A Godless Xmas
I’m not a fan of math. It’s never been my forte. I don’t understand how simply by moving an x from one side of an equation to another, that x could amount to anything. (God knows I’ve moved some exes around a bit and well, for the sake of keeping peace in the family, lets just say that, for me, exes only made the problem more difficult).
You can probably imagine how ballistic I can be when I see a “Merry Xmas.. My mouth starts to salivate (in a bad way making me want to gather up a wad of saliva like a camel would do and spit at an unsuspecting, innocent observer). Sweat runs down my brow and my heart develops palpitations. Why the hell did someone go and put math in Christmas? Isn’t there enough stress in the holiday season without creating another problem to solve?
Years ago, I was told that once I passed algebra in high school, I would not have much use for higher math. But everywhere I turn, people are still trying to find the solution to the x. Merry Xmas. If X = Christ (God) and God = Love, then X = God+Love, ahhh – simple right? But what happens when people try to quantify it?
Take the problem 1X(God) + 4t(terrorist) + 4b(bullies) – 8P(picketing Westboros) = 12 virgins dancing, 11 lords weeping, six geese laying, five golden rings, four calling girls, three French maids, two fertile Loves and 1 happily forever after heaven. It often puzzles me how some people can arrive at X=God by totally screwing up the whole equation.
My Christmas this year was spent sleeping in, doing some cleaning around the house, taking a long walk on a beautiful crisp sunny day and watching a movie, just what you would probably imagine any atheist doing on the Christian holiday. You might assume if I was on an American Airlines plane, I would have a major attitude and scream at anyone that dares to wish me a Merry Christmas and many of you would applaud loudly as I exited the plane after the airline crew demanded I leave.
Wrong! Call me a hypocrite, but I love Christmas! It’s really my favorite time of year, if you take out the over commercialized must buys if you really love someone, extra 15 lbs of sugar around the abdomen (which are just an added bonus) and worrying about offending someone if you say Merry Christmas.
If I don’t believe in God, why should I celebrate the birth of his son, you might ask? I could go into a long rant about the origins of Christmas, pagan rituals and gods, solstice, Roman Saturnalia and yada yada yada Christmas traditions, but I won’t get into that discussion because it’s only partly relevant. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s very relevant, but not what I really want to focus on.
A couple of the kids put up lights on the house, my husband and I decorated a tree with ornaments and baked all kinds of holiday goodies, while listening to Bing Cosby duet out with David Bowie in a Peace on Earth/Drummer Boy rendition, while the Trans Siberian Orchestra explained how “we can try to make this whole Christmas thing last by helping another.” In order to accommodate the kids, in-laws, ex-laws and outlaws, however, we celebrated our Christmas last Sunday.
The other day, while listening to my Christmas music after watching the news, I pondered the world and how it could be both horrible and wonderful at the same time. I turned to the one I always turn to whenever I have questions, the guide that helps me find my way when I’m lost, is all knowing, and never wrong. I unlocked my iphone and said, “Siri, find me world peace.” I waited as she did a search and I thought for a minute I might have lost connection with her because it took forever for her to finally come up with the answer. When at last she responded, I was both disappointed and saddened with what she said. “I can’t find world peace anywhere.”
I don’t believe in God, but I do believe in love, the kind of love where, though people may have different beliefs, we can accept each other for the way we each choose to see things. We don’t have to fight over what’s right or who’s right, just treat each other right. Maybe then we can find bits of peaces and together solve the Xmas equation.