Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Atheist Who Loved Christmas

No-one seems to bat an eyelid at Christians who enjoy drugs, promiscuous sex and Pulp Fiction, so why can't an atheist love Christmas? Just because our belief or lack of beliefs suggests one thing, doesn't mean we can find something else appealing in the whole nuttiness of Christmas.

Of course as a kid, I loved Christmas, but even as I got older, the magic didn't wear off and I continued to enjoy it even after realising I was an atheist. It's not just the vibe of the season, but Christmas songs, decorations, fake snow, animated Christmas shows (pre - 1980), the whole she-bang. The shopping, traffic nightmares and forced family visits (as opposed to the good family visits) are unpleasant, but it's all good times once you get away from that.

One of my favourite things is the Christmas songs. There is something so warm and comforting about those songs, from the sweetness of Away In A Manger and Silent Night to the more foreboding We Three Kings Of Orient Are and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. I love how uncomforting and not at all joyful the line "Tidings of comfort and joy" are delivered! I also like the songs about Santa, reindeer and trees, but oddly enough, I particularly enjoy the ones about Jesus! He is the reason for the season after all! Even though I think it's a load of bunk and he isn't mine or anyone else's saviour, who can't get into a story about a little baby being born and people being excited about it? If people can get all emotional about Steel Magnolias, why can't I get excited about the fictional story of Baby Jesus? I really like in Little Drummer Boy when he says "Mary smiled at me, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum". How exciting that would have been to have Mary smile at you! It reminds me of the time I got excited because I waved at Dave Navarro from the front row of Chili Peppers concert and he waved back between strums. It was so awesome to be acknowledged, so I know exactly how the little drummer boy felt! At least he can reflect on his story with reverence. In his fable, Jesus went on to be awesome and save mankind. In mine, Dave Navarro goes on to marry and divorce Carmen Electra, host embarassing TV shows and become and overall toss pot. AND the Chili Peppers went on to suck like nobody's business.

The whole gang is here, including what looks like 33 year old Jesus looking in on newborn Jesus. This must be what inspired 'Back to the Future'.

So, I really like my Christmas songs, so much so, that I get really angry about deviations from the original arrangements. I love tradional choral versions! One of my biggest gripes is the obnoxious "Saaaaaaaaaan-ta Claus is coming to town." I believe it first surfaced on Phil Spector's fabulous Christmas album, sung by The Crystals. Everything about this album is so awesome, even if not the original arrangements that I don't even see the re-worked phrasing of "Saaaaaaaaan-ta Claus is coming to town" as being bad, but in fact great. The problem is with all the subsequent copy cats. The vocalist in the Crystals version is just a great singer who sounds excited about and humbled by Santa's impending visit. In all these Mariah Carey wannabe styles, the singers don't give a crap about Santa. They just want to show off their chops by shitting all over what should otherwise be a joyful song about the world's fattest gift giver. All this "Saaa-aaa-AAAAn-ta Claus is coooo-ooo-ming to tow-own" can seriously go piss up a rope. It's not in the spirit of Christmas. I was in the supermarket last week and heard some vile version of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus by Kenny G. I'd think Santa was molesting rather than kissing Mommy with that horror version playing. I was so mad I thought I should write a blog about Kenny G and then I remembered I already had.

As I mentioned earlier, I really dig the Christmas story. You can find me watching a lot of shows about Jesus this time of year, though I must confess, they really just serve to firm up my case against. Still, when it comes to just the birth story, I just enjoy it in all forms like nativity scenes, films and I even found myself in church this time last year to see my pal Judah, aged 5 at the time in the nativity play playing a shepherd. Shit, I've even played Mary myself!

The beloved Rankin/Bass version of 'Rudolph' and the lesser known biopic of Nestor, the long-eared Christmas donkey who stuck it to all the people who gave him shit for his ears by TAKING MARY TO BETHLEHEM, bitches!

When the Christmas season hits, it's not unlikely that you'll see this non-believer sporting a Santa hat, and boy I think that hat came is useful this morning. Before I headed into the office, sporting it to spread joy with it in the workplace, I think it really took the edge of the annoyance of the guy who I rear ended on the way to work. I mean really, what kind of grinch can yell at a sweet girl with a Santa hat on, even if she just ran into the back of your brand new car? I attribute the good natured exchange to the Santa hat, bringing Christmas cheer to a shitty situation.

My poor lights. Merry bloody Christmas.

The greatest compromise of my lack of belief had me in London two weeks ago in a Mrs Santa mini-dress, go-go dancing on stage with glee to the words "Glory to the newborn king!" Not only was it a re-arrangement, but I was publicly rejoicing the birth of this Jesus character whom I vocally disbelieve in! But since the band performing the song was Supergrass, the punk version was awesome and I got to dance my little heart out like I always dreamed. Glory to the newborn king indeed for getting me involved in that whole scene!

That's me on the right

Shitty video of the event, but that's all I have. I'm on the right

So thank-you Jesus or your creators for this rolicking good time of year. The homeless and other less fortunate also thank you for giving them one month a year where people remember to care about them.

Merry Christmas!

The most wonderfully corrupt Christmas scene I've ever witnessed

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