Sunday, December 23, 2007

Who You callin' 'Ho'?

Today's holiday humbuggery:

Since I'm not much of a Christmas person, I'm also not much of a Santa person. I never liked trying to maintain that charade for my kids, because eventually they were bound to find out and I worried that they'd wonder what else I'd been lying about. So pretty much by the time they were kindergarten age and they started questioning the Santa myth, I was telling them the truth. They still get one "Santa" present a year, but that's for the sake of tradition more than anything.

Lori and I were talking about the Santa myth. It makes me uncomfortable, like all institutionalized chicanery makes me uncomfortable. She likes it; to her it's a fun holiday tradition, with a meaningless little deception that makes the holiday more fun.

So we decided to put the question out there to you, our friends, family and the strangers who've arrived here by searching for "hot girl-on-girl action"....

How do you feel about the Santa myth? Do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing to delude your children about Santa? And for how long? If you could continue to sell them the lie into their 30's and 40's would you feel justified in doing it?

Don't you think I'd make an excellent pollster? I've managed to purge my question list from anything hinting at my own personal biases and have created a completely objective measurement of who's a bad parent and who isn't.



Anonymous said...

So ... are you saying there ISN'T a Santa Claus? So who has been leaving gifts under my tree all these years and filling my stocking that has been hanging by the chiminey with care? Geez, next you'll be saying there isn't an Easter bunny either.

We did the Santa thing and we enjoyed it and my son wasn't left with any bad repercussions from it. For us, when he stopped believing, it still continued in the spirit of it all and again, for us, that was giving without expectations of return - giving because you wanted to and/or it felt good to do so. We struggled financially for much beyond what was necessary, but in that "spirit" we adopted a family someone I worked with knew and played Santa to them through the year - not just at Christmas. I like to think we drew from the "giving of Santa" and carried it out into our lives in little ways.

I know we come with totally opposite views on Christmas and Santa and can understand how some people just dislike it all. I have a good friend that "goes to ground" at this time of year because of bad memories associated with holidays - but especially this one. My memories of it are all good though and I like the season and what we've chosen to make it mean for us. I like giving just because I can and I want to. I like finding special things for the special people in my life. It's also nice to be remembered by some as well, but that never has been the point behind it. I like the carols and the decorations and the lights. I still hang my stocking up and Santa still visits late Christmas Eve.

Are you guys getting any of these storms that have been coming through? We've had ice, then snow and now more snow.


Anonymous said...

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

By Francis P. Church, first published in The New York Sun in 1897. [See The People’s Almanac, pp. 1358–9.]for full text.

"Your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies."


Christmas is just all screwed up. The holiday should just be canceled and we should celebrate something else in December, or celebrate nothing at all. Christmas has become is just one depressing, confusing, argumentive time of year.

You know Chanukkah has 8 days of gift giving but no one has commercialized the meaning out of that.

Spare me the Pagan Winter Soltice story. I know damn well that the chances of Jesus being born in the month of December is slim to nil. But I am sick of those people that have to wish you a Happy Winter Soltice. Fuck you and your Soltice.

This comment has been removed by the author.
Kwach said...

This holiday has absolutely nothing to do religion. It has nothing to do with the pagan celebration of solstice anymore. It bears little resemblance to the celebrations of any of the religions and cultures it's usurped, from Kris Kringle to the Christ Child, except for the root of some of it's trappings. Yep, there's a tree. And a nativity. And a Santa Claus figure. We've got all of that in our house, too, and we are'nt believers in any of it. What we are is enculturated, and then beaten about the head and shoulders by ad agencies and news reporters desperate to remind us to be aware of our fiscal obligation to a strong economy and meet our annual shopping quotas. I expect to hear about the shopping dollar on the stock report. "Pork Bellies rose 1/8th in slow trading, while Holiday Shopping closed down again today in a continuing sluggish market, due in part to the weakness of the dollar."

Americans are feeling the pinch, brothers and sisters. Our economy is tanking, the bottom has dropped out of the housing market taking a whole lot of families with it, inflation keeps inflating, recession keeps receding, the government keeps spending, the politicians keep lying, Iraqis and American soldiers keep dying ... and we're supposed to keep buying because that's what's going to save the USA and, by extension, the world. Some of us don't feel like it. Others of us can't afford to. When it gets to the point where you have to decide whether to put one more tankful of gas in your car, one more week's worth of groceries on the table or get Junior a Wii, how many of got for the Wii? Way too many. Why?

