I Don’t Believe in Santa Claus

Filed under Noted

I’m not Christian, so a fat guy delivering presents for Jesus was alway a difficult concept to wrap my head around as a kid. What’s the deal with the North Pole? Jesus was from the Middle East. There were no reindeer in any of the manger pictures or lawn displays I’d see. Is the flying sled motorized? Christmas spirit? So Christians are only good in December when they’re worried about some list that involves getting coal? What? What!

None of the kids I asked seemed to have answers to my questions that sounded at all reasonable.

I sat on Santa’s lap only once when I was five. I pretty much decided he was bogus when I had to wait in line for 40 minutes to talk to him and he then didn’t make good on my requests for a pony or a talking dog.

As an adult, I do believe that I have a friend in Jesus, but the whole Naughty or Nice secular aspect of the holiday continues to bug me. Is there any wonder why Christians continue to behave horribly if Santa’s punishment for being bad is coal and onion-filled socks? If that’s all there is to having no Christmas Spirit then I say bring it on, fat guy.

Bring it.

Recently, I discovered the joys of adult pen pals. I have sent books, Star Trek figurines and a pocket guide to the mercury content in common sushi fish to several people who I’ve met through my internet travels. In return, I’ve received Bakelite buttons, trash-picked yarn and a vintage sink from people who would be strangers to me were it not for our shared love of saving the planet from an over-packaged consumerist culture.

Today I’m sending the entire series of SISTER WENDY’S STORY OF PAINTING on videocassette to my pal in Bakersfield. For those of you who don’t know who Sister Wendy is, she’s a Consecrated Virgin (as opposed to all those nuns who are, apparently, getting action), who also happens to be a brilliant art critic. The two hours every day that she doesn’t spend in monastic solitude and prayer, are spent enthusiastically lisping through her English bucked teeth (I know, “English bucked teeth” is redundant) about such things as “the wonderfully fluffy pubic hair” in one of Stanley Spencer’s paintings.

I heart Sister Wendy.

My pal in Bakersfield is loyal to her VCR. She doesn’t own a DVD player. She’s also, by her own description, a “conservative Christian.” It’s these two reasons why I think SISTER WENDY is the perfect surprise gift for her. She really is a nice, Christian lady who is devoted to her grandkids and her church. But we really are very different. If I’d met her on the street, I doubt that we’d be friends. So I’m glad we didn’t meet there. In cyber space we were able to put aside our generation gap, our religious differences, and our politics and have great conversations about environmental issues every day. So I think it’s only appropriate, that on Black Monday, retail’s biggest internet shopping day of the year, that I send my friend a not-so-secret Santa gift of lightly used videos. She’s got Christmas Spirit year around.

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