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Christ – mas: (kris-muhs, noun)

It’s my favorite time of year again! Merry Christmas! Merry X-mas never really made sense to me. Merry Crossmas? Wouldn’t that technically be closer to Easter? How do you even say it? Merry Exmas? That would imply an etymology of Latin “ex” meaning “from” or “out of,” and “mas” being a derivative of “mass,” so you’re pretty much saying “Happy getting out of mass!” Therefore, I think Merry X-mas should be a greeting reserved for Catholics found outside the church on Sunday morning.

Anyway, it’s a merry season full of hope and possibilities. If you don’t think so, then you’re letting the Man get you down, and I suggest realigning your perception. See, the Man tries to do one of two things when Christmas rolls around: get you caught up in a consumption-driven frenzy of lights, wrapping paper and rosy cheeks, or make you feel like you don’t have anything if you’re not part of said frenzy. The trick to beating the Man is moderation. I hand-make at least one present a year, and never buy anything I see advertised on TV. I go to the mall on Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving, so named because it’s when many retail stores go into the “black” for the year) and watch the crazy crowds for entertainment. It’s not unlike staring at a bee hive or ant hill or meat grinder. I never turn my nose up at a gift (well, not since I was twelve). People who do that make me crazy. It’s a gift. Seriously, I love White Elephant exchanges because it’s almost a challenge to find a use for your gift. I say, enjoy what you have and don’t lament over what you don’t have. Life be cyclical, yo. You may bathe in sunlight one moment and be dashed on the rocks the next. What matters is what you do afterward.

Now for folks who love the Santa vs. Jesus debate. Anyone who says they hate Santa because he steals Christmas away from who really matters (Christ), needs to be kicked in the shins. If I were President, shin-kicking these folks would be a sanctioned sport from November 15th to December 31st. Why? Hypocrisy. You are not allowed to erect a glowing tree in your home and condemn Santa Claus in the same month. Neither one have anything to do with the birth of Christ, so if you’re going kill Santa then burn your tree too. If you are one of the few people who don’t observe any of the pagan tropes that have come to be associated with Christmas, then I have to wonder what you do for fun. I’m a Hedonist, so I’ll be celebrating with Santa, Jesus, eggnog, presents, and ‘Oh Come All Ye Faithful.’ Life is too short to not enjoy as much as you can. There is a line, however. I so solemnly swear, as God himself is my witness, that I never want see someone light candles on a cake and sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus again.

I’m thankful for every one of my friends, and each member of my ever-growing family. I hope that this holiday season involves a stress-to-joy ratio which favors the joy by at least an order of magnitude.

Oh, and there’ll be a nice holiday Coming Distractions up on Friday. Hehe.

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4 Responses

  1. Hello Mr. Major Sheep. Gotta question for ya: How do feel about “shopping by the list?”

    My family is incapable of creative thought processes; if it’s not on your Christmas list, you ain’t gettin’ it.

    Now I just ask for gift cards. They’re easy to mail, and I don’t have to feign surprise that they bought me exactly what I asked for.

  2. This is an excellent question, and I just happen to have an anecdote to go along with it.

    This Christmas, my heart’s desire was a Nerf Longshot rifle which I could use on the office staff of my apartment community. It was at the top of my Christmas list. I didn’t get it, but my wife’s uncle did give us a pair of the Nerf Maverick Rev-6 revolvers. He said something about this giving her a fighting chance.

    My philosophy about Christmas lists is to use them as more of a guideline than a rulebook. I still make one of my own to give my family, and I ask for theirs in return, but buying someone exactly what’s on their Christmas list is like balancing on a parking lot: safe and boring.

    Gift cards are perfect for distant friends and relatives, but I feel like giving one to my dad or sister is kind of telling them they weren’t worth the effort of shopping for.

    So if I had to make a choice between gift cards and Hickory Farms….well, I’d choose Hickory Farms, but I imagine a lot of people would prefer gift cards.

  3. That’s a great answer!

    An interesting phenomenon I have encounted in gift-giving is the ‘Reacting Gifter’. My father is one of these: he never gives a gift unless a gift is first received, and then attempts to match the gift with one of similar product and value. I just received a Hickory Farms assortment pack in the mail in response to the stocking of meats and cheeses I sent him for Christmas. A classic ‘Reacting Gifter’ in action.

  4. Hello! Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. I’m sorry you are having to deal with the “rev” and that whole mess. They can get down right MEAN and NASTY until you tell them you KNOW it is a scam. I would get the area code and phone number and call the Police department from where the area code of the calls is coming through. They just contacted us again, except this time it was a Rev Mike Johnson. Another very generic name. I responded to him via email stating the only method of payment for first time buyers is a CASH only and that I needed 3 credit references. Almost all legit businesses will be more then happy to do so. I did NOT get a response once I gave him that option only.

    :o)

    GOOD LUCK!

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