The way I see it, Christmas comes down to the two Mr. C’s. These two people, whether one believes in them or not, have had more influence on the month of December than any other people, real or invented, past or present.
There is Mr. JC, also known as the Saviour, who has a history dating back over two thousand years and has made a his mark, whether good or bad, on many lives during this tenure. There are all the stories that surround him and his father (sometimes depicted as an old white guy with a beard) that were supposedly written years and years (think a couple of hundred years) after his time on earth by still-living followers with intact memories who claimed to have walked by his side and known him well.
Then there is Mr. SC, sometimes known as Saint Nicholas, (St. Nick for short). If you do some research, you will discover that he also dates back almost two thousand years. He has, however, rebranded his image many times; at times in the past appearing dressed like a bishop in a long robe and other times like a small elflike sprite with a tan jacket. His most recent look can be attributed to the Coca Cola company, who in 1930 depicted Santa as a big jolly guy in a red coat drinking a bottle of coke. One has to wonder where his loyalties currently lie.
So let’s compare the two:
Both have been immortalized in song. Mr. JC has inspired some of the most beautiful songs of season, while Mr. SC can be given credit for having a sense of humour with cheerful happy music created in his name.
Both have naughty or nice defining objectives and are trying to curb what they consider bad behaviour. Mr. JC with threats of hell and Mr. SC with lumps of coal. This, in my opinion, comes across as very subjective and judgemental. Really they should define “bad” a little better because I have yet to see any proof that these are effective behaviour-altering strategies. Hence the statement, nice guys/girls finish last.
Both are effective marketing experts with charismatic traits and public speaking prowess. Many people follow them, no questions asked. Crowds gather in their name and worship the places they come home, Bethlehem and The North Pole.
Both have an overflowing pool of dedicated skilled employees working for their cause. These people, some members of churches and others in the business of gift manufacturing, seemingly can’t be fired and often appear to have selfish interests at heart.
Both are arbitrarily selective in delivering their good-behaviour rewards. Mr. JC offers eternal life only to certain people. Some of these can be absolutely rotten people who are just lucky enough to confess before they expire. Mr. SC gives one supposedly-well-behaved child an expensive iPad while another less-fortunate, but still well-behaved one, receives little or nothing. Jumping on Mr. SC’s bandwagon is more dependent on family income than good behaviour.
Both are depicted as western white guys with beards. That in itself should say something about their current state of existence given the fact that neither one of them hails from a place in the world where western white guys with beards are the norm. And they certainly weren’t the norm two thousand years ago.
Yet these two (Mr. JC and Mr. SC) have combined their talents to create the biggest holiday on earth every December 25th. What can I say except that I don’t believe in either one of them, and I don’t jump heavily on any bandwagons. But, at the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, I do enjoy my Christmas holiday and my small traditions of food and family. I believe that everyone, no matter what their reason, deserves a holiday. Especially this year. So enjoy yours.
Thank you for reading.
Photos: Chris Sowder and Marcus Spiske, Undplash. Photo manipulation: Jenn Stone