We're pressured and jingled and shamed into it. I don't know when Christmas Spirit turned into that, but I do know that this holiday didn't exist in it's "present" form (pun intended) even 100 years ago. It was never a huge gift-giving holiday until after WWII. It was a quiet, homey, winter holiday, not a retail extravanza. But hell, I remember when Labor Day was just Labor Day and not the annual New Car Sale-a-Thon.

So this isn't Christmas ... that would be all about Christ and peace and harmony and family and brotherhood. It's not Solstice ... the sun's going to come back in Spring whether we drum and cavort around a tree or not. It's not about a tiny bit of oil lasting eight nights. It's not about flying reindeer or kindly old gentleman who wander the earth bringing gifts to children. It's not about miracles at all, except the miracle that another paycheck will be here soon to cover the devastation we do to our own personal finances.

If it weren't for the excuse of Christmas, when we can get all of our brotherly loving and family gifting and homeless feeding out of the way at once, we'd be forced to buy our kids a new whatever in the middle of April when they need one, or sit down with the whole family for a meal on some random day in August because we like each other. This way, when someone says, "Mom, I really want an I-Phone ... I NEED one!" we can say, "Christmas is coming!"

Don't get us wrong. We love our family, and we love to buy them things. We do it all the time. We prefer to do it when they actually need something we can help them with in the moment, not because it's December 25th.

Finta said...

Whoa, these comments cover the complete range from A to B don't they. LOL

I totally enjoyed Santa as a child, have beautiful memories of my aunts and uncle whisking me upstairs to watch for him, hearing him roaring with laughter as he came in the door, tracking snow all over my grandmother's rug, leaving presents for all. It might not have been a lot, war years you know, but for me it was just splendid.

I carried on this tradition with my kids and then with my grandkids. No one seems any the worse for wear. It is harmless in my estimation.

And yeah I know there is no Sants for those third world kids. But we can't help when and where we are born. Life sucks and then you die and all that.

Right now I sit here on a cold winter morning, watching heavy snow outside my window, and I am pretty sure Santa will make his appearance tonight, just as he always does. And the Christ Child will be laid in my creche manger too. And the animals will speak at midnight.

As for the meaning of Christmas? Unless you know it, well you don't know it. I will go to Midnight Mass, sing the carols, listen to the story retold, understand that it is figurative, not literal, and I will thank the Author for my blessings. I don't mind what anyone else believes or disbelieves. I only know what makes my wheels go 'round.

So Merry Christmas, jitterbugs and humbugs alike!

Finta said...

Uh, a caveat ... I hadn't read Kwatch's post before I wrote mine.

Just so you know ...

marl said...

The Christmas holidays were a total nightmare when I was a kid - with two alcoholic parents and four alcoholic grandparents, food, presents & booze were a guaranteed horror show.

I hated Christmas as a kid, knowing full well that things would deteriorate into an alcohol-fueled night of yelling, accusations, and tears. My parents tried hard, though, and sometimes succeeded in keeping it together so that we could have a little joy that came from Santa.

It was only as a grown-up kid that I came to appreciate the holidays as a time for reflection, for giving and for sharing.

We now know that Santa really doesn't exist except in our hearts. We give gifts that come from the heart, and share our good fortune with those who have so little.

This is what Christmas means to me now. I can ignore the crass commercialism, so long as I know that my family of birth & my family of choice are happy and healthy, and together for some part of the holiday season.

Anonymous said...

Finta sums it up well. Unless you know the meaning of christmas, you do not know it. " And, best to leave those to their own de vices. Nothing wrong with pointing out the retail over-indulgence of a lot and, all in it's worse but, to loose the meaning by encapsulating only the bad and, choosing not to nurture those with all the good intention that makes things right by their work serves no one. Kindness and goodness to all and, all that.

Suzanne said...

When my husband was about three years old, he asked his parents why Santa didn't come to their house. They told him that it was because they are Jewish. Justin then cleverly asked why Santa hated Jews, and suddenly Santa left him gifts for the next few years.

I know this doesn't answer your question exactly, but I love the story.