//Why I Didn’t Do Xmas This Year

Why I Didn’t Do Xmas This Year

Image result for ebenezer scroogeNo, it’s not because I’m Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist or Confucian. I’m a French-Irish ex-Catholic. And, no, it’s not because of any need to ‘put Christ back into Christ-mas. (There’s no doubt in my mind that if Jesus had any say in the matter, he’d opt out of not only doing Christmas, but being Christmas, out of sheer embarrassment.)

I didn’t do Christmas this year because, at 75, it finally occurred to me that Christmas fits the definition of insanity to a T – doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

Think about it. Isn’t this what most of us have been doing all these years – entering into the Christmas madness every year (a little earlier each time) expecting that, this time it’s going to be different? This year, by golly, we’re going to be transformed into giddy, giggly fools, just like ol’ Ebenezer himself.

Let’s face it. Christmas is a disaster. No, it’s full-blown horror. It reminds us how unhappy we all really are. It reminds us how superficial our relationships really are. It reminds us how poor we really are. It reminds us how much we hate being manipulated. It reminds us how much we dislike feeling guilty. It reminds us how much we hate confronting those red kettles parked outside every supermarket on the planet.

OK, the good news. I think I’ve got a way I can be lured back to ‘the Christmas Spirit’ and maybe bring you with me. Here it is: We hold a national Secret Santa Lottery. We put all 313,731,079 of our names, including those of all those undocumented terrorists and rapists the Republicans hate so much, in a very large hat, and then we enlist a cadre of humble Hollywood celebrities to draw names on everyone’s behalf. The name drawn on your behalf is the only person you have to gift. What’s more, you don’t have to buy anything. In fact, you can’t. It’s against the rules. What you have to do is you have to make something. Yep, that’s right. You have to make something with your own hands. Your own heart. Your own soul. And then you have to send it to the giftee (by UPS, because the post Office is soon going to be out of business) with no return address. That’s it. That’s the new (old) Christmas.

Are you in?


2019-02-02T16:19:35+00:00February 2nd, 2019|Uncategorized|6 Comments


  1. Michael Holmes February 6, 2019 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    I’m with you, Josh. Sure, we buy into selective parts of Other Peoples’ Idea of Christmas. But it’s our own parts that make me a Christmas-lover. Without that, I think living up (or down) to someone else’s idealized version would seem pretty fabricated. Make it your own and it’s just what you want and need.

  2. Barry Cook February 2, 2019 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    I was raised in a Jewish family in a majority Catholic city. We celebrated Hanukah and Christmas (if only they had Kwanzaa in those days) – because it was fun. We didn’t give or receive lavish presents, because we weren’t well-off or in debt. But my parents scattered the token gifts in hiding places throughout the small apartment and each wrapped present was topped with a 3×5 index card on which was typed a clue (in verse) about the location of the next gift. Every year, new hiding spots, new clues, new verses. As a result, I still have positive associations to the holiday – in spite of the commercialization and obligations that have become linked to it.

  3. Matt Fitzgerald February 2, 2019 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    The first part of this post put me in a deep depression, but I really like your idea for a new and improved Christmas.

    I’ve always been more of a Thanksgiving guy anyway.

  4. Josh February 2, 2019 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    I have very fond memories of the Christmas traditions we had as a family, especially as the three of us Fitz boys got a little older. I still loved getting presents, but what I remember most was being together as a family– decorating the tree, reciting my silly childhood poem, going the ever wonderful Christmas Revels in Cambridge with Dori, the endless interesting conversations, and oh boy, the food. I loved it. I still do. I never understood why people complain about Christmas, why it never seemed to occur to them that they could make it their own thing, which is what I believe we did.

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