Merry Fucking Christmas

By on December 18, 2013 in KZINE Christmas Series

I hate Christmas.

I really do. 

There, I said it. Why is it so abnormal and ‘out there’ to hate Christmas? The coldest, darkest and generally most miserable time of the year is apparently a time to rejoice about a 2000 year old narrative that otherwise gets mocked for its backwardness and conservative values. Whilst we are coping with stress and anxiety of the day to day grind with the warm summer months, a distant and ever fading memory facing us is the prospect of the constant cycle of slush and frozen slush. A morning routine that now involves getting up when it is still dark and trudging home when it is darker still. The slow and steady spread of the common cold claims a new victim every day. This is not pure hyperbole; suicide rates go up exponentially and collectively we question why on earth we live above 45 degrees latitude. Many of us make the decision to move and study abroad in this ‘festive’ period. So what social remedy have we as a society evolved to help us cope with the annual semi-hibernation of our mind and soul? Surely such an annual occurrence would be accompanied by ancient rituals evolved to help us be kinder to our fellow human beings and bring light to a season of darkness? Well apparently our mechanism is ‘Christmas’.

Now I do not deny that Christmas has many different connotations and interpretations, none of which can fully encompass what this holiday means to everyone. That said there are generally two main ways to celebrate this most famous of Christian holidays; through worship and through giving.

Through worship we celebrate the original meaning of ‘Christ’s Mass’ by fixing an arbitrary date of a figure made up to provide us with a comforting narrative in life and simultaneously suppress minorities, moral progress and innovative thought. By dressing children up to act out the old nativity story we supposedly reaffirm our cultural heritage and endorse a ‘good message’. I doubt many of us enjoy Christmas because we wish to celebrate the Christian roots of society, as much as tradition can be comforting. So how does the ‘good message’ of Christmas fit into Christian teachings and more importantly the commercial shit-storm that Christmas has become? Receiving gifts may be fun, but does the new norm of expecting a camera, laptop or console outweigh the stress entailed by these commercially fuelled pressures? In the months leading up to Christmas we are constantly reminded that on top of everything else I mentioned in the whining beginning of this article we must remember to buy whatever company ‘X’ happens to be selling. Otherwise we are mean and nasty. We become old Scrooge. And in the aftermath of the pressure and inevitable disappointment of a haul of presents we dive into the sales like pigs charging back their trough, sometimes clawing each other in desperation.

But Christmas is about family, I hear you cry! Yes Christmas can be a rare opportunity to get the family together away from the distractions of our normal lives. This is indeed what the church has evolved their teaching to reflect once they realised people were no longer intimidated enough to turn up to church on their own accord. But why then do we need to commercial and liturgical aspects of Christmas in the first place? Why should we let an outdated Church and commercial interests piggy-back on the comfort of surrounding ourselves with our loved ones in the depths of the winter, if this is really what Christmas is about? Surely if we focus on caring rather than giving, both for our friends and family and for those in need, and on getting ourselves through the most depressing part of the year without forced worship then the holiday season may be beneficial for us and society as a whole. Instead of measuring the success of Christmas by church attendances and sales gained, focus on what is important. I am not convinced that we can do this without doing away with all the rubbish attached to ‘Xmas’ given its true origins.

That is why we should do away with it. So Merry fucking Christmas. 


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