Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas thoughts and booty

The War on Christmas is alive and well, and just like always, it's a war that exists only in the heads of certain Christians who seem to feel like they're being persecuted in this country where you can't go to any public place without hearing Christmas tunes all December long. Yes, even though there's a church on every other street, somehow the phrase "Happy Holidays" is as offensive as "Heil Hitler!" All of their rights are being taken away, and it gets really out of hand when you take into account all of those things that aren't actually happening, like churches getting sued because they won't marry gay people.

I've seen a few Christians take their cause to Facebook with posts about how "they" (who are they? The mafia? The FBI? The Masons? The Shriners?) want to take the "Christ" out of Christmas, but "they" will never take the Christ out of them. Ummm...okay. Look, I'm not completely against this sentiment. If you're a Christian, and you want to make Jesus Christ the focal point of your Christmas festivities, then more power to you. In fact, that's what you should do. It only makes sense.

However, when exactly was the Christ in Christmas? I certainly don't remember a time. When I think of Christmas, I think of Santa, Christmas trees, elves, flying reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, mistletoe, etcetera. Yeah, I know, we also have manger scenes and "Silent Night". Still, I think it's safe to say that the predominant images and associations in our collective unconscious about Christmas are predominantly secular, if not downright pagan.

Let's face it; the Christ has been taken out of Christmas a long time ago, and it's inevitable that a capitalist society would quickly lose sight of any spiritual message. Ironically, I'm somewhat behind these Christians who are trying to take their holiday back. (Let's forget about all the pagan origins for now - the Christians have had it long enough for it to be theirs.) Still, I wonder if they're putting their money where their mouth is. Are they going to forgo all of the secular/pagan elements of their holiday in order to find its true spirit? Or are they just going to complain when people say "Happy Holidays"?

Anyway, speaking of capitalism, let me write about what I got for Christmas:

Once again, I did rather well this Christmas. Unfortunately, the bulk of my presents will be coming in the mail, as I mostly received gift cards from This is a good thing because gift cards will generally take you a lot further there. For a moment, I was actually wondering what I would get. I checked out the Blu-Ray movies for sale, but they all fell into the following categories: I didn't want them, I have the DVD and am satisfied with that, it's streaming on Netflix, or I already own it. I also contemplated getting an iPod, but my cheapo Sansa MP3 player works just fine for what I need.

And then I remembered that there are a ton of comics that I still want, so I quickly spent all my gift card money. Much of it is stuff that I had to pass up but planned on getting eventually. The one exception was The Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus, Volume 1. It collects every Stan Lee and Steve Ditko collaboration on the title. Sure, I already have all of them, but I have them in various reprint books, and most are in black and white. It'll be nice to have them all in one nice looking volume. It's the kind of thing that I wanted, but I just couldn't justify spending that kind of money.

Now all I have to do is wait...

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