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A Letter From Santa
Santa Claus addresses a reader's concern over the state of the world today
David Michael Weber (crossfire)     Print Article 
Published 2005-12-24 17:52 (KST)   
Shameless exploitation of Santa Claus er... Captain Santa in Tokyo
©2005 D.Weber
A letter to a local newspaper opinion section:

"Cancel Christmas!"

What a farce Christmas is! I really don't understand, how people will in all conscience be able to stand the hypocrisy. The orgy of commercialism is sickening when kids in war-torn countries are dying like so many flies. No Santa for them.

Look at the carols! Some of those will have to be suppressed this year. "Oh little town of Bethlehem how still we see thee lie". Right now it's, "Oh little town of Bethlehem how fast we see you fry". The violence in the Middle East where Christmas started is enough to turn even the most jaded of stomachs.

Christmas is about peace on Earth and goodwill to all men. And instead we spend this time like the rest of the year, busily slaughtering each other.

A beggar on the streets of Mexico City
©2005 D.Weber
I say we cancel Christmas all together. We don't follow it anyway. Mass commercialization and violence has killed any remaining sentiments that Christmas ever had so why not just give it up all together and be done with it. Who needs Christmas anyhow? Bah, humbug, indeed!

Not merrily yours,
A disillusioned, middle-aged intellectual

Response from a Jolly Reader

Santa Claus Reading a letter by Rockwell
©2005 N.Rockwell
"Dear Jill:

I'm sorry to hear you don't like Christmas anymore. Is it because I never sent you that pony you wanted? If I delivered every pony every girl ever asked for, my reindeers would have broken their backs long ago from hauling the sleigh; plus, there would be pony poop all the way from here to Timbuktu. I did send you a 'My Pretty Pony' to try to make up for it.

And as I recall you used to leave some stale cookies and sour milk out for me so we'll call the pony business even.

Jilly, Christmas isn't about commercials, though they do make some whoppers! It's that special time of year to gather with your family. They won't always be around forever. Family members come into this world one at a time and leave one at a time; each entry and departure marked with joy and sadness.

Pilgrims carrying a cross along the Via Del Rosa in Jerusalem
©2005 D.Weber
It's times like Christmas when we remember the good times and the bad, the funny things and the sad, the time when your sibling almost burned down the house with matches (I'm going out on a limb here but don't many families have pyromaniac siblings?), the time you or your sibling went on their very first date with a member of the opposite sex or the same, the time you wrecked your parents' car, the time you and your family went on that cross-country killing spree (OK, maybe that wasn't you but I'm sure it was someone in your neighborhood.)

Hanukkah celebration
©2005 D.Weber
Anyway, Pumpkin, what I'm driving at is just ignore the rampant commercialism. Greedy corporates and marketers would sell their own mothers for a profit (and some have). I've been leaving lumps of coal in their stockings for years but recently I switched to lumps of oatmeal because some of them were burning the coal for fossil fuels and polluting the atmosphere. They're not worth your worry.

And remember: just because the holidays are swamped with crass commercialism that doesn't demean them or the spirit behind them. You don't see Jolly Old Saint Nick getting upset about his image being used to promote Coca-Cola products and not getting a nickel in royalties now do you?

Christmas, Ramadan, Hanukkah, etc., are just window-dressings for the inner workings of the human spirit trying to express itself. These rituals span the centuries and the continents and give us glimpses into the deep well of our own collective unconsciousness (sorry, Mrs. Claus gave me Joseph Campbell's "The Power of Myth" last Christmas. He kind of rubs off on an elf.)

Copy of a an Ancient Egyptian stella depicting agelessness of conflict
©2005 D.Weber
The only thing that truly matters this Christmas or any Christmas is your friends and family. There will always be wars, poverty, and cruelty I'm afraid as long as mankind exists. Maybe one day there won't be, Pumpkin, but till then keep your mind on what is really important and closest to your heart."

Yours Truly,
Santa Claus


Santa on Casual Day
©2005 D.Weber
©2005 OhmyNews
A native Tennesseean, David M. Weber is currently at the grammatical grindstone cranking out gerunds, dangling modifiers and perfecting tenses as an English teacher in Japan. In his travels, he has hiked the Inca Trail, been mugged in Mexico City, broke his leg in Switzerland, attempted to bike through Mexico and failed, climbed Pyramids in Egypt and Mexico, drank great quantities of beer at Oktoberfest and gambled at Monte Carlo.
Other articles by reporter David Michael Weber

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