On Christmas, Capitalism, and Christ

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Last night we were watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas, since Flavio had never seen it, when he brought up an excellent point about why all my favorite Christmas cartoons never got airtime on Italian TV.  Because, see, in Italy they actually play movies about the Bible around Christmas time.

So I responded with my classic cynical wit that “that’s because in America we believe in capitalism more than God.”  Funny.  Kinda.

No but seriously, cynicism aside, we all know who created the modern image of Santa Claus, right?  It was Coca Cola, most infamous of corporations alongside McDonalds.  So my suggestion that Christmas and Capitalism are, well, intimately tied, isn’t too far off.

But the thing is, no matter how cynical, politically aware, whatever, I try to be, I can’t help but love Christmas.  It’s that time of the year that family comes together, as dysfunctional and strange as we all may be (especially when we’re all in the same room), that time of the year when we celebrate giving and doing nice thing just for the sake of seeing a smile on someone else’s face.

Anyways, we all know how The Grinch ends, right? It’s not about the presents after all, not about the decorations or any of those fantastic trappings of Christmas that boost the economy so efficiently.  No, it’s about the Christmas Spirit, that nameless, faceless thing that, no matter how cynically political you may be, it’s just pretty hard to ignore.  It’s about love and forgiveness whether you believe a little baby was born for the sole purpose of dying to save the world or not.

No matter how anarchist, communist, whatever-ist you are, and whether you’re actually from a Christian family or not, Christmas is Christmas and there’s no escaping it, at least in countries here in the good ol’ West (even if you really honestly truly do want to).

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