Well, you thought you've had a difficult year!
People worry all about the wrong things for all the wrong reasons. For instance, take the Christmas Crusaders (yes, please take those Christmas Crusaders for a very long walk on a very short pier!). The folks who take umbrage if you commit the holiday faux pas of wishing them Happy Holidays! Come on now, the holidays are difficult enough as they are. I mean, with holiday shopping, attending holiday family affairs, watching as-stale-as-last-season’s-fruitcake holiday reruns on TV, the headaches of holiday worries and holiday bills, and the list goes on, and on, and on… The Crusaders freak out and have a major Christmas cow if you don’t wish them a merry Christmas.
And God forbid if you slip up and spit out a Season’s Greetings to a Christmas Crusader. It’s as if you insulted someone’s mother by insinuating she wears army boots or shaves her legs with a rusty razor. Get a f***ing grip and get the f*** over it. These individuals are getting upset about the way they were wished well. What’s the matter with these clowns? I can think of more things than the combined total of all my festive fingers and mistletoed toes combined to worry about, and biotch, not hearing the word Christmas when anyone wishes me well ain’t one of them. Get your priorities in order, you cantankerous curmudgeons.
Do you want to know what it really is that bothers me so much about Christmas Crusaders? It’s the irreverent irony and hopeless hypocrisy. Just because I didn’t choose the word Christmas in expressing a bit of holiday cheer I cared enough to share with them doesn’t mean I’m against Christianity or any other religion for that matter. Do they truly believe that by including the date western calendars call Christmas in their own wish of wellness that they now hold the Willy Wonka golden ticket to that big chocolate factory in the sky some call Heaven? Well, gag me with a spoonful full of figgy pudding on the twelfth day of Christmas then thump me up alongside the head with a hardcover edition of the New Testament, if you must, where do these Jacks and Jills for Jesus get off telling someone their choice of yuletide salutation is any less worthy than anyone else’s? Do they honest-to-God believe that those who don’t say Merry Christmas will be doomed to burning in the fires of Hell for all of eternity?
Would you like to know the way I see it from where I sit at the Christmas dinner table? Okay, so the day before was Christmas. From the morning to all afternoon to early evening to late last night all I heard was Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays, and other assorted Hallmark Cards copy and tags delivered with all the warmth and enthusiasm telling a person to have a nice day. Do you know what I didn’t hear? Not even once yesterday? I swear on a stack of King James Version bibles I didn’t hear any Christmas Crusaders, or any Season’s Greeters, nor a one Happy Holidayers, not even a single layman or member of the clergy say what is usually expected to be heard on the day commentating someone’s birth. Oh no, not once was it witnessed anyone of whom while briefly glancing skyward uttering a heartfelt, “Happy birthday, Jesus!”
Could you imagine on December 26th when walking on one of those paved in gold celestial roads and you unexpectedly bump into Jesus? The big guy’s looking kind of glum so you of course want to find out what’s the matter PDQ? So, you strike up a conversation with the son of God that kind of unfurls as follows.
“Hey, Jesus, what’s up – why the long face, Fellow?”
“Dude, did you know that yesterday was my birthday?” the sorrowful savior said.
“Yeah, as a matter of fact, I had it marked down on my calendar. What did You get for Your birthday, score any great presents?”
“Nope, just like on every birthday since after the day I was born, when at least those three wise guys out of nowhere turn up at the manger with some pretty gnarly gifts. My birthday is supposed to be my day, right? I got nothing! I mean, come on, even Santa Claus at least gets some milk and cookies on December 25th, right?”
“Oh sweet Jesus, I’m so sorry to hear that. Damn, it must suck to be You!”
“Well, that’s not even the worst of it.”
“It ain’t. Not only were there no presents, but not one soul even said ‘happy birthday, Jesus,’ to me the entire day long. Not a one! Hell no, they were all too damn busy mush-mouthing stuff from their pious pie-holes like ‘Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings,’ and not a single solitary one of them remembered to tell me, ‘Happy birthday, Jesus.’ Well, as far as I’m concerned they can take all that f***ing greeting card mumbo-jumbo and stick it where the sun don’t shine and where the sand always seems to find its way in and just all go to Hell.”
“I’ll hallelujah to that, JC, yeah, hallelujah to that. I’m so sorry to hear it. Well, I’ve got to be on my way. I have a harp lesson scheduled for noon today, so I’ve got to boogie and book it, toots sweet, Brah”
“Ahem… Aren’t you forgetting a little something, Brah?”
“Forgetting? Ah, I mean—oh, oh yeah—happy belated birthday, Jesus!”
“F***ing finally. I guess hearing it one time sure beats the batter out of not hearing it at all. Thank you, my son. That meant a lot to me,” Jesus says before the two of you parted ways with one another – you for your music lesson and He to spend what remained of this day mucking about in his carpentry shop working on some bookshelves or a few wobbly coffee tables (JC never bought into the ‘measure twice - cut once’ woodworking wisdom, so His coffee table legs were never exactly cut the same length. Many would guess for some reason He must’ve believed everything He did would be perfect).
So, when next Noels come around and when anyone offers a Merry Christmas, a Season’s Greeting, or even a Happy Holiday, I’m going to be responding in kind and signing my Christmas cards with, “Happy birthday, Jesus”. Happy birthday and God bless each and every one of us on Christmas and every day that follows.