CHRISTMAS: THE REAL DEVIL’S NIGHT
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Christmas reminds me of Satan.
Granted, a lot of things remind me of Satan. Just look at this blog. It’s a preoccupation, I’ll cop to it.
But I regard these two cultural currencies as very much akin to each other. Being that both the Holy Day and the Unholy One illustrate a critical point about American society.
Namely: Ain’t nothing gonna stay the same forever, folks. And on that note, a few words about the “War on Christmas.”
There actually hasn’t been as much yuletide frothing as usual this year RE: that faux fracas. The Catholic League claimed in a Thursday press release that the War on Christmas “peaked in 2005-2008, then subsided.”
Odd that noted Muslim Marxist Christpuncher Barack Obama would have presided over the demilitarization of the holidays, but okay, whatev. (By the way, after this presser I’m distinctly of the impression that the Catholic League media team doesn’t have nearly enough to do.)
Last week, the dean of the Santa Clara Jesuit School came out and said on YouTube, “I don’t think Jesus would care much about whether we say Merry Christmas.”
Given that Jesus didn’t speak a word of English and celebrated the first Christmas by spitting up in a barn, this seems a fair bet.
In a Pew Research Poll this year, 57 percent of Americans said either that Christmas isn’t in decline or that they just don’t care. And only 32 percent of holiday shoppers insist on being told “Merry Christmas.”
(In the retail game there’s a name for those people: insufferable assholes. Yeah, it’s not very clever, but a Black Friday sales rush isn’t the place for raconteurs.)
If not for ostensible President of the United States Donald Trump and his reindeer-powered drones there might not be anyone to man this front at all, and Hanukah Harry would be free to annex the North Pole. (Or whatever stupid shit is supposed to happen if we lose.)
Yes, it appears that—wait for it—American attitudes about Christmas have changed. Because Americans have changed.
And the amazing thing about that is that it’s not even slightly amazing at all. This is just what’s always happening.
And that’s okay. Or at least, it had better be okay, because you’re sure as shit not gonna stop it. And yet, every year I see People On the Internet argue about what the holidays “really mean.”
“As Christians, we are the only ones who know the real meaning of Christmas,” Bonnie Ricks argues in a Christian Post blog. Hopefully she’s not obligated to swallow a cyanide pill rather than reveal the secret, but do what ya gotta do, Bonnie.
On the other hand, secular types like Douglas Morrison insist on OpEdNews that “Christmas in America is really about the Winter Solstice.” Which is bad news, because it’s really hard to fit axial tilt into a manger.
I guess these folks can argue one way or the other all they like. But me, I think they’ve got it all wrong.
Like we talked about on the last episode of Black Mass Appeal, I’d argue Christmas is Christian, sure. And pagan, if you want. And secular, for the most part. But more than anything these days, it’s a product of popular culture.
Christmas is an awkward chimera of different ideas, histories, and agendas. Just like Satan. Christianity informs our idea of the devil a little, yes. But so do art, literature, television, and our own subversive imaginations.
And clearly Satan is a pagan figure to some degree, because just look at him. He’s the sum of these parts, and more. Satan has a lot going on because like Christmas, he’s always changing. The devil and the day stick around because they keep up with the times.
Satan is not the reason for the season. Rather, they both just happen to share the same reasoning in the end.