12/02/2022 “Christmas Brainwashing”   Leave a comment

I’m not sure how everyone else was raised to celebrate Christmas but for me it entailed much more religion than anything else. My late Mother was Catholic through-and-through which translated into sending religious Christmas cards, attending midnight masses, and donating time to local organizations involved with decorating town areas. Being a kid, I was unceremoniously volunteered to help with almost everything she did whether I liked it or not.

As we age things tend to change a little and my approach to Christmas certainly did.  I was never all that interested in the religious portion of Christmas, but I went begrudgingly along just to please my mom until I reached the ripe old age of 13. Then I became what some people might call, difficult.  I must have been way ahead of my time if what I’ve learned in recent years is any indication.

A few years ago, my three-year-old grandson came to make his annual Christmas visit. It was the first time he’d actually seen our decorated tree and all the trimmings. We’d been very busy wrapping gifts and there was a pile of them under the tree. I was sitting on the floor next to him when he quietly whispered to me “Are those our prizes?” I told him they were presents for everyone brought here a little early by a busy Santa. He gave me a long sideways glance while he thought about what I’d said. He must have decided Santa was still a real possibility, so the conversation turned right back around to the presents under the tree. I was again corrected by the little guy with “Grandpa those are prizes not presents” and “can we open just one.” I told him they couldn’t be opened until Christmas day but he insisted one of them had to be for him so we should open that one right now. Being chastised by a three-year-old takes some getting used to but I persevered and again refused his request.

Gifts and Presents are Really Prizes

My first thought was who put the word “prize” into his head. Neither my better-half nor I would do it and I’m certain his parents wouldn’t do it either. That leaves just his friends at the daycare center that he attends almost every day. That small herd of little people who have nothing better to do all day than to play, fight, wrestle, nap, and tell each other the facts of life as translated from what they’ve heard at home. Somewhere along the way someone slipped in the word “prizes”, and it seems to have stuck.

There was no mention of Jesus, his birthday, the Magi, church or religion. It’s taken less than two generations to wean the kids from religion at Christmas to a more secular and materialistic outlook. I suppose in another few years we’ll be calling Christmas “Prize Day”.  If you’re a good little boy/girl, you win a prize but if you’re a bad little girl/boy you’ll get one anyway. We wouldn’t want you to feel like a loser.

Having Christmas as a religious holiday gave me a fun and interesting childhood. It’s sad to see society steal away some of the youngster’s fantasies at such a young age. I’m not religious now but the memories I have of my family when I was young still make me happy. Christmas is a holiday for the little children and not so much for the adults. It took me a number of years before I made the decision for myself that Christmas wasn’t for me. Let’s let the tots have their fun, they’ll be plenty of time in the future for society to screw with their heads.

MERRY CHRISTMAS KIDS

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