The real meaning of Christmas

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A man dressed as Santa Claus relieves himself during the Santacon event in London, Britain, on Dec. 10, 2016.  Photo courtesy of Reuters/Peter Nicholls

A man dressed as Santa Claus relieves himself during the Santacon event in London, Britain, on Dec. 10, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Peter Nicholls

(RNS)  Give yourself a Christmas off and skip your biannual pilgrimage to church. You got enough sleep last night.There is a reason for the season, and it’s not what you think.

Christmas is about consumerism. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, “strong Christmas tree sales are the latest economical signal showing upbeat consumer confidence.” Go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ gave a boost to stock prices.

Christmas is about drinking. 

The Wall Street Journal also reports “The U.S. is facing an eggnog deficit.” It’s not because we like drinks with eggs in them.

Christmas is about fighting with family.

The self-help website WikiHow has a step-by-step guide for surviving family, including instructions on how to pull yourself away when things get heated.

Take a breather. If you feel like it’s all too much, take time out. When one side of the family starts ganging up in what they feel is a good-natured session of teasing, simply excuse yourself and dash off to another room for a break. You can have a cry, write furiously on your Facebook page or simply do some deep breathing.

But, let’s face it. We like to fight with our families. It’s half the reason we go home in the first place. Passive-aggressive text messages all year can only vent so much steam. Combine copious amounts of alcohol with unwanted family time and you end up with a recipe to create incidents you won’t discuss again for another year. Get ready for some boozy brawls with distant cousins.

Christmas is about traveling at same time as everyone else. 

I love meeting people, especially in long lines at the airlines’ rebooking counter. What makes the last week of December a more desirable time to travel than the last week of January? The beaches are empty in late January.

Christmas is about receiving gifts you don’t want.

If you’re still reading this, it’s probably because you’re trying to get away from your family. Consider that my gift to you, my loyal Literalist readers. Merry Christmas!