Written 24 December 2004.
Never before has Christmas been such a pointless exercise. This festive celebration of marketing that once captivated a youthful gent has become an odorous smorgasbord of hackneyed messages, mostly revolving around expensive MP3 players, culminating in a day that serves only to remind us how irritating our families are. Bah humbug indeed.
This, however, is not a capsule of the year that has passed all too quickly, I’ll leave such egotistical prose to my Year in Review due in a week. Rather, this little message serves to redirect the lost soldiers of the Christian faith back to the true meaning of Christmas, as taught to me by the venerable four-foot space traveller in ALF’s Christmas Special.
If I remember correctly, ALF is able to save the dimwitted Tanner family from their own shining by delivering Christmas presents to kids about to die in hospital. Unfortunately I must rely solely on my memory because this Christmas classic has not been televised during the last week.
Other Christmas classics such as The Ref, Christmas Every Day and Ernest Saves Christmas have been nowhere to be seen or avoided as well. Those looking for inspiration to care in their mid-20s have been forced to make do with a fat postman and his skanky wife woofing down processed turkey while Jerry Stiller’s considerable talents are wasted in Channel Nine’s excruciating filler The King Of Queens. That show makes the ABC’s Cracker appear positively uplifting.
In search of Christmas cheer I was forced to read the tracklisting on Destiny’s Child’s Christmas album this week. I didn’t listen to it – don’t be stupid – I’d rather be a position to receive the proceeds from Band Aid 20. And why would those emaciated children care, let alone know, if it’s Christmas time?
In times of such despair, without leaders such as The Lady to look to, one must look to the ones who are more prepared to face the uncertain future. The innocent freedom lovers deferred their problems to George W Bush and he delivered. The good up-standing moral crusaders of Sydney’s Hills District have deferred to John Howard and he has delivered. Ricky Ponting deferred to Adam Gilchrist and he delivered. It is deference that can save us from the harsh reality that we alone can be corrupted by opportunistic pseudo-everythings that look to seize the means of control through fellatio.
In many respects Christmas is all about deference. We all spend this day with our families, pretending to love God and Jesus in the hope that maybe they do exist and our faith will be paid off, not only with expensive presents, but also with eternal salvation. I guess we are the lucky ones, for those that do not exchange gifts, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, are just as forlornly optimistic but without the receipt of DVD players and one of the millions of greatest hits albums floating around this year.
Earlier this week English musician Morrissey released the curiously titled song I Have Forgiven Jesus. His title alone illuminates the immensity of the problems that this beguiling man has inflicted upon the world since his death.
Even ignoring the Crusades and boring church services, Jesus is responsible for the incredibly daft piece of ‘literature’ that apparently every person in the world has read and is receiving for Christmas. Surely we could crucify Dan Brown soon enough? If only he had deferred to Joseph Heller and that book could have had at least a page of character development amongst the hilarious libel of the Opus Dei movement.
If you find it difficult to get to sleep on Christmas Eve because you are dreaming of all the wonderful presents that await you under the tree, consider the children that aren’t receiving presents this year because they not alive, or the old man at the halfway house whose family were supposed to pick him up, or the cat that was given as a present but instead was eaten by the Korean neighbours who found it walking the long road unloved.
Consider the Jesus that you believe in, who lived and died, and will soon be but awash in the folklore of Santa and snowmen and those all too fashionable white headphones. I am told on bus advertising that Christmas is a time of giving, so this is my gift to you. Refer to it when you realise I am right and defer to it until then.
With all my love and misunderstanding.