One celebrity whose star will never set is Santa Claus’, and one reason why is that he’ll never be brought low by scandal.
Come the Yuletide season, I always hear, and often find myself saying, or at least agreeing to statements such as, “You know, the shops break out their decorations and start selling their Christmas wares earlier and earlier every year.” Inevitably anyone within earshot will agree with the sentiment being expressed, and lament the over-commercialization of Christmas. Then someone will usually pipe up, “The true meaning of the holidays has been lost. It’s all about corporate greed now.”
I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions, but I’ve made one this year, more than a month ahead of schedule. I’ve resolved not to whine about or highlight the consumer-oriented frenzy griping the mass consciousness of my fellow citizens that comes with the first jingle of a sleigh bell, holiday sale or whiff of gingerbread cookies. In fact, I resolve to love Christmas with all my heart, because I can’t get enough of it.
Now, you’re probably thinking that we should be thinking of the less fortunate during our time of celebration and excess, because that’s what the winter holidays are all about. No, they aren’t. They’re about buying lots of stuff. A person of conscience can donate time and money to the needy all year round, and besides, anyone who has ever tried to raise funds for charity, or squeeze money out of a rich aunt can tell you, guilt is paramount to cajoling people into giving more. Toys for Tots and UNICEF are noble causes. I encourage you to help out these types of organizations as much as you can, but please understand that embarrassed shoppers tend to give more than they normally would in order to alleviate the guilt brought on by their spending gluttony. But hey, at least they’re giving something, and that’s a good thing. No reason to wallow in mind-numbing pontification over the ‘lost meaning’ of Christmas.
Another reason I’m excited about Christmas this year is the unbridled, all-encompassing celebrity of Santa Claus. The guy is freaking everywhere, and has been for a long time, from your television screen and the cinema multiplex to the main foyer at the local shopping mall. At last, we’ve found a public persona who isn’t worried about body image. Santa’s standard diet consists of chocolate chip cookies and 2% milk, and when that gets old, he moves on to Oreo Double Stuf Cookies and jugs of whole milk, augmented by the occasional flank of reindeer (it’s hard to grow vegetables at the North Pole). He’s jolly and fat, and he never had to date Katy Perry or move in with Jennifer Aniston in order to cling onto his fame. Father Christmas is a wonderful role model for adults and children alike. He’s good to the bone, and he doesn’t care what you think about him. Even if you make his naughty list, he’ll always give you a chance to clear your name the following year. Santa Claus will never ‘accidentally’ leak a sex tape online so that you’ll remember his name, unlike other role models inhabiting the celebrity universe, and if you ever do stumble upon a Santa sex tape, just remember that an evil impostor posted it. Mr. Claus is above that kind of ruckus, and shame on you for even considering a ‘Santa’ and ‘sex’ Google word search in the first place.
Yes, Christmas is about family, spending lots of money, eating too much, and tons of other stuff. For some people it’s also about the birth of Jesus Christ (it is a religious holiday, after all, buried beneath a lot of commerce), who by many accounts was born in the spring or the fall. December 25th and Christmas trees actually stem from pagan celebrations predating Christianity—I’m always happy to disabuse holiday purists of their unwavering notions, so that they can get into the true swing of things.
Regardless of your moral or religious bent, if you’re possessed of the giving spirit this holiday season, I suggest you give until your heart is about to burst, and if you’re a greedy hoarder, collect until the hearts of your friends and relatives are about to burst. You’ll be helping out either way. Revel in the glory of Santa Claus, go off your diet, help those in need, or buy a lot of crap. There’s something in the holidays for everyone, even reclusive misers without any friends, who get an entire month to rant about, which will kindle their hatred for the year to come. And if you do happen to go overboard with your spending and wintertime indulgences, don’t worry about that either. That’s what New Year’s resolutions were made for.
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