By Joshie Jaxon
Merry X-Mas, geek fans! I had someone ask me why I use “X-Mas” instead of “Christmas”. There are several reasons, one of which is that I love Futurama, and if X-Mas is where we’re all headed anyways, then I’m ok with living that small piece of the future now. The other is that while the Christians may have appropriated this holiday, and claimed it as their own, Christ isn’t the reason for my season. Like the Christians before me, I’ve taken the parts of a preexisting holiday, claimed the parts of it that I like, and made it my own. I usually put up a tree, I give gifts to those I love, since social convention dictates that we need a reason to he nice to people, and I try to spread a little cheer to my fellow man. I just don’t do it with god, Jesus, and the nativity scene anywhere in my thought processes. If any part of this opening paragraph upsets or offends you, how on earth did you find our blog in the first place? We get our jollies on being dirty, and inappropriate. If you spend your weekends on your knees, and don’t get a protein shake with it, perhaps you should be on ChristianMingle or some other such nonsense. For the rest of you dirty whores, stick around. I’m just getting started.
Growing up here in the United States, I have early memories of Santa, and various Christmases. Never any memories involving god, or spirituality. I’m sure the same can be said of most people. Now, it’s possible that the only reason we have early Santa memories but not the other is that Santa is far more exciting, and therefore has a tighter hold in our developing minds at those early ages. Why shouldn’t he be? Santa brings us awesome presents, and doesn’t ask us to believe in him year round to get them. Similar to 9/11, D-Day, etc, Santa barely crossed your mind until a certain time of year that’s been set aside for him. Parents use Santa as an early tool to try and manipulate you into being a good kid. Sadly, because of the effort needed to maintain such a lie, they only really break out the Santa gun around November/December. Trying a year-long manipulation of a child is a fool’s errand, though some people do put in the effort. What I don’t get about the Santa thing from the parental perspective, is why give the credit to someone else for the things you do? Kids can handle knowing you want a reason to spoil them, you’re just looking for a little good behavior and obedience to help grease the wheels. Any adult will tell you that it’s easier to want to do things for others that are nice to you, than to that witch who got the last Tickle Me Elmo by trampling an old lady to get it. Santa is more than just a fictional character, he’s become an institution.
On the other side of Christmas coin, we have Jesus and the nativity. I’d like to say I’m as well versed on Jesus’ backstory and origins, but I didn’t spend too much time as an active Christian before I had to peace out. Religion just doesn’t match with my personal belief system, which is to do right, and be a good person, simply because it’s the right thing to do. Instead, like the Santa story we’re fed as children, religion uses god/Jesus/etc to manipulate us into being good people, so that we gain a reward, or avoid a punishment. Just as we’re told around Thanksgiving that Santa is watching, we’d better be good so we don’t wind up on the naughty list, as adults we’re told to behave so that we can go to heaven, avoid hell, or both. The only difference is that we aren’t going around sitting on mall-Jesus’ lap and telling him what we want for our afterlife. Depending on your religion, you may be told that just by coming to earth and gaining a body, you automatically gain access to heaven. However, if you want gain access to super-mega-VIP heaven, you still have some mortal and spiritual hoops to jump through while you’re here. The only reason I can see this working, is that when people are told someone is getting something that they aren’t, they want it too. Otherwise, there’s really no motivation to do what they say is right.
Alright, now we’re gonna get into some of the fun stuff. As any kid that believed in Santa will tell you, there’s a point in their life, probably around the time they hit double digits in age, that they either became aware and figured out that the whole Santa thing was a scam, or, their parents, sick of getting extra presents and no credit, told you that he wasn’t real. Whatever the case may be, as an adult, you know the truth, and even knowing what it did to you, you probably perpetuate the same story with your own kids, hoping to give them a few years of joy, while enjoying the ability to manipulate them. Calling it anything else is a lie. Don’t get me started with that elf on a shelf bullshit. Anyhow, as I said, you know Santa is crap. However, there are countless people in the world that will swear up and down that god and Jesus are real. They will get into fights, and lecture anyone who will listen. Sound familiar? Remember defending your belief in Santa against the asshole sixth graders that knew better? Feel kind of stupid looking back on it now, don’t you? It’s alright. We were all lied to by the people who created us, and we trusted. That’s just life. It’s my opinion that that’s why some people cling so hard to religion. They desperately want to have that childlike feeling of someone watching over them, and the promise of a reward for doing what the person in authority, who they trust, says will get them that reward. I’m not claiming that there’s no higher power out there. What I am saying, is that if as kids we were wrong about Santa, it’s possible that as adults we’re wrong about god and Jesus too.
This picture shows Santa kneeling before the baby Jesus. Now, while art is subjective, here’s what we’re able to infer from the context of this painting. If Santa is present at Jesus’ birth, then that says that Santa is obviously older than Jesus, and existed before he did. It also tells us that while Santa may be acknowledging his position as King of kings, you can bet that Mary and Joseph threatened little Jesus to behave or Santa wouldn’t bring him that new robe he had his eye on. Jesus, stop turning all our wine into water. We don’t have cable, your mom is an uptight virgin, and I want to get drunk. No, I wasn’t stuck by lightning for typing that. I’m sure the powers that be find me not only insightful, but amusing as well.
Now, in order to end on a, slightly, less blasphemous note, let’s get into the powers that these seasonal behemoths have. Let’s start with Jesus. Walks on water, can turn it into wine, performs miracles such as feeding and healing those in need, and his biggest one, rising from the dead. For a non-violent figurehead, Jesus can be pretty badass. Then there’s Santa. He can travel at fantastic speeds, as evidenced by being able to traverse the globe in a single night. Is able to manipulate is mass, and the mass of objects with him, since he’s able to travel down chimneys, with presets. He’s got the charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent to inspire an entire race of elves to help him create the gifts that he delivers to children. Based on the picture above, Santa predates Jesus, so who gave Santa his calling? Or, seeing as how if you were to remove the Santa outfit, and add a white robe instead, Santa and god are eerily similar, is it possible that they are one and the same? Think about it, judges the world, hands out rewards and punishments, generous nature, beloved by all who believe in him… I’m just saying. Each of these two fictional characters give people great joy, and great heartache.
On that note, I wish you and yours a happy/merry whatever you may or may not celebrate at this time of year. Until next time, stay geeky, and keep gabbing!