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Merry Christmas, Satan Claws

I reject Christmas as a Capitalist celebration.  I can't bear the thought of sitting around a pine tree, or worse, a plastic pine tree, for hours, stuffing my face with candy and watching present after present, each lavishly wrapped and entirely superfluous, passed around like a great ritual.

I need not reject Christmas as a Christian celebration because this is an idiotic abstraction. Growing up it was an implicit joke that Christmas had anything to do with the birth of Jesus.  We were urged to remember at Sunday School specifically because none of our rituals related in any way to this theme.

Every year throughout my adolescence we would quietly confess to each other that it didn't “feel like Christmas” so much anymore, as the slow realisation of the unlikely nature of it all dawned on us.  How cheated we felt.  How disappointed.  I never found out that Santa Claus didn't exist.  The solemn hopeful deceit of it simply became obvious.  The sacrifices my parents made, the magic that permeated reality and the devastating realisation of my own naivete were like the crushing weight of adulthood.  It's all a sham, and happiness is to believe in lies.  I was inherently incapable of believing the lies but my hope and faith would carry me far; hope in the loving unity of our family, faith in our culture, to contain and protect us.  It was only later that my parents separated, deconstructing my family, and our whole culture was pulled out from under me with the same slow shameful disappointment as the Santa Claus lie.  This early humiliation can only survive in my sensitive body like a trauma.  The ultimate specialness of Christmas that has leaked out of me like a dripping landfill for years is now completely gone and in its place is the grief of loss – loss of my childhood, loss of my mother, loss of my culture, of a world that made sense.

I was invited to spend Christmas with my three siblings and their five children, in whom the ritual survives into the next generation.  Out of love and loyalty I said yes, and then the thought of piles of Christmas presents under the tree and hours of significance given to what amounts to garbage bags full of rubbish for the landfill, made it perfectly clear that I couldn't put myself through it. To sit in a cluttered sanitised house with these people I love so desperately and see their fake smiles for the video camera as they open each present, to see the disappointment at the disillusioned hope that this item could possibly make them happy, would break my heart.

Fuck you, Santa Claus.  Repent.  Stop releasing the propaganda, all that ingratiating Christmas music and sentimental family TV specials.  Release the Elves, slavery is illegal under international law.  The obvious fiction of your existence has failed to alleviate me of the possibility of magic.  Your plan to turn all children into Atheists and Consumers will fail.  The magic of the unseen worlds will prevail and your rituals will be undermined with the ridicule of great art.  I reject you, Satan Claws, and I will enjoy the summer solstice with my family, those who are truly able to be present with me, without the buffers of alcohol, presents and sugar.  The weather outside is not frightful, it is warm and bright, the cool water beckons, exuberant summer fun beckons.  I am not dreaming of a white Christmas, I'm dreaming of a naked Christmas, where the the white of my bare bum is slowly tanned by the sun in preparation for months of summer. 

I dream of a new year, in which the curse of Christmas is far away and a refreshing and challenging new life awaits.  When the uncomfortable blip of Christmas passes, New Year will be an exhilarating rage, a shedding of skin, a release of madness, an immersion in the world, a baptism of mud, an ecstasy of sex and psychedelics.  The non-existent Satanic fantasy of Santa Claus is discarded and decays while we celebrate the Earth, each other and the complex intensity of incarnation as a human being.

1 comment:

Caitlin Daniels said...

I enjoyed this post thanks for sharing.