An Open Letter to Christmas

Dear Christmas,

So I heard you sold out. Big. Like the largest selling out that’s ever happened in the history of sell outs. I mean, I know that Reel Big Fish said you should, but wow. You’ve always meant something to me and have been a huge part of my childhood. But things seem a bit different now. Maybe it’s just me

Your selling out seems to have also led to war being declared? Like, what have you done, man? There seems to be quite the disagreement about what you stand for, your morals, what you represent, that sort of thing. And as far as I can make out, that’s what lies at the root of this crazy kerfuffle.

I guess I just don’t understand what the big deal is? Even if you sold out and have morphed into some corporate, money-sucking monster, the pure joy and goodness of what you used to be remains untainted. Nothing you can do now can tarnish what you mean to me.

Maybe none of that’s true. Maybe it’s just a giant smear campaign from people that hate happiness and want to crush the hope and light that you give to the world. Maybe you’re as pure and good now as the day you hopped on the scene. I don’t know.

I mean, your history is a bit messier than we typically admit, right? The real narrative isn’t quite as neat and tidy as the story you share in interviews or whatever. I know all about the pagan and winter solstice connections and that’s no big deal. There’s a power in how we shape our stories, that shows what we want people to think about us. Your story shows that you want people to at least think about Christ. It’s even in your name.

Can we talk about your name for a second? Christmas. Christ-mas (hard to get more Jesus-y than that, if you ask me). Often abbreviated to X-mas (which gets all sorts of people’s knickers into a twist). Is it a big deal if I occasionally call you X-mas, or write that out instead of writing “Christmas,” if may not seem like a big difference, but those five extra letters are a time-suck, so I’d like to avoid wasting my time as much as possible. Seriously. Also, an “X” is kinda like a cross, which represents Christ, so it’s basically the same, right? And I still say “Christmas,” it’s not as if I remove “Christ” from my vocabulary when I write “X-mas.”

I guess the bigger question here is really whether you’ve sold out or not and if so, if that matters. I tend to think that you’ve done your best to remain true to your roots, but that others have appropriated your name and associated materials for greedy, selfish purposes. That’s not your fault.

Like I said earlier, whether you’ve sold out or not, I still hold on tightly to the joy that you’ve brought me throughout my life. Whenever your coming nears, the world just seems to be a brighter place. Something good happens. I can’t explain it and it doesn’t really make sense. But it’s true. Cheesy, cliché, but nonetheless true.

Really, it doesn’t matter to me what you’ve come to think of yourself. You’re way bigger than yourself now—you’ve become a worldwide movement. It’s not as important what you do or what you think of yourself, as what each individual thinks about you for themself.

You’re big enough that you’ve lost all realm of ownership to the idea that you’ve become. (Maybe that’s just my literary critic side asserting the death of the author…) Yet, I think it’s valid. The point is not that you’ve become commercialized or that you sold out or that you’re trying to forget your “roots” and leave all the religious elements out of your new identity. The point is what everyone gathers from you. What have you given us? We can all decide for ourselves what you mean (no offense. You’re great, but this is out of your hands).

Best of luck. Even if you’ve sold out, I still hope to see you. You’ll always be the pure, joyful person that I knew growing up.

Happy Holidays!

Conor

PS Is it weird to you that people wish you a “merry Christmas”? Do you ever say, “well, I’m always Christmas, but I’ll try and be merry, just for you”? A bit random, but the thought just came to me.

PPS We should chat about Santa Claus and St. Nicholas and all that jazz sometime. I mean, I’ve barely scratched the surface here, but just really needed to get some of it off my chest, hope I haven’t offended you.

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