Don't Tell Me How To Celebrate Christmas

My friend's brother just posted this picture to Instagram. It's a sign currently on his front porch.

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 3.22.35 PM

I don't understand why it's any of his business how I celebrate Christmas. Why can't he celebrate Christmas his way with his family, friends and church without interfering with how anyone else celebrates this holiday. Why does he care and what business of his is it?

There is no Christ in my Christmas. The believers in my family have Santa, and I have an excuse to see friends and family, drink eggnog and consume vast amounts of chocolate. That's how I celebrate Christmas, and because the kids get a couple of weeks off, I'm taking off some time to hang with them.

Don't tell me what I'm doing is wrong and I promise not to erect a sign on my lawn chastising you for being an adult who believes in fairytales.


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Comments (48 - click here to join in!)

Ryan G / hobogauntlet.blogspot.ca

As I alluded to in a related post recently, this is precisely the problem with these folks.

For them, spouting this kinds of horseshit is normal..the status quo..as common as a douchebag writing a screenplay in a starbucks.

Then, when people rightfully say they'd rather not be told how to live their lives, we're seen by them as troublemakers...heretics. What can be so wrong with keeping Christ in Christmas, they'll say.

You know what I say? Blow it out your ass. And Merry Christmas!

December 18, 2014 @ 8:43 AM

Irv

I'm not Argie when it comes to religion, but I think "Christ" left Christmas long ago. Chris Rock said it best in his SNL monologue. "Jesus is the least materialistic person there is".

The fact is the current version of Christmas is actually an abomination to Christ.

I stopped celebrating Christmas years ago. I've bought a few gifts, but only for the children of a two friends (couple) who are very poor & simply couldn't afford it. Everyone needs Santa Claus. You should all join me. Quit Christmas. During the holiday season, get in your car with hot coffee, sandwiches, dry socks, blankets and makeup kits. Drive around until you see homeless people or street prostitutes. Stop and give them a gift and tell them someone cares about you. Hint: A very nice gift to a street prostitute or homeless woman is a makeup kit. Every woman likes to feel pretty.

December 18, 2014 @ 8:56 AM

this guest

christmas makes jesus
sick
to his resurrected
stomach

December 18, 2014 @ 8:57 AM

Ryan G / hobogauntlet.blogspot.ca

@Irv. You're so right, but I couldn't help thinking it would be funny to drive around and give the makeup to the homeless men and withhold the blankets until they put it on for you.

I'm so going to hell. oh wait..hell doesn't exist..all good.

December 18, 2014 @ 8:59 AM

this guest

" Hi, I'm Tony.
Just a regular guy.
An accountant at Land Mines, Inc.
My family and I believe
in the traditional Christmas."


December 18, 2014 @ 9:00 AM

this guest

Sorry.
that was strident.
like my favourite comic Bill Hicks
sort of strident.
Pointing out hyprocrisy
and ridiculousness.

After all, Jesus christ was the guy
who drove the money lenders
out of the temple with a rope (whip)

Sentimentalism divorced from reality
wasn't his thing.

But -
one man's pirate hook
is another man's
question mark, so...

In the spirit of the season...

For everybody who does
enjoy the tree and family and
good times and has faith in Jesus
I say 'Merry Christmas' to you.

December 18, 2014 @ 9:06 AM

Lorne

Maybe I should put up a sign.

"Keep the Melanin
In Christs' Skin!"

December 18, 2014 @ 9:14 AM

Teena in Toronto

Our Christmas sounds like yours.

We're not religious but I respect those who are as long as they don't try to ram it down my throat.

December 18, 2014 @ 9:40 AM

GUNTer

OMFG Lorne i just died laughing. thanks. ahhahahrrrrrrrr

December 18, 2014 @ 9:48 AM

Irv

Not to start a fight Mike, but technically referring to someone who ridicules those who believe Jesus as a fairytale..on a blog..is to some the same as putting up this sign. You might reply "Well do not read this blog". And the sign holder guy might say "well don't read the sign".

Rather than point out that Jesus "is a fairytale", I'd recommend you point out the hypocrisy of the holiday that is technically the birthday of Jesus (thought it's really in April, like me). Have the person explain how "Christ" is in Christmas and then have them compare their actions at Christmas to that of Jesus himself.

