10 Reasons why Christmas is Ridiculous

Ho Ho!

Ho Ho!

Can you see the logic?
The close relationship, the natural progression, from one thought to the next?

Each year at Christmas we celebrate the birth of a First Century AD Galilean holy man and prophet, who preached, according to what we find in the Bible, humility, forbearance, sweetness and frugality. We celebrate this with an orgy of retail spending.
 
We also celebrate this short and obscure life, for there isn’t much hard historical evidence of the details, by promoting the mythological arrival on your roof of a German fat man in a red suit, in a sleigh pulled by wild bovines, one of whom has an incandescent nose.

Doesn’t it make sense? It all makes perfect sense to me.

This German fat man squeezes his way down your chimney, and leaves presents for your kids that you know you bought and weren’t left by the German fat man. But you tell your kid you didn’t buy the gifts. They were left by a German fat man who as he sailed away into the night yelled “Ho! Ho!”

You tell your kids this story until about the time they reach the age of 14, when they finally realize on their own, or are told by friends, it was all a lie. Thus, even from their earliest memories, you show them you love them by foisting a lie. And not just a small lie. A WHOPPER!

That’s supposedly because you’re a giving, generous person.

Interestingly, even when they’re small, your children sure know who to complain to if they don’t feel they got enough, or didn’t get what they want. YOU! For some reason, they don’t even bother searching for a fictional German fat man.

I’ve threatened to boycott Christmas for years. 
Here are 10 reasons why:

1. Let’s smell the coffee. Okay? Christmas is about spending, not about Jesus, not even about the concept of giving. If you doubt me, try spending a third what you normally spend. That’s still giving, isn’t it? Your kid will run sobbing to her room. You’ll feel guilty. A bad person. You didn’t spend enough. Don’t try to blame it on the German fat man. Try explaining to your child about the spirit of it, the thought that counts, not the amount of the merchandise. About Jesus. Yeah right! Your kid will get up and run sobbing into another room.
 
2. This ritual requires an expenditure of at least $700 per year. That’s small. If you’re a rich airline pilot, it could be $1,200, maybe $5,000. If you’re like a lot of people, you don’t have the money. The cost of everything goes up. Even the Christmas tree now costs more than I once paid for a used car. You borrow money for it on credit cards and go deeper into debt, to please your kid, or whomever.

3. Scrooge got a bad rap. He was a Republican businessman. If he killed and robbed people to get money, I’d be less sympathetic. But he made money by being ruthless, and didn’t want to share it. That’s just the American way. You know the story. Scrooge sees the light after being threatened by three ghosts. At the end, he’s throwing money at charities and anyone who will take it, and he’s a good person. Next year, when the charities come back for more, he’s out. He gave it all away. Now, instead of being an SOB, the charities call him a goddamned fool.
The moral is clear. People evaluate your character based on how you spend your own money, money you earned from hard work, and whether or not you give them that money.
 
4. Most of the merchandise purchased is made by slaves or low income peons in China, ruled by a ruthless régime. Thus, the slave laborer sits in his Chinese jail cell putting together a DVD player that costs his jailer $7.95 to produce. They ship it and sell it to you for $198.95. With each purchase, you are helping China to become a superpower that will supplant the United States, and you are helping American crook corporate executives who are shipping jobs overseas to take advantage of slaves. What does this, and an overpriced DVD player, have to do with Jesus?

5. Turn on the TV set. Look at the expensive cars being glorified. Look at the beautiful, supposedly rich, glamorous Hollywood actors portraying successful people giving and getting upscale gifts. It creates envy. You want to be like them. Happiness is not the inner being. It’s how you look, how much you have, and what you spend. Material possessions.
 
6. It doesn’t take long to figure out that much of the economic growth of the military industrial colossus that the US has become depends on this single event. If you save too much, if you don’t go into high-interest debt, the powers-that-be don’t like it. Like the oil companies, they need you as a sucker.

7. Each year the ritual involves visiting relatives. But not me. My malicious conservative relatives hate my guts and consider me a mama’s boy, a lazy bum, a coward, an anti-American traitor, a weakling and probably a pervert. I only agree with about half of this negative assessment.

8. Statistics show Christmas is the time for suicide and depression psychologically because of the forced gaiety, decorations, inevitable caloric weight gain, tinsel and lights, and because again you don’t have enough money.
 
9. Jesus wasn’t born on December 25? We don’t even know the exact year of his birth. Who picked the 25th? Everybody crowds airports at the same time to celebrate the not-the-day of Jesus’ birth.

10. Despite personal responsibility, Christmas nevertheless encourages binge alcohol consumption, drunk driving and overeating in an already chronically obese society.

