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December 23rd, 2002 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Let’s me talk a moment about the true meaning of Christmas: it’s all about the toys.

Not to rain on the parade of any devout Christians out there, but I don’t recall reading anything in a Bible about Christ saying “Thou shalt seek out a pine tree, chop it down, take it in the house and adorn it, and give gifts to each other. For today is mine birthday and we are going to party likes it 0000.” If memory serves, pine was pretty scarce around Bethlehem.The Christians annexed Saturnalia for their own purposes, and they got a good long run out of it. But now it’s Santa’s gig. He’s got better marketing and more corporate backing than Christ does, and you can’t stop commerce.

And let’s face it: toys are fun.

Christmas, as I know it, is basically a virus. You are exposed to it as a kid, and it’s pretty hard to resist. What child is not going to be hugely imprinted by a day laden with gift wrapped toys? We get a few guilt free years where we just get to haul in loot, with no hassles of shopping or wrapping. This creates a pretty strong association of “Christmas = Good” in the mind of an impressionable child. Or it did for me.

As I got older, the joy came from invoking that kind of delight in other people by giving. Certainly Christmas can be a hassle, and distasteful commercialism seems to increase every year. But every time I sour on it, I think about some of my happiest Christmas moments. The hope that something I can give to another person might allow them to touch upon that sweet feeling of once again being a child on Christmas day is enough to keep my heart in the right place.

It also helps that I still like toys.

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