Well, I figure it makes sense to be topical since it’s “that time of year“. Look, we could certainly talk about how this holiday is a really thinly disguised ploy to get us all to go out and spend and consume like the sad little locusts we are, but other people have been there and done that. It’s about as commonplace to associate christmas with horrid consumerism as it is to associate it with fat bearded ancient men in red jumpsuits. The argument would basically run something like this. I ask you “What is the point in spending so much money on christmas presents?” and you try to explain to me that “The presents are an expression of affection, you get people gifts because you love them.” And most of the audience (because during our debates we have an audience) goes bawwww how cute and sweet and sentimental. This is about the point where I want you to think about two things. 1. Do you really think that you need to express your love (especially for your family) in the form of an expensive gift? Do they not know that you care about them if you give them a big ol’ hug and say merry christmas (no I didn’t get you anything, be happy with this hug)? Seriously. Putting aside how awkward it would make you feel (like that time you totally forgot your aunt was coming for christmas, and she got you that really cool whateveritwas, and you didn’t get her anything) would it really make that big of a difference if *dramatic music* WE DIDN’T GIVE GIFTS FOR THE HOLIDAY??!?!?!!?111ONEONE
I’m pretty sure that you’re going to agree with me, people don’t need to receive gifts to know that you care about them. In the off chance that you say “No, everyone would think that I hate them if I didn’t get them gifts.” or even better “I would hate everyone if they didn’t get me gifts.” If you answered with the latter, rather than try to argue with you, I think it’d be best if you quit the internet. But, if you’re seriously under the impression that gifts are THAT important, let’s think about it for a minute. If people need gifts that badly, why do they JUST need them on christmas? Why don’t you need to get them a gift every two months? Perhaps the answer is because social convention tells you to. Is that ever a good reason to do something? I seriously don’t think so. Maybe it’s easier to have it once a year so that no one forgets to get their friends/loved ones their annual present so they don’t decide they don’t like you anymore. If this was your response, clearly you haven’t started your shopping yet, because if you’ve tried to go to the mall in the last few days, you know how lucky you are to be reading this (for the record that should read “old drivers”). The only benefit from making everyone search desperately for christmas presents at the same time every year is that it makes finding gifts safely much more challenging. There’s not much reason behind it. I guess my point is, why do we feel compelled to follow the standing convention of getting each other presents? Is it really necessary? I mean sure, you can take a “Herp most people can’t even afford to feed themselves, why bother with gifts” argument, but I don’t think it needs to be taken that far to make sense.
An entirely separate issue, is religion’s relation to the holiday. Some of you may be re-reading that previous sentence wondering “Religion? Christmas? I don’t get it.” Believe it or not, some people seem to think that christmas is a christian holiday. Where Santa fits into the already crowded “monotheistic” grouping between baby hesoos’s birth and the cosmic omnipotent father is anybody’s guess. Probably has something to do with those wonderful peaceful christians “adopting” pagan traditions and integrating them into their own.
Anywho, when I was out today risking my life at the mall, I saw one of those “Keep the Christ in Christmas” bumper stickers. Of course I really wanted to do something silly and immature like scrawl “MERRY X-MAS” all over the person’s car, but it also made me think. WHY should christ be kept in the holiday? Is he still in the holiday at all? I mean honestly, is there much religious association with the holiday at all anymore? For those of us that don’t go to church, yeah, there’s the occasional nativity scene outside of a few houses, which happens to feature a bunch of people and animals standing around a wooden crib or something for whatever reason, which I THINK is supposed to have a religious connection, but it certainly isn’t that overt. Let’s face it, Christmas has nothing to do with Christ, it hasn’t for years, X-mas or not. The holiday is an opportunity to worship Mr. Fat Cat up there, your new Corporate God. If you’re not disgusted by that prospect, you should get that checked out. It’s one thing if you disagree with me, but if you’re okay with the worship of a corporate god, let’s go back to the an hero plan.
So, ultimately, my questions remain: 1. Why are presents necessary?
2. Don’t they cause more harm (and waste) than good?
3. Why do we/Should we still bother with them?
My answer to #3 is no, but you’ve probably already gathered that. Look, I’m not saying presents are evil and should be destroyed. I’m just saying that spending tons of money to get gifts for your great aunt gertrude and every other member of your family just seems kind of silly and unnecessary. They’ll still love you if you don’t get them new ipads. And if they don’t, there’s something wrong with them.
And as always, I look forward to your comments, questions, suggestions, rude comments, insults, poorly formed arguments, and silence because you didn’t bother reading any of this post because it isn’t funny or interesting.