copyright © 2006 Jeff Goode

Why I hate Xmas

by Jeff Goode

copyright © 2006

People ask me why I hate Xmas.

I don’t hate Xmas.
I love Xmas.
It’s the best time of the year.
People are nicer to each other for no reason.
They’re kind to strangers and generous to foreigners for no reason.
Crime goes down.
And it’s not because of stiffer sentencing during Xmas season
Or because they saw a statue of the 10 commandments in one of their public buildings that reminded them not to be a dick.
It’s not because of peer pressure or fear of reprisals from pro-Xmas factions if they don’t comply.
And it’s not because God pumps more lithium into the atmosphere, magically elevating the mood of everyone on Earth because he wants us all to have fun at his party.

We do it because we all like the idea, and we’re happy to do our part.

We print the date on our calendars, and with no further planning or encouragement, each year for a few magical weeks, everything gets nicer, with no explanation.

And then a couple days after it’s over, we go back to treating each other as shitty as ever.

That’s why I hate Xmas.

Because it reminds me how bad things are the other 364 days of the year.
And how little it would take to change that.

The whole rest of the year we spend embroiled in conflicts and controversies and scandals that we keep telling ourselves have no real solution. And we keep telling ourselves how tough it is and how hard it is and how hard and how tough it would be to solve our problems. Until we actually believe it.

But something happened on December 25th many years ago. That proved that that attitude is the biggest lie on earth. On December 25th ...1914 — in the middle of World War I — British and German soldiers spontaneously came out of their trenches on Xmas day and exchanged chocolates and cigars and played soccer and celebrated Xmas together.

And this wasn’t some little fake war like the police action in Iraq, or the ongoing smattering of morons taking potshots at each other in the Gaza Strip. This was a full-on full-fledged full-scale hot war. A World War with all its incredibly complex and completely unsolvable geo-political machinations.
And it took place on a battlefield between men who had killed your best friends yesterday, and who would be back to kill you tomorrow.

And just like that — (SNAPS FINGERS) — World peace.
Just because they wanted to.

Our human potential is incredible.
We can do anything we want if we put our minds to it.
We can stop a war.
We can go to the moon.
We can cure disease.
We can split things we can’t even see.
Nothing is beyond us.
Apartheid? Generations of institutionalized racism that can never be — (SNAP)
The Cold War? The two most powerful super powers mustering the forces of every nation on earth in a conflict with no possible outcome except inevitable nuclear annihilation — (SNAP) — Berlin Wall, it’s gone.

Nothing is impossible for us.
We can end Racism TOMORROW
We can have World Peace WHENEVER WE WANT IT.
Global Warming, Hah! Two months, tops.
We can solve any problem, if we put our minds to it.

But we don’t do it, because… we just don’t feel like it.
Because NOT solving a problem is easier than solving it.
Not much easier. But it is easier.
Staying the course is fuck of a lot easier than coming up with a new plan.

And so what if NOT solving a problem only leads to bigger and bigger problems?
"Hey, this chair is comfortable, I’m not getting out of it."

There is a science experiment involving a frog that any sadistic schoolboy can perform in the privacy of your own kitchen:
You get a pot of boiling water. And throw a frog in it.
And that frog will immediately leap out of it.
But if you take the very same frog.
And put it in a pot of nice luke warm water.
And set him gently on the stove and slowly raise the temperature, little by little.
That frog will stay right where it is and let you boil it to death.

11 months out of the year we simmer and boil ourselves in our own troubles
then at Xmas time we turn off the stove and jump out of the pot and dance around the kitchen like it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

And the next day we climb back into the pot and turn the stove back up on high until next year.

And people ask me why I hate Christmas.


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