P.S. – Because of #4, China is getting richer making gifts using slaves, and more Chinese are driving cars when 10 years ago they were all riding bikes, thereby increasing global warming through carbon greenhouse emissions, which is melting the polar ice caps. So ironically, with each gift purchase you make, you’re helping to melt the North Pole, the fictional home of the fictional German fat man.



10 Responses to “10 Reasons why Christmas is Ridiculous”

  1. James says:

    I agree with most of what you say, but not your suggestion that Christmas increases suicides, and even depression. Because the statistics show this is NOT true. http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/suicide.asp

  2. April says:

    Actually James, it is true, wintertime and the family gathering of holidays does increase the suicide and depression. This is widely known by psychologists and people studying psychology.

  3. John Sammon says:

    Dear James and Jess: Read the following from the website Psychology Today:

    Yet, according to the National Institute of Health, Christmas is the time of year that people experience a high incidence of depression. Hospitals and police forces report high incidences of suicide and attempted suicide. Psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals report a significant increase in patients complaining about depression.

  4. James says:

    I have a degree in psychology, so I have studied and know the facts. Every practitioner of clinical psychology knows that suicides do not increase at Christmas. Also, Psychology Today does NOT claim that suicide increases at Christmas. See my link, where they state quite clearly that this is not true (Item #3 – “Contrary to popular belief, the suicide rate peaks in the springtime, not the wintertime.”)

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hide-and-seek/201212/is-suicide-more-common-christmas-time

    Some more links that agree:

    Oakville Distress Centre: http://www.distresscentreoakville.com/suicide-myths-facts.php

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/suicide/holiday.html

    The Los Angeles Times:
    http://articles.latimes.com/2007/dec/17/health/he-xmasdepress17

    In fact, I could not find one link that supported the idea that suicides DO go up over Christmas. It’s always incredible to me how people deny the facts even when those facts are right in front of them. Some people would say white was black.

  5. John Sammon says:

    Dear Jim:
    Here (below) is another write-up from one of those mental health websites you couldn’t find who support my view. Let’s say you’re right and depression spikes during spring, not Xmas. Why spring? It follows Christmas. Maybe that’s when all the bills from Christmas come due. I believe you are an intelligent man. But because you have a psychology degree doesn’t make you the last word on the subject. Your statement “EVERY PRACTITIONER” knows? Are you sure every single one agrees with you? EVERY is a pretty strong opinion. I respect your opinion and will meet you half way. I believe spring has more depression, but Christmas has more than the month of July.

    Here below is that passage from the mental health website:

    Christmas is a time of celebration, love & happiness. However, there is a total other side of the holiday which is associated with the exact opposite things. Christmas time is also a period associated with depression. The National Institute of Health reported that Christmas is one the “highest incidences of depression”. Hospitals report extremely high numbers of suicide. But why?

    Seasonal Affective Disorder might be one reasons. This disorder occurs during the same period of time every year. For instance, a person affected by the disorder in Fall, would continue to be affected furthermore until treated. Treatment options include light therapy, psychotherapy, and a variety of medications. You can learn more about this disorder HERE.

    Other possible causes that have attributed to Christmas-based depression include the immense commercialization of the holiday. Some become overwhelmed by the high-stakes pressure placed on their shoulders regarding money, among other things. However, one of the largest and most concerning probable causes is self-reflection. During this time of year, many people begin to binge-think on the “inadequacies of life” and therefore, dive into a pit of over-thinking & depression.

  6. Peter says:

    Hello John

    I read your piece some time ago and just returned it to again now – now that Christmas is almost upon us again.

    I have done a lot of research over the last few years, reading books that you don’t get in Borders or your local supermarket, and the depth of our brainwashing as a society, as a planet, is absolutely astonishing.

    Take Nelson Mandela, for instance. Ask the average person, especially young person, what they thought of this man and you’ll hear words like “saint” and “hero” and “freedom fighter.” You won’t hear words like murderer or killer or criminal, which is he actually was. The facts are all there for anybody to see, even the young, even the deeply brainwashed young.

    More power to your pen, John. Blessings from Peter in New Zealand, the most politically correct dump on the planet.

  7. John Sammon says:

    Thanks Peter for your comments. Is the trout fishing still good in New Zealand? Happy (expensive) holidays to you.

  8. Zach says:

    Great post John. I concur.

    Christmas is the mantra of our ridiculousness of a society.

  9. cristina says:

    I was born on the 24 th and my parents never had enough money to buy me more than some symbolic toys, socks or cheap chocolate. Obviously, my birthday present was my Christmas present as well 😛 I dont remember any type of excitement when thinking about santa, maybe its because i used to consider myself a genious so I felt ashamed about the shallowness of the human race 😀 and the fact that my parents must think that im an idiot.

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