There is one day of a year that not only celebrates the birth of Jesus, but celebrates the bastard essence of today’s Republican party. Christmas now celebrates the twisted marriage of consumer capitalism and religion. In a disgusting irony missed by almost everyone, to celebrate the birth of the man who had a tizzy at the money changers’ expense, we mimic the visit of the Magi (who visited Jesus not on the day of his birth, but on the Twelfth Night) by raising our children on brazen lies (Santa Claus) and a narcotic like addiction to material possession.
First, the symbolism of Christmas is blatantly pagan. The trees, holly, mistletoe, eating of ham, yule logs, and even the timing of the event derive from the pagan Yule.
Santa Claus is another apostasy. Saint Nicholas of Myra was a 4th century saint. The Dutch took the myth into the origins of the form we now have. (St. Nicholas’s feast day is December 6, roughly a month before the visit of the Magi.) In addition to Santa Claus’s eclipsing of Jesus in the minds of just about every Christmas celebrant, many people who engage in this deception don’t even venerate saints. Even still, this has to be breaking at least one Commandment.
Aside from the psychic trauma many children who take it too seriously may feel, it seriously interferes with the religious aspect of the Feast and only underscores the consumerist part. What Would Jesus Think? (Just another reason South Park’s original short Santa versus Jesus is genius.)
If we’re looking for an ecumenical, secular way to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the man who told us to turn the other cheek, to give Caesar what was his, and to heal the poor and downtrodden– why not give gifts, if any, to the less fortunate.