Thank you for merged cross cultural religious holiday concepts


I was told by a friend about an ironic holiday window display in Japan.

The traditional manger scene depicted The Seven Dwarfs as the Wise Men.

In the background hung a crucifix with one minor change.

There, on the cross that we have all come to recognize, was not the revered suffering Christ but, instead, it was Santa Claus hanging in all his glory, paying for the sins of Humanity.

Apparently there has been a global misunderstanding in regard to our intentions when celebrating the birth of Baby Jesus.

Perhaps it was not a misunderstanding at all.

I mean, Jesus is just all right with me but Saint Nick, on the other hand, really exacerbates my Seasonal Affect Disorder.

All I wanted was a set of warm, comfy sheets.

So it was with trepidation that I braved the crowded parking lot of one local franchise. They promised the lowest prices ever found outside a third world country— where most of the merchandise is manufactured.

The place was a shambles.

There were large people stepping over clothing, perfume gift sets, and unnecessary baubles and trinkets to reach racks where things were hanging in disarray. They rifled through them with savage gift-getting intentions.

These people were scary. I felt my stomach tighten as I noticed four lines of humans holding stuff that reached from the cash registers to the back of the store.

My instinct was to run away, forget the sheets, —anything to escape the chaos.

I looked for a cart to push my way through the crowd. They were all in use, bearing the weight of hopeful presents and Fa La Las that would be returned to this exact location on December 26th.

Without a cart to protect me, I squeezed down the ever-shrinking aisles to the linen department to forage for sheets.

My friend, who believes in Christmas because she has children, was off to the area of picture frames, books and journals.

She drove to this place so that I could remain calm in the parking lot but abandoned me when the true battlefield became obvious.

I found a set of lavender sheets that had been torn open by some ravaging feminine hand—probably a texture freak that needed to know what they would feel like before she bought them.

I checked to make sure the whole set was in tact while thinking about how I would wash them so they’d be soft and smell good as I drifted to sleep without the nuisance of sugarplum dreams.

With my sheets tucked under my arm, I bumped back down the  aisles searching for my friend, distracted all the way by things I would never need and hypnotized by clearance racks.

After locating my friend with a special whistle that only she could recognize, we headed to the front of the store to get in a line,  then inched backward to take our proper waiting place.

It was a 40-minute wait, standing with countless others in an eternal moment, observing  merchandise that had previously been a blur when we focused solely on what we came to buy.

In our standing still, this consumer-enticing world became a myriad of possible purchases.

There was fondled, discarded merchandise in bins at the front where people had changed their minds before reaching the cashier.

There were shelves of Christmas propaganda in the form of lovely decorations. Rows of red and green items, glittery candles, wallets for Dad, special lotions for Grandma’s paper thin skin, glass beaded jewelry for Sissy and a miniature telescope for Bubba—all pulling at me.

Even though I know of no Sissies or Bubbas in my reality, these things forced me to pick them up and ask my friend “Do we need this?”

She’s a patient woman having had kids and all. “No,” she gently repeated eleven times as I intermittently held up the future land fill fodder.

I continued looking around, shifting from one foot to the other so my back wouldn’t give out under the weight of the wait.

Suddenly, I had an epiphany which I kept to myself considering I was surrounded by frustrated gift givers and desperately exhausted Shop-because-you-have to-or-nobody-will-love-you-because-you’re-selfish-at-Christmas consumers.

This epiphany was reflected to me through the eyes of a Santa Claus statue with arms outstretched on a lower shelf next to an aluminum pine tree.

I realized the Japanese were on to something with the Santa Crucifixion. It was a prophetic vision of the American need to practice our true religion.

Santa Claus really does exemplify our sins. He truly is the bearer of our spiritually vacant pain. Santa is the personification of our material indulgences.

So I say crucify the fat bastard with his little alcoholic red nose and his rosascia from high blood pressure due to eating cookies and dairy. I say Santa is a Bacchanalian pervert, always shouting out for whores three at a time, “Ho, Ho, Ho!”

I say nail his little black boots to the cross and his sooty little mittens too. Let him die without a sip of milk so that we all may live and be free of our consumer sin.



~ by leakelley on December 18, 2013.

2 Responses to “Thank you for merged cross cultural religious holiday concepts”

  1. Santa never brought me anything I wanted, so I hate him. And when he came to my house his reindeer bit me when I tried to pet them. Even worse, the nasty elves threw icy snowballs at me.

    I prefer the Tooth Fairy to Santa Claus, ’cause after aunt Petunia put the quarter under my pillow I could steal it & tell her the Fairy took it.

  2. OMG, I love this post. I loved it when I first read it, and it deserves all the attention it can get, especially now. It took me back, though, and I forgot to brace myself for the memories. Actually, there is no bracing myself for the memories. No matter how hard I try, I can’t stop them nor do I want to, and I can’t stop my reaction to them, which is usually…crying. So, I cried. Then, the last paragraph made me laugh, just like it did the first time I read this piece. Thanks for the laugh this morning, LeaKel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: