Maxed Out 

An early start on a Christmas wish list

Dear Santa:

Forgive me if my letter seems particularly early this year. When I saw Second Cup’s ads in the newspapers encouraging people to order their holiday gift baskets I thought I’d waited too long. Then I realized it was only Labour Day. Whatever happened to waiting until summer was at least over before cranking up the greed machine? How can you think Christmas while you’re salving the last sunburn of the year? Oh well, maybe this little display of untimely avarice will move them closer to Starbucks as the coffee people love to hate.

More pragmatically though, I wanted to write early because I figured if you’ve been keeping tabs on all the weirdness going on you’ll be getting an early start yourself. I’m not sure you can do it all in one night this year Ol’ Boy. It may take the better part of December just to clear security and customs when you fly into the USofA. And don’t even think of including toy guns in this year’s bag. Ditto razor blades though why anyone would want razor blades for Christmas is beyond me. They’re so Hallowe’en.

If my list seems long this year forgive me. Considering how little of it you can actually deliver I’m sure it won’t place any undue burden on you and the elves.

Might as well start off with the biggie. For most of my life I’ve considered you to be the raison d’être of the holiday. Don’t blush Nick, you know it’s true. So what I’d really like this year is once and for all to take Christ out of Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to pick on Christ or even Christianity; I’m an equal opportunity agnostic. But with so much evil being wrongly done – and let’s not even get into historical atrocities – in His name, be it God, new testament or old, or Allah, or Vishnu or whatever, the world would be a demonstrably better place if we left whomever we believe in to our hearts, not our politics. Think of it as a small, unilateral step towards peace.

Now I’m sure the most reverend Jerry Falwell and his sidekick Pat Robertson will vehemently object to this but hey, I haven’t forgotten them. Please tuck half a brain in your bag for them to share. It’s a whole lot more than either of them seem to have. They think what happened last week in New York was God’s way of punishing the USofA for becoming a secular, homo-toleratin’, feminist bra-burnin’, civil liberties kind of place instead of the intolerant, fundamentalist Christian dogma one they’d prefer. And please bring all the people who think they’re right one of those high-powered Petzl headlamps. It just has to be really hard for them to see much with their heads so far up their butts.

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