Christmas Bitchfest, revised

[I felt I had to revise this, because as I've grown and experienced new things, so should my thoughts and my words. I feel like I must add, also, that I'm not a christian. I'm Wiccan. This rant is merely about the members of my family who celebrate this holiday and wish to force me into the same celebrations with arguments that haven't sustained my interest.]

Ahh, the inappropriate necessities that coil around life. The whole Real Christmas Tree / Fake Christmas Tree debate in a friend's recent ramble got me thinking why we even need a Christmas Tree at all.. And although that was hardly the message I think he was trying to bring across in his berations, I think I'll dwell on it for awhile, because I'm in a bitchy mood.

I recently had a debate with my mother-in-law about the necessity of a Christmas Tree; and one of the arguments she brought up was "Do you want Jubilee growing up without having a Christmas Tree?"

Personally? You're asking my opinion? Sure. Why not. It will teach her not to chop down nature for her own personal enjoyment. It will make her birthday more special, since she was born the day before Christmas. Maybe you should think about whether I want my child's birthday being diluted by your Hallmark holiday before you make a ludicrous argument like that.

Christmas, in its historical [and, shall I say it? PAGAN] origins, doesn't really bother me. The "Gift of Giving" wasn't supposed to turn into everyone feeling obligated to buy everyone else gifts on a certain day. In fact, horror of horrors, maybe we shouldn't just have that "Gift of Giving" around Christmas?? They like to call it the "Season of Giving.." Does that mean that the other three seasons, we can be greedy and selfish and uncaring? What kind of shallow, hypocritical, unfair culture do we live in, where we only have to think about other people for one day a year?

And we symbolize that Gift Giving Day with a tree. Why in the name of anything holy, if we were so caring and humane, would we kill a tree to celebrate it? "Let's go cut down the yearly tree and hoist it up and put all sorts of knick-knacks on it to celebrate how giving we feel!"

Not only do we uphold this one Gift Giving Day as the most sacred day of the year - even though Jesus was probably born some time in June or July, but let's forget logic... Christmas isn't about Jesus anyway, it's about presents - but we take the day off our normal chores to force ourselves into three or four family reunions before the day ends, with people we
A.) have never seen or hardly ever see,
B.) don't really care about, and/or
C.) bought presents for, that they don't really need or aren't really useful in any sense, just to stave off feeling guilty in case they bought us a present.

And then, at the very end of this almighty Gift Giving Day, we say, "Phew. I'm glad that's over. Now I don't have to see/ call/ write/ care about those people for another three-hundred and sixty-four days." But we can feel good about ourselves, because we forced ourselves to be polite and nice and caring for that one day.

Why do people cling to this holiday so blindly? I don't get it. I don't understand. It's one thing to be locked in a tradition, and it's another thing to forsake all logic to hold to a past most people don't even understand right. That's right; everything we're taught to uphold as kids is just a haphazard culmination of cultures to make us think that "Our Special Savior" has this day reserved all to Himself. The entire holiday is celebrated in unison by many cultures, thousands of years before Christ was even born:

Roman Pagan Religion: Attis was a son of the virgin Nana. His birth was celebrated on DEC-25. He was sacrificed as an adult in order to bring salvation to mankind. He died about MAR-25, after being crucified on a tree, and descended for three days into the underworld. On Sunday, he arose, "as the solar deity for the new season." His followers tied an image of Attis to a tree on "Black Friday," and carried him in a procession to the temple. His body was symbolically eaten by his followers in the form of bread. Worship of Attis began in Rome circa 200 BCE. [Gee. 200 years before the alleged birth of Christ. Kinda makes you think, doesn't it.]

Greek Pagan Religion: Dionysus is another savior-god whose birth was observed on DEC-25. He was worshipped throughout much of the Middle East as well. He had a center of worship in Jerusalem in the 1st century BCE. Some ancient coins have been found in Gaza with Dionysus on one side and JHWH (Jehovah) on the other. In later years, his flesh and blood were symbolically eaten in the form of bread and wine. He was viewed as the son of Zeus, the Father God.

Egyptian Pagan Religion: Osiris is a savior-god who had been worshipped as far back as Neolithic times. "He was called Lord of Lords, King of Kings, God of Gods...the Resurrection and the Life, the Good shepherd...the god who 'made men and women be born again'" Three wise men announced his birth. His followers ate cakes of wheat which symbolized his body. Many sayings associated with Osiris were taken over into the Bible. 1

To quote a christian, "Plainly speaking, Christmas is a wholly Pagan festival that should not be celebrated by true Christians!!" 2

Tradition be damned, I'm not going to chop up a poor, defenseless tree and hang up ornaments on it as a symbol of my Gift Giving Spirit. I don't have to wrap presents up and stuff them under the boughs of that tree to prove I love people enough to spend 10 or 15 bucks on them every year. If they don't know I care about them, if I haven't shown them enough that I care about them, then I'm not much of a human being anyway.

But of course, it doesn't matter if we care about people. Caring doesn't make Hallmark and all those Christmas-companies any money - presents do! So let's make the public feel guilty about not getting everyone related to them by blood/ friendship/ marriage a gift on this one Special Day of the year, because we need more money. Forget about the homeless person sleeping under a bridge on Christmas, or the little girl in an orphanage who just wanted a mommy or daddy, or the thousands of other people who are suffering every single day of the year, not just on this precious Gift Giving Day where they might, miracle of all miracles, have a chance of filling their belly for once. Fuck them. We don't have enough money after getting Tommy a new bicycle, and Mr. B a new watch, and Annie her favorite Barbie Doll, and splurging for ourselves by getting a new car, because hey! It's Christmas! And it's the Season of Giving! To everyone we already care about and give to.

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