I've always wanted to make a parody commercial that shows Jesus at a shopping mall, in a BMW, swearing because he can't find a spot to park. Then him getting angry at the mall, pushing through lines, spending copious amounts of money on credit cards, yelling at clerks, etc. All the while "So This is Christmas" from John Lennon plays.

December 18, 2014 @ 9:49 AM

this guest

Fairytales are actually
important
texts and revelations
for the inner psyche

existing for a mysterious
reason

December 18, 2014 @ 9:52 AM

Ryan G / hobogauntlet.blogspot.ca

@this guest. I really enjoy your comments. They're like flowery little bits of wisdom with sharp pointy ends. Keep 'em coming.

December 18, 2014 @ 9:55 AM

this guest

thank you Ryan
I'll keep reaching into
my heart of
thorns.

:-)

Enjoy your writing also!

December 18, 2014 @ 9:59 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Irv

The difference is two-fold:

1. This entry is a direct response to the sign. This entry does not exist without the sign being erected first.

2. It's effortless to stop reading this blog (yes, you predicted this response). People actually have to walk by this sign when walking public streets to get to work, school, shopping, etc.

My point is, I believe the Christmas story is fiction. But I'm A-OK with others celebrating it as if it's fact. I would never interfere with that.

December 18, 2014 @ 10:07 AM

Al Reda

@Irv

In Mike's defence, we come here to read his opinions on things. This exists for exactly that.

A sign on your lawn is a very different kind of invasive.

December 18, 2014 @ 10:11 AM

Tiny Montgomery

In the spirit of the near east during this season: https://soundcloud.com/stefconner/the-flood-preview

December 18, 2014 @ 10:11 AM

headsup

@Irv
Indeed, some people have porch signs, while others have blogs, both to spout their feelings of intolerance towards the "other."

In a week where religious extremists have shot a school full of children and terrorized innocent coffee shop patrons, a few words on a sign are small potatos. Freedom of expression and freedom of speech are two things we have to endure to live in this country. Life is tough, isn't it?

December 18, 2014 @ 10:11 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@headsup

By no means am I suggesting my friend's brother doesn't have the right to post that sign, or that he should be arrested for posting that sign.

He has every right to post that sign and I have every right to suggest it's none of his damn business how I celebrate Christmas.

December 18, 2014 @ 10:13 AM

Lynne

@Mike - Agree 100%.
@Lorne - Thanks for the laugh.
@ Ryan - I often feel that way about @this guest's comments. I would like to echo your praise of his sharp mind. Awesome.

And (I can't resist): Bah Humbug! This season can't end soon enough for me.

December 18, 2014 @ 10:19 AM

Lyle Lanley

Whoa... don't bring the horrific religious extremest terrorism of the past week into this. There's always a bigger fish.

December 18, 2014 @ 10:21 AM

McNulty

@ Lynne – I am going to be nitpicky. Bah! Humbug! Is actually two sentences. You aren’t bahhing the humbug. You say Bah! And then you say Humbug! So there.

@ Mike – I don’t put Christ in Christmas. But the sign doesn’t bother me. The owner’s sentiment could be many things but I really don’t care. I wouldn’t be bothered by it if it was next door to me. They aren’t telling you specifically how to celebrate. They are just suggesting you remember the reason “Christ” is in “Christmas”.

I am not religious. I have had issues with some religions and I am baffled why they say it is a God of love yet he slaughters millions of people who go against his word in the bible. The God as described in the bible seems like an abusive spouse. He’ll love and support you until he feels betrayed and then you pay dearly. But hey, I get the idea of it.

I still love Christmas and I wish everyone a Happy Christmas.

December 18, 2014 @ 10:38 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@McNulty

I respectfully disagree. This sign is telling me specifically how to celebrate Christmas. It's intended to tell me we're celebrating the birth of Jesus.

December 18, 2014 @ 10:40 AM

Irv


TM/Al Reda

The sign in question is posted on a man's front porch which is his property. Further, this is a country which respects freedom of speech (enshrined in the Charter no less).

Both the sign poster & Toronto Mike have the right to make their point heard. But, calling "Jesus" a fairy tale is as offensive to some people as the sign is to Toronto Mike