In two days the nation will begin to emerge again from its wrapping paper cocoon to discover, once again, that Christmas is a fraud. There will be a brief and orgasmic moment in time where a few children are granted their most fervent wishes, but that will be followed by the vague feeling that wanting and getting are two different things and the feeling of one is not at all connected to the feelings of the other.
When I worked at one of those fast loans with high rate places Christmas was when the company made the most money, and they made if off the people least able to afford it. Those people paid the highest interest rates, worked two jobs, and they never really got out from under the oppressive debt that was heaped upon them. Why? Why would people deliberately put their financial future at risk? Was it health or home? Was it family or friends? No, it was Christmas. There were people who had kids that were never going to get as much or have as much as other kids but dammit, we’re going to sink ourselves in debt to get the latest Barbie. And they did.
Single parents were far worse for they were in a bidding war for their kids’ souls. If they could just outspend their former spouses then for one more Christmas, at least, they could prove they loved their kids the most.
Christmas is the predatory capitalist’s dream world, replete with throw away decorations, huge inflatable lawn ornaments that won’t last two years, wrapping paper that will be shoved into the trash can fifteen minutes after being used, and leftovers that will be kept in the refrigerator until they are tossed out, too. People will be trampled to death at Wal-Mart and people will shoot at one another over parking spaces at malls.
What I don’t understand about all of this is why Christians haven’t risen up to take back their holiday. The only explanation is that Christians see consumerism as an extension of their spirituality and they see conspicuous consumption as a sign God really blesses them.
Christmas has taken the very soul of Christianity and turned it into a cheap plastic, made in China, toss it away when its inconvenient, temporary and disposable form of false spirituality where money spent is the only One True God. You can see it in the eyes of those people selling their souls to buy the next big toy by signing up for loans that will force them to live like paupers while their children stare at the broken remains of planned obsolescent and wonder why they feel so hollow inside.
They will, of course, deduce that it is because they were not given enough.
Merry Christmas. Safe Travels. I hope you and your families are well and I hope you make it back home alive. But Christmas is a form of insanity that has got to stop.