Remember that Christmas is about family, traditions, and making memories that will last a lifetime. My gift to you is the greatest Christmas movie of all time. Enjoy.
This past week the local news in the San Francisco bay area blew up with reports of Fox News Megyn Kelly’s statement on air that “Santa is just white”. The local reports were followed with man on the street style reporting of people being appalled, upset, etc.
I found it all pretty entertaining, and figured it must be making Fox News’s ratings explode since after all, it is time for the annual, “War on Christmas” reporting segments on the right leaning network and this would play perfectly into kicking off their yearly fear mongering holiday event!
But let’s step back from this media bonanza for just a second and consider just how ridiculous this all really is.
Jesus as a white man
I always enjoy entering a church or elderly person’s home and seeing a portrait of Jesus on the wall with his long flowing light brown hair, well-trimmed beard, light colored eyes and fair skin. Oh how ethereal and dare I say… white he looks! Europeans and Americans have been portraying Jesus and the Hebrews as white for quite a while now. Look back to many pieces of renaissance art and you’ll see the same thing, a European Jesus.
The funny thing is, I’ve also seen Jesus and other characters of the bible portrayed as black as well. Some people might scoff or make fun of this, but hell, why not? In fact, is it really a stretch to say that maybe the ancient Hebrews were in fact more black in appearance than white?
The nation of Israel did form out of North Africa after all, from the land of Ham in Egypt (Ham being one of Noah’s three sons) and according to some ancient historians like the Greek Herodotus, the people of Egypt where ”…black with woolly hair”.
By the time Jesus came around hundreds of years later, who knows just how black he did or did not look, but it is safe to assume he was considerably more African looking than Caucasian, probably looking something between Persian and North African.
Santa as a white man
Like Jesus, Santa too was a real person in history who was possibly not all that white looking but has been made to look completely fair skinned and Anglo! Santa Claus is based on the 4th Century Christian Saint Nicholas, a Greek who was a Bishop in what is the Antalya Province of modern day Turkey.
So like Jesus, it is also safe to assume that jolly old Saint Nick was in fact fairly brown skinned as well. Probably a bit more Mediterranean looking as opposed to African, but far from fair skinned and white nonetheless.
The media wants ratings, the general public is stupid
Bottom line, our mainstream media has no interest in serving up truthful information. The goal is selling advertisements. People like Megyn Kelly are relished by organizations like Fox News because they #1. She’s very attractive and speaks well on camera, and #2. She is amazing at getting the ignorant and stupid general public all fired up!
The everyday, shortsighted conservative now says: “The liberals want to kill our culture and ruin our traditions! They want us to be ashamed of being white! They want to destroy the fabric of America and change history!”
The everyday shortsighted liberal now says: “The conservatives are racists. They want to marginalize minorities. They want to force their Christian mono-culture down our throats! We need diversity!”
I say: Coca-Cola commercialized and made Santa Clause white you dumb fucks. Their extraordinarily successful marketing of a white, fat jolly Santa has perpetuated and solidified the version of Santa Claus we have today around the globe!
I say: a 10 minute Google search will reveal that Santa Claus was never a fair skinned white man to begin with, and neither was Jesus for that matter! People have always reimagined the subjects of tradition and faith in their own image. So get over it!
I say: this is all bullshit anyway. Who cares! Christmas is about reinforcing our overindulgent retail culture, not commemorating a faith or religion. The holiday has become bankrupt! AND CHRISTMAS IS NOT A BIRTHDAY! CHRIST WAS NOT BORN IN THE WINTER DUMBASSES!
Sorry for going on a tangent rant there at the end.
Composing the Christmas tree is a special ritual to my wife. To her, our Christmas tree is a patchwork of memories and sentiments, a mash up of emotions, experiences and feelings.
Every year my wife unpacks our Christmas ornaments and goes through the same dilemma of deciding which ornaments will make the cut to be displayed that holiday season. We have two large Rubbermaid storage containers full of ornaments, very many of them representing a memory… the birth of one of our daughters, a lost grandparent or death in the family, mine and her first Christmas together, or even the occasional ornament from a past relationship or friendship, all of them representing former days both happy and sad.
To my wife, these ornaments serve as an archive of her life, a personal museum or perhaps even a time machine of sorts, not dissimilar to a prized volume of family photos. I’m not a very sentimental guy, but I appreciate that she is. I have very little saved from my past to share with others. She makes me question if I should change that.
