You don’t know shit about Xmas. 

Most of the people that I know have incredibly traditional backgrounds when it comes to the holiday of “giving”. When the holiday draws near, there’s a family meal, gift giving, and the possibility of having to go over to the home of an elderly, extended family member.

If there is a religious thread in your family, you may have to sacrifice an hour of your life by going to mass. (Which is no big deal: It’ll make your mother happy and you can alternately practice yawning with your mouth closed while trying to figure out if the priest has ever touched a penis that he wasn’t attached to before).

To date, the only person that I have ever met that hasn’t had a traditional Christmas holiday has been my wife. She was brought up Jehovah’s Witness. For the uninformed, this sect of Christianity doesn’t do holidays, birthdays, or essentially anything fun. Thankfully, none of that nonsense left a stain on her.

About a week ago, I had two thoughts. The first was ‘Fuck! Xmas is next week and I need to take the kids out of the house one by one to buy presents for other people.’ The second thought was ‘How’d all of this Xmas nonsense get started anyways?’

I don’t know shit about Xmas. I don’t know what you’re smirking at, you don’t know a fucking thing either. 

For your own edification (as well as my own), I have taken it upon myself to look into this matter.

Perhaps bring it up to your children should they put their toes on the cusp of being assholes because they can’t wait another day to get their gifts. Maybe informed your loved one should they be of curious mind. Or, be a selfish shit and keep the knowledge for yourself. It’s your call, homey. 

  • Before Christianity became the hypocritical juggernaut that still holds sway over our society at large, there was a point in this group’s early history where Christmas wasn’t celebrated at all. In fact, no one could agree on what day the ‘Christ Child’ was born until the 3rd century. By the 4th century, Pope Julius I decided that December 25th was the day for celebration. While it wasn’t expressly stated, it was eventually deduced that this decision was arrived at because it coincided with the Pagan holiday of Saturnalia​ (a Roman holiday celebrating agriculture) and the church wanted to absorb the Pagan holidays all together.
  • What’s the most surprising is the fact that Christmas was celebrated back then like Halloween was celebrated now. People didn’t dress up, but there was no shortage of drunken shenanigans. Typically the poor would go to the homes of the rich and demand food and drink. If they were turned away, the poor were socially entitled to terrorize the household they were turned away from until they got their way.
  • When the Puritans first landed, they weren’t having the drunken shenanigan-ery that Christmas was none for. So they outlawed it all together. That’s right: if you were caught celebrating the holiday you were fined and eventually thrown in the pokey.
  • Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.
  • What changed the holiday all together and how the public perceived the holiday were the books ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon’ (by Washington Irvine). You don’t need to read either of them. Just know that these two books gave us the boring holiday that we have today. Personally, I’m all for reforming this sumbitch and bringing back the days when people would get piss drunk and fuck with the rich people. I digress.
  • The giving of gifts on the holiday were meant to symbolize the gifts that the Wise Men gave baby Jesus. Suffice it to say that the Industrial Revolution and the advertising industry fucked that up for everyone.
  • Decorating trees at Christmas time is actually a German Tradition that we have to thank Prince Albert for. Apparently when he wed England’s Queen Victoria, he brought the tradition with him to the UK. During the holiday season a picture of the Royal Family was taken and published in an International magazine and now we can’t not have the holiday without having a damn tree.

And there you have it. Now you know a little bit more about the holiday that you were probably lied to about when you were a child.

Merry Xmas you filthy perverts.

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How I saved X-mas.

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I am not a fan of Christmas.

I never have been. Even when I was a kid I never liked the holiday. The only appeal it had for me was all of the goodies people gave me.

As I grew up and worked various retail jobs, I realized what a crock of shit holiday it was.

It is a relative fact that the public at large are usually at their worst around this time of year. The days leading up to Thanksgiving when you work in a grocery store are abysmal. Doubly so after Thanksgiving if you work in big-box retail.

When you shit on the retail employee because the store that employs said employee ran out of the dried onions for your bullshit green bean casserole or the store doesn’t have the toy that “little Johnny” wants, are you really “putting the ‘Christ’ in Christmas”?

As a father of 3 and a lapsed-Catholic, Christmas time had always been stressful for my wife and I. 

She was raised Jehovah’s Witness. As I understand it, people belonging to this religion do not celebrate holidays nor birthdays. I’m not exactly sure what the Witnesses stand to gain from this, maybe it’s some sort of cultural flagellation that they need to march through in order to receive their “riches in Heaven”.

As such, the holidays and birthdays meant a lot to her when our kids were young because she missed out on all of that happy horse-shit.

When our family structure shifted to where my wife was the sole source of monetary support, it became harder on her to make it through Christmas shopping without feeling wiped out and more jaded than when she first started.

This past Christmas was different.

I took the duty of getting presents for the kids away from my wife and I gave it to the kids.

That’s right: I made them buy presents for their siblings.

It was the easiest Christmas ever.

Initially, my sole trepidation was that when I told the kids what was going to happen this year, that I was going to have to listen to a fuck ton of whining, goings-on about how one child dislikes the other child because of such-and-such reason, and the classic “Whyyyyyyyy do I have to do it?”.

All three of them were on board essentially from the get-go.

My son needed a bit of a nudge given the fact that he’s been outnumbered for the past 6 years. I can understand where he’s coming from: it’s tough being the only male in social settings, even when that setting is your own home.

Prior to the shopping trip, I made sure that all 3 of them knew why they were doing the shopping this year: Christmas should be about putting the needs of someone else before their own needs.

The rules for shopping were simple:

  1. You need to buy at least two things (one for each sibling).
  2. You need to stay in the $30 dollar and under range.
  3. All 3 of them were to be taken to the same shopping center.

In the span of a week, this kids and I had Christmas taken care of and my wife was at her most relaxed that I had ever seen her at this time of the year.

As far as the shopping went, the girls were a piece of cake. I suppose that this has something to do with the fact that Women are generally better when it comes to this sort of thing. My son on the other hand needed a bit of extensive guidance because of the aforementioned reasons. I had to remind him a lot that he was shopping for someone else, not himself.

Speaking for myself, the best part of it was watching my youngest (she’s 6) actually think about her siblings and what they might like for a present. By and large, she was the one who really got into what she was doing. It was a real watershed moment for myself as a parent.

Suffice it to say, this is how Christmas is going to be until all 3 of the little assholes move out. 

Feel like sharing your “Holiday War Stories”? Scroll back up and let me hear about it!