The True Meaning of Christmas
As we quickly approach the big holiday, it is an excellent time to reflect upon the real significance of the season. It’s not the binging on gifts. Nor is it the love of family and friends.
It’s not even the religious stuff.
The true meaning of Christmas, in fact, is much simpler: inebriated Santa Claus rampages.
At least it is in Auckland, New Zealand, where 40 people in ill-fitting Santa suits tipped back a few and raised hell last week in the latest incarnation of “Santarchy.” In a well-executed publicity stunt for this global movement, which opposes the commercialization of the holiday, these ho-ho-hooligans engaged in a variety of community-strengthening activities such as burglary, assault, graffiti spraying, and public urination.
Apparently in the southern hemisphere, ‘tis the season to be a drunken ass. A drunken ass with politico-economic cause, that is.
I know that angry bands of self-righteous Christians are roving through American strip malls with pitchforks and torches because the shopping focus of the modern holiday season makes them wretch more than watching “Brokeback Mountain.” Cells of disgruntled anti-capitalists are now joining them, forming an unholy alliance that future historians may mark as a missed sign of the apocalypse.
But is wanton destruction at the hands of two score shit-faced Santas really the answer?
Let’s face it. The Claus-witzian anarchist/antiglobalization freaks are stumbling around drunk on the wrong side of reason and the wrong side of history, as well as the wrong side of jailhouse bars in Auckland.
It’s bad enough that generations of children already carry Santa-related emotional scars through adulthood. Think about it. We lecture our kids incessantly to avoid creepy strangers … then we force them, kicking and screaming, to sit on the lap—and whisper into the ear—of some Schlitz-smelling stranger wearing an obvious disguise.
And now kids will add the image of a drunk, bottle-throwing thuggish Santa to their cherished Christmas memories. I doubt they will link it to the commercialization of the holiday, however, despite the protesters intentions.
If there is a meaning to the Christmas season, it probably has something to do with peace and goodwill. I’m not saying everybody should put a baby Jesus in their yard or attack people who say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” Far from it.
But it would be nice if, on this one day, we could answer affirmatively to the eternal question posed by the wise late 20th century philosopher Rodney King:
Can’t we all just get along?