Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas & the Fat Man In Red ... Your Job Or His?

Let's see, in Christmas posts in my past, I've pissed off just about everyone I could.  

Why should this year 
be any different?

I vow to not attack religion this year as I did a couple of years ago when I provided a new look at immaculate conception by a horny superior being.  That one got a lot of people thinking that I didn't believe in God.

Of course, I believe in God.  Oh, like most individuals that have had more than their share of bad luck and struggle in their lives (unlike the "Silver Spoon" crowd that has had life provided them on a silver platter) I've questioned the existence of the upper Heaven level management deity.  However, even after using logic, my upbringing tends to renew my faith.

Look at it this way ... at my age, gambling with the afterlife isn't the most intelligent thing a borderline entrant could do.  If there's nothing there, it doesn't hurt anything.  But, if there is, why not buy a ticket before they're sold out?

However, I'm going to attack the myth of Santa Claus today.

Damn, I just lost about half of my readers.

No, I'm not going to debate his role in the modern Christmas celebration, only the disadvantage parents put their children in by passing on this legend to generation after generation.

As if that many parents teach their kids anything these days.

His role, of course, is to get the little monsters to be good, go to bed early, and learn to accept that his sleigh will only hold so many presents (so they can't get everything they want).  Of course, many would argue that it also teaches their children the philosophy of supersonic speed and the ability to magically carry enough gifts to make all the children of the world happy, but these folks are so obviously full of it that even their kids realize it!

Hey, Sis, think we can get mom and dad to play video games
 so they'd learn something?

In essence, parents are teaching their children how to be future politicians.  Act good when in view of the press, keep your private life and those you screw on the side as secret as possible, and learn that you can only buy (or bribe) so many corporate votes, regardless of how much money you have to spread around.

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  He lives in everyone's back pocket.  His spirit of giving is based on the value of return.  You don't always get what you give, but, it's better to give to others so you can hold it against them later!"

Now, let's discuss Santa's entry into the home.  Less than 10% of homes in America have chimneys.  This leaves over 90% of the children nervously wondering, "How in the hell is Santa going to get in the house?"

While many youngsters grow out of this mental stress, some never do.  They grow up to work at the post office and carry AK-47 assault rifles in their cars for those days that the voices inside their heads never stop talking.

No, children that find themselves living in a normal house without chimneys expect their parents to stay up late and let him in to disperse the presents under the tree.  Children, that live in apartments, find themselves writing their apartment number in large bold letters in their annual correspondence to the man in red in hopes that their PlayStation won't end up with the brats downstairs that broke the last one.  And, children that live in mobile homes find themselves wondering how many holes the reindeer hooves will put in the tin roof and pray their father realizes that deer hunting season is over!

"Where's my assault rifle, honey?  Damn, must be ten or more deer on the roof 
just waiting to be next Sunday's main meal!"

Unfortunately, homeless children are too busy holding on to their shoes while they sleep in fear that someone will steal them away.  They learn early to tell the difference between Rudolph's red nose and the red nose of the drunk snoring in the shelter cot next to them.

Another problem that parents face on Christmas Eve is what type of snack do they want Santa to eat.  You know, the one that Santa is supposed to munch on when he's done dropping off the goods.  

You figure at a cookie a household, Santa has spent a lot of time in Colorado with some really good smoke and has one hell of a case of munchies!
Beware the chocolate chip cookie diarrhea syndrome!

Traditionally, milk and cookies are the expected norm.  However, I always believed that a good Porterhouse steak and loaded baked potato curbed the hunger much better, especially since I was going to be up all night trying to put together toys with directions that couldn't be deciphered by the entire teaching staff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

We did have to draw the line when it came to saving him a glass of wine, though.  One year, one of my girls surprised us with a late night trip to the bathroom.  She looked at her mother drinking the red and said, "You'd better save some for Santa or I'm gonna be really mad!"

That's when I looked at my wife and added a sarcastic retort, "Don't look at me. Obviously, she comes by it naturally.  Eggnog, anyone?"  

My wife is still mad about that one, at least when she's sober.

Instead of an obese individual breaking into home all over the world by sliding down a chimney too small for most squirrels, instead of creating a nervous tension over the youth worrying about every little lie they stated about how nice their mother looked in spandex or tights, and instead of them wondering if a strange man wandering from house to house was looking for the one bad child to take back to the North Pole and abuse for years to come, why don't we simply teach our children about the true spirit of Christmas?  (I know, it was one hell of a long run-on sentence, wasn't it?)

Let's teach them that every person has some good in their heart even though they don't show it the other 364 days of the year.  Let's teach them to appreciate the smiles they can bring and the warmth they'll feel in their hearts by giving.  If others give back, fantastic!  If they don't, maybe they will in the future when they, too, learn what a great feeling giving can provide them.

Why not help them understand that at least one day a year it's better to share and bring happiness than to want and exhibit selfishness?  Perhaps, by making this a part of their upbringing, they'll understand that happiness doesn't come from material objects, greed, and status, but from what you can do for others to make their lives better.

Maybe they'll grow up to own their own business and share these feeling among their employees.  Maybe they'll cast aside the profit line and treat the employees as important members of the business and reward them properly so they take a greater interest and work together to improve it as a true team would do.  Maybe they'll even feel wanted and give more than those that don't have the benefits others do.

See, this feeling of happiness has nothing to do with popularity contests, greed, or material goods.  It's a general lesson that all have to learn so that mankind can come together and appreciate what each individual has to offer.  

It's been proven that kids join gangs, join gaming clubs, wear like outfits, and act differently because they all want to be wanted.  Many don't experience that at home for one reason or another.  In their minds, they're either looked at as moochers, slave labor, or inconvenient expenses only validated by the annual tax write off the parents receive.  

Kids are people and people are not numbers or dollar signs.  We all need to learn to treat all people as people, regardless of their age, race, religious background, or geek rating.  Assuming the role of a teacher isn't just a temporary thing, it's a lifestyle and obligation.  

Most professionals agree that children love to learn.  Unfortunately, for whatever the excuse, learning is too often forgotten at home.  The kids have to learn from their peers that reside in in similar environments.  It's no wonder the youth of today generally fit the mold of ... "rude, selfish, violent, and uninterested in anything adults have to say."

If you never got listened to, why not return the favor?

Christmas is an excellent time to provide them a lesson for life.  Demonstrate your love and teach them how to share theirs.  Don't depend on the fat man in red to do your work for you.  How about doing it yourself for a change?

Unless you happen to be a fat man in red Spandex, that is.  

I don't know that I'd admit it if I was.

You might find a red nose sniffing at your butt.