With two little girls romping around the house, she’s forced to leave most of her prized ornaments hidden away in the safety of bubble wrap and styrofoam for now, except for a few moments each year when she goes through and looks over each one of the relics of her past and recites the story behind most of them.
I think her ritual is rather neat, perhaps a bit whimsical, but always entertaining and a sign that the holiday season is definitely upon us.
I have a secret. I love the Holidays. Even the things that annoy me to a certain extent I have grown to enjoy. Christmas movies on repeat, my wife constantly listening to Christmas music, being dragged to family members’ homes time and time again.
My wife forces me to neatly put up rows of lights on my house, I find neatly placed Christmas trinkets strategically placed in almost every room of the house. Even my desk has somehow been infiltrated by a small snowman reminding me the Holiday season has arrived.
Sometimes I’m annoyed by the constant bombarding of commercials begging me to purchase this or that, knowing that I have to attend yet another family event and exchange courtesies to people I only make an effort to see once a year, and watching money drain from my bank account and a sometimes alarming rate. I don’t hate it though.
I thoroughly enjoy watching my wife open the gifts I have so carefully picked for her. She has the warmth and innocence of a child sometimes and that’s something most adults lose rather quickly. I don’t even mind seeing family at a little too frequent basis from November to January. My Mother-in-Law’s cooking and my Father-in-Law’s good nature make up for it.
Even coming home after work some days after dark is a pleasure. The Christmas lights sparkling on my house, a fire going in the fireplace, and a freshly ground cup of coffee waiting for me accompanied by an excellently prepared meal lovingly given to me by my amazing wife. Those are the evenings that make the Holidays a very special time of year. The atmosphere makes watching even the worst Christmas movie tolerable.
Good food. A little wine and beer. Friends and Family. Santa hats and tacky sweaters. A roaring fire and even a corny Christmas song playing in the background quietly reminding you of the days of your youth when you believed in Santa. I guess those are the things that make this time of year enjoyable.
I love the holidays.
The last few weeks have been busy. Busy at home and busy at work. The Holiday season brings family members to my house and deadlines at work. All of which I enjoy, ironically. I prefer to stay at capacity at work and whenever I have the opportunity to see my wife’s eyes light up because we are hosting a house full of friends and family it makes my day.
It’s funny how things change over time. It was only a few years ago I found myself piling into someone else’s home for the Holidays; now I have someow inexplicably claimed the right to host holiday get-togethers. I think I actually enjoy it to some degree too – which is also surprising. As long as I keep my refrigerator full of premium beer and invite at least one friend over to keep me sane I survive. It also helps that my wife and mother-in-law are excellent cooks.
I didn’t even mind having to drive over an hour each way to pick up my insane Mother – which turned into a lot more work than I had planned. It seems a non-religious guy who largely thinks most holidays are built by corporations to trick the world into spending money they don’t have CAN actually find a bit of value and appreciation for the institution. At a minimum – this Thanksgiving did provide me with a lot to be thankful for and this Christmas season has given me the opportunity to treat my wife and friends to a few gifts I normally wouldn’t be able to talk myself into purchasing.
I’m a realist to a fault sometimes. There are occasions I can’t even enjoy the holidays because I see them for what they are. FAKE. They are built on a foundation of consumerism, materialism, and greed – an evil ironic twist to a holiday made to supposedly celebrate one of the most minimalist, “wealth is bad”, characters in history (I’m talking about Jesus here, folks). The irony seems to be lost on most Christians – most demanding more “black Friday” deals and cussing their fellow religious zealots for taking their coveted parking spot at Wal-Mart. I digress.
I have found a glimmer of hope for the holidays. A change in perspective.
While it is true that the holiday season is mostly an ironic pile of dog-shit, all is not lost. It is also a time to see family and friends, appreciate eachother’s company, feast over good stories with good beer, and show your love and appreciation for everyone in your life.
Of course we don’t need the holidays to do all that, but if we have to put up with it – may as well make it worth something…
So this holiday season I will put up Christmas decorations, feast with family I only see once a year, and watch my wife’s face light up with pleasure. I suppose you can’t change the truth about the nature of this beast, but you can at least change what it means within yourself. Change your own perspective, fight fires when you can, and try to enjoy what’s good about it all.