December 24, 2003

Merry Christmas, from Schlock Mercenary

Lately I've been thinking a lot about what Christmas means to me. One of the more pressing thoughts was that although 10,000 of you out there like to read Schlock Mercenary and therefore agree with me about how much fun it is, a rather smaller number of you actually agree with me on the meaning of Christmas.

Take Darren, for instance: Darren Bleuel reads Schlock Mercenary, and he created his own winter holiday out of protest for lack of agnostic representation at this time of year. I'd say his thoughts on Christmas and my thoughts on Christmas are more than 90% out of alignment.

Even within the Christmas-celebrating crowd there are more than a few of you whose closely-cherished beliefs or treasured traditions will differ from mine. Heck, even within the Mormon community some of my Christmas practices get scowled at. You should have seen the furrowed brows when I told my Sunday School class that my kids know that Santa Claus is just a name you use when you don't want someone to know who gave them the present.

It occurred to me, as I was ruminating upon the cultural cud of diversity, that perhaps I should go to more trouble in the entry to wish my readers a Happy Chanukah, or Festive Kwanzaa. Oh, and Ramadan... I've got a co-worker who can remind me when that is. That one's tough, the way it moves around with respect to the Gregorian calendar. The more I thought about it the more I realized that I'm only barely enlightened enough to realize how ignorant I am of other cultures, societies, belief systems, and traditions.

Worse yet, the category I most closely fit into is "rich, white, english-speaking males." If anybody out there is more deserving of the Planet Earth Award for Societal Ignorance To The Point Of Oppression, it's us.

By this point in my mental meanderings I'd all but despaired of ever making everyone happy when I write stuff. Then I had an illuminating thought which led me on to simple truth, much like the star in the east that led the Magi to Mary's door.

I can't make everyone happy when I write stuff.

Well, duh.

I gave a Christmas present to my Ramadan-celebrating muslim friend at work, along with the apology, "Dude, I know you don't celebrate Christmas, but this is for you."

He responded with what I believe to be sage wisdom: "I don't celebrate Christmas, but I do accept Christmas presents. Thank you."

Merry Christmas everybody.