Well, folks, the Christmas season is truly upon us. How do I know? Well, when the parking lot at your local mall starts to resemble the scene before a stadium-packed Dead show and the advent calendar has only a couple of unopened doors (behind which may lay only a vacant repository vanquished by impatient, candy-addicted parents), you know the days are drawing near. Often, I find myself wishing for the full spirit of nostalgia for Christmases past to come wash over me, leaving me basking in the glow of an unattainable, ephemeral bliss. Oh, how I yearn for those simpler times. But then I am reminded of just how utter bullshit that really is. Not for me, personally- I’m still as sappy as a Vermont Maple Tree. But the world itself just seems to miss the point.
Far be it from me, a half-Jew wannabe, to lecture all the rest of you on the meaning of Christmas, but sometimes I feel like I should. And yes, I get it that Jesus is the reason for the season, but I don’t think you have to be a Bible-thumping zealot to appreciate the spirit of the holiday and glean something impactful from the message Jesus was trying to convey to us. In fact, I sometimes think that the it is the less “Jesusy” amongst us that actually dig on what he was truly saying. My experience suggests that the more devout someone claims to be, the more douchebaggy they often turn out to be, and if there’s one thing Jesus wasn’t, it’s a douche.
I may not be a Christian in the sense of the religious belief that Jesus was any more the child of God than you, or me, or dare I say, Machine Gun Kelly, but I do very much believe in what he had to say. So much so that I do get pissed off when I see people who purport to be Christian espousing shit that I damn well know Jesus would never say. And so, I bring you this year’s version of Jesus’s Christmas Wish List in the hopes that your season will be filled with a reason, and not just a manger where people celebrate and exalt a prophet that no one actually listens to:
My fellow Brothers and Sisters,
In honor of my birthday this year, I ask that you all come together and grant me the following:
Would you all please stop hating on the Jews? You realize I was one, right? And please stop listening to Kanye West (or whatever he is calling himself these days) and Alex Jones. The Holocaust happened, people. Christ, you believe in my existence from 2000 years ago without a single shred of physical evidence, but you somehow question a mass genocide perpetrated by a German people who seem obsessed with documenting just about everything? They kept lists, for crying out loud. It isn’t that hard, folks.
And while we are at it, could you please stop using my name to spew hatred at those who may be different than you? I said to love everybody, not just those who share your views on gender identity and sexuality. I don’t know what Bible you are reading, but I was pretty clear on this in Matthew, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven”? Yeah, that was me telling you to love all people. Our LGBTQ brothers and sisters (or non-binary folks) are not the enemy of my gospel. You are. They are following the path to love, a path that leads to God. By denying them the right to be who they are, free of the stones you would hurl upon them, you are following the path to hate, the dark side if you will. Shoot, didn’t you learn anything from Darth Vader’s descent into the dark side?
So stop using the term “woke” with negative connotation. You know who was “woke”? Me, bitches. In fact, I am the Woke OG, dammit. You know what I hear every time you use that word so derisively? Tolerant, loving, embracing, enlightened. You know, all the things I stand for. As compared to Ron Desantis who seems intent on bringing me into his fight with a cartoon mouse over the soul of a religion he clearly fails to grasp.
Which brings me to my next point- please stop supporting far-right nut jobs who say they stand with me but trounce on every value I ever lived for. Remember that part about “Love thy neighbor”? Well, it wasn’t followed by, “Unless he steps foot on your lawn, then blow him away with an AR-15”. I know guns weren’t around in my time, but what in all my teachings of love and shared humanity gave you the idea that I supported gun ownership? Or tax cuts for the wealthy? I told you to help your brothers and sisters, not deny them a decent living or health care so that you could keep more of your money. Many Republicans these days like go around acting like capitalism is some kind of gift handed down to humans and blessed by God himself. Hardly. The idea of hoarding more than your fair share of the economic pie at the expense of everyone else is completely antithetical to everything I ever taught, such as in Hebrews when I said, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” The right seems so intent on using me to justify their judgment of others, even though in Matthew I specifically said, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Um, I hate to tell you this evangelical “Christians”, but your boy Jesus here, if you ever bothered to listen to a damn thing I had to say, is clearly a Democrat, and ain’t one of y’alls getting to sit next to me at the heaven picnic once you get here.
So what I’m really trying to say, folks, is if you really want to celebrate me and wish me a happy birthday is go love one another- not just the people you like, but even those you don’t. Because that, after all, is what I would do. Many of you may piss me off sometimes, especially that Alex Jones fella, but I love all of you nonetheless. And that, my friends, is what the true spirit of Christmas, or whatever anyone wants to call it, is all about.
-Christ out, y’all
As to me, my wish is for all of you to have a very Happy Holiday Season, no matter what or how you celebrate! TRUTH will be off next week in honor of the season, but will be back the first Thursday of 2023 fired up and ready to go!
Steven Craig is the author of the best-selling novel WAITING FOR TODAY, as well as numerous published poems, short stories, and dramatic works. Read his blog TRUTH: In 1000 Words or Less every THURSDAY at www.waitingfortoday.com