You will all recall very recently I blogged a big, fat Bah-Humbug about the upcoming holiday season – and with good reason. Whereas there were originally great reasons to celebrate the holidays that encompass the Halloween through New Year’s spree of eating and spending; in this 21st century, it seems they are nothing more than that: eating and spending. To further that, the ways in which we celebrate these holidays are so far removed from their origins that it is hard to believe we are even celebrating the holidays, themselves, anymore. Literally speaking, we are not.
There are so many things wrong with the way the Holiday Season has taken a turn – morally wrong things; things that we should all pause and consider. I will not lie, either: there are some things about this season that I do partake in. I celebrate each holiday in a certain way; and I participate to a degree that I feel comfortable. However, I can see the level of excess that the Holiday Season has become (from the caloric intake, to the exorbitant credit debt) and question whether this is, perhaps, a time to at least reflect.
This is not an affront to anyone that does go “all out” on any or all of the holidays involved in the Holiday Season. The mark of ignorance is when one cannot look at a different point of view and at least give it some consideration – which is why I have decided to develop my own list of things for us to think about as we begin to count down the days until the celebration of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. (Laugh, I’m sure, at the way I phrased that; but if you make it to Day 7, you will see why…)
The 12 Days of Crap-mas
On the first day of Crap-mas, my true love gave to me … actually, considering that the current divorce rate in the United States is 41% for a first marriage, 60% for a second marriage, and 73% for a third marriage, it would seem that perhaps “true love” no longer exists. To further that, it can be assumed, then, that the vast majority of homes and families in this country are broken families – leading one to believe that the holidays are less than relaxing as so many various agendas, motivations, feelings, and expectations need to be attended to. Perhaps on this first day of Crap-mas, then, we should take pause and consider how our family may be broken – even if it seems on the surface to not be; and how this has made us feel. By getting in touch with that, we may be more likely to plan our holiday time with ourselves in mind rather than just trying to run ourselves ragged for others.
On the second day of Crap-mas, my temporary spouse gave to me, two turtle doves … do turtle doves even exist? Beyond that, the presence of animals in the traditional, purely Christian Twelve Days of Christmas brings rise to another consideration – that being the gross level of animals that are homeless and in need of adoption. Breeding has become almost a matter of moral imperative, for while people buy and breed animals for the sake of getting exactly what they want, thousands (if not millions) of animals are betrayed by their owners in overcrowded shelters. It does not seem very Christian to let these innocent animals suffer. This year, rather than buying Grandma that expensive, quality-bred French poodle she’s been pining for years over, consider adopting a perfectly acceptable alternative at your local adoption shelter. Chances are she won’t notice the difference anyway.
And on the note of animals, on the third day of Crap-mas, perhaps we should consider eating healthier, low-fat, meatless meals, rather than the highly caloric, overly saturated foods we currently indulge on. Even replacing just one item on the Christmas menu with an healthy alternative is setting the course in the right direction.
On the fourth day of Crap-mas, my employer gave to me … a pink slip. The number of companies that will be laying off their employees in the new year is disturbing; the unemployment rate has already soared to all-time highs, with homelessness rising correlative to it. If you have people on your list that do not really need that extra, pricey sweater; or that additional miniature iPod, consider making a donation to homelessness instead by clicking here.
FIVE GOLDEN RINGS! This was always my favorite part of the song, and I don’t know why. I also don’t know what sense it makes, so we’ll skip to –
… six geese a-laying … traditionally, this part of the song is in reference to the six days of Creation, which begs one to begin considering more analytically the things we take for granted in the Bible. From a scientific perspective, creating the world and its universe in just six days seems highly unlikely. I am by no means an atheist, but I am a critical thinker – so on the sixth day of Crap-mas I will dare us all to consider some of the inconsistencies in the Bible, and perhaps think outside the box as to what this means to us. Being a critical thinker does not make you a sinner or an atheist – it is okay to think for yourself on these issues – God would approve.
On the seventh day of Crap-mas … let us, then, stop and reflect on a very disturbing fact: roughly 19% of the world population reports itself as being either (a) atheist; (b) non-religious; or, (c) decline to state. This does not include reported agnostics, or other designations (for example, agnostic Lutheran). Since Christmas is – very literally – the celebration of the birth of “our Lord, Jesus Christ,” one must ask, then, what in the hell those 19%+ people in the world are doing celebrating the day anyway?
On the eighth day of Crap-mas, Santa Clause was introduced – which has turned out to condone lying to your children as long as it’s for the purposes of preserving their innocence. Oh no, nothing wrong with that one at all; save for the simple fact that lying is above all the most superficially immoral thing a person could do. This year, on the eighth day of Crap-mas, we should all pause and consider whether this grand sham is really worth it in the end.
… nine ladies dancing … And, of course, right after Christmas is New Year’s. While many will make New Year’s resolutions that they will never keep – all relative to things they do not really want to do (give up smoking, build their confidence, lose weight), it seems more plausible that a resolution would be kept if it were for something one might actually enjoy doing. This year, we should all consider making a resolution to start up a hobby we always wanted to try (or even just return to one we have not done in a long time).
… ten lords a leaping … is actually in reference to the Ten Commandments, and while I do not wish to harp too much on the religious issue, I wonder how many celebrating Christmas this year know and actually follow the Ten Commandments?
At the Eleventh and Twelfth Day(s) of Crap-mas I’ve usually had enough of the song, which indicates it is probably best to end there. Ultimately, the point of Crap-mas is this: holidays should not only be times to partake in all the excess and indulgence we can possible get our grubby hands on. They should be time to reflect – on who we are, what we want, what we believe, and how we can be better people. This is the original message of the Holiday Season.