expense of my ever-decreasing sanity. By the time Christmas rolls around, I’m substituting lyrics to Christmas songs so that they mention coprophagia or murdering my entire family.
My three-year-old son, bless his black little heart, has even started humming the Nutcracker suite and Feliz Navidad.
[Speaking of which, If I ever get a chance to meet José Feliciano before he dies what I hope is a horribly slow, agonizing death, I’m kicking him in his Puerto Rican castañas. He’s blind, so he won’t even see it coming.]
One thing I still kind of enjoy about the Christmas season is to see it bring out the worst in human nature. Watching the mouth-breathing Wal-Mart and Best Buy shoppers crush, punch, mace, and, in some cases, kill each other to get the best deal on video games, blu-ray players, and waffle irons is worthwhile pastime. If you ask me, anyone who dies at a Black Friday shopping event is a victim of natural selection. I guess I should posthumously thank them for thinning the herd on an already crowded planet.
So, thanks. You can go to your eternal rest knowing your kids will still get to play a deeply discounted copy of Halo 4 on their first mommyless Christmas.
In all honesty, it makes me sad that the foundation of the holiday is so sick and evil and fully contradicts all of the invisible sky wizard’s alleged teachings about worshiping false idols, loving thy neighbor, and coveting his possessions. Then there’s the pain of watching my kids and the increasing influence this completely vacuous consumer culture has on them.
But how does a non-believer like myself do anything to counter this? It seems like my only choice is to become some nutcase, home-schooling hayseed, throw out my TV and computers, and try to shelter them from the wicked ways of “The English”.
Just telling them, “Santa is a lie” seems unnecessarily cruel. Not to mention that Santa is only one of the many ways we deceive our kids, ostensibly to protect them from the actual vile truths about the world we’re all so comfortable living in. I’d just rather not have my kids figure out on their own that I’m lying to them and then grow up to be bitter, curmudgeonly old fucks like their father.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.