Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

A Very Special Christmas Post

I do not hate Christmas. I do not hate hearing Christmas songs in every store I go into. I do not hate the expectation that most people have around this time of year that everyone around them should be filled with “Christmas Cheer.” I do not hate the presents – buying them, wrapping them, standing in long lines to mail them to every cousin I can manage to remember.

I do not hate that every show I watch has to have a Very Special Christmas Episode. I do not hate that every newspaper and magazine I pick up has something about Christmas – how I should celebrate it, how I should believe in it, how I should care about how other people celebrate and believe in it.

I do not hate the candy canes and Christmas trees that adorn every storefront in town. I do not hate the candy cane stripes on the parking meters, the city-owned and operated meters, that appeared just after Thanksgiving. I do not hate the slowly dying pine trees that sprang up overnight where empty lots used to be. I do not hate the expectation everyone has that I’m going to buy one.

When I was growing up, as one of very few Jewish kids in my school, I did not hate having to stand up and explain how I was different to the entire class every December. I do not hate that it taught me early in life that I was different, that I lived in a world that was not made for me.

I do not hate being wished a Merry Christmas by every counter jockey I encounter for the entire month of December as I’m exchanging cash for goods and/or services.

I do not hate Santa, that fat child molesting bastard, for skipping my house every year when I was too young to understand that it wasn’t that I was “naughty,” it was just that he skipped the houses with the menorahs in the windows. I do not hate my dad for getting mad at me and my sister for decorating his Norfolk Pine tree in toilet paper when we were very young. I do not hate the very fact that I did it at all, because everything I saw told me that was the normal thing to do.

I do not hate the month of December in all its forced cheer, its mind-deadening drumbeat of conformity, its debt-raising, all-consuming, passionate embrace of the almighty dollar. I do not hate how it makes those of us who do not celebrate Christmas feel like outcasts in our own lives.

And I especially do not hate the parade of whiny pundits who invented some fantasy “War on Christmas” to make themselves feel righteously victimized and give their base of intolerant bigots something to bitch about instead of how their president lied us into a war we cannot win, in a place we should not be, and has spent so much money doing so that our cities can’t make ends meet.

I don’t even hate how these fear-mongering bastards have caused the nice people among us to avoid using inclusive phrases like “Happy Holidays” or “Boy Do I Hate The Month of December.” I do not hate that they keep lists of the businesses that do not say “Merry Christmas” as if there’s something wrong with that. As if, to be an American, you have to celebrate a made-up holiday that began with Pagans and was banned by the Puritans that founded this country. As if some fat bearded fucker in a red suit has anything to do Jesus, with America, or with the values of freedom and democracy that founded this country that I also do not hate.

I do not hate Christmas. Why would I?

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Hi, I’m Derek. I used to make websites. Now I grow flowers and know things. I’m mostly harmless. More.