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Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Passion of the Claus

A guy near Seattle has crucified Santa Claus and put him on display in his front yard. The whole thing is meant to protest the over-commercializing of Christmas.

Obviously, this has upset quite a few folks around there.

This whole "crucified Santa" thing has been around for at least a dozen years now. Supposedly, the manager of a department store in Tokyo put Santa on a cross for a store display around 1994, because he was told to do something for Christmas and he didn't know what the holiday was about or what people usually did for it. And then last year some dude in Canada did the "Santa nailed to a cross" shtick too.

I hate to say this, but I kinda see where these guys are coming from. I didn't start my Christmas shopping until this past week. In years past, I used to enjoy going out and watching all of the people doing their shopping. These days, it makes me sad to see how the pursuit of materialism has supplanted whatever good has been inherently part of Christmas. Hell, I'm just happy to be here, alive and marginally sane, and able to celebrate Christmas at all, after what has been an extremely hard and trying year. I don't need "things" to be happy for this holiday season. Just give me my wife to hug and my loved ones to cherish, and I'll be happy. I am happy, in that respect.

Am I alone in my belief, that Christmas sincerely has become a religious festival: one in celebration of consumption?

Let me suggest something else along those lines: that a lot of Christians have made Christmas into something it's not supposed to be, also. For the past few months I've read about a lot of Christians who are upset that it can't be called "Christmas" in schools, by stores like Wal-Mart and other places anymore. That instead "Merry Christmas" is being replaced by "Happy Holidays" too much.

As if that's supposed to even matter to us at all.

You see, once again some people are using Christ as something for power, instead of yielding to Him out of humility. In this case they're using Christ's birth as something to lord over others.

I don't give a flying rat's butt about whether or not it's called "Christmas" or not. It wouldn't even bother me if we didn't celebrate Christmas at all. The important thing is, God came to us at all. Shouldn't that be enough to thoroughly overwhelm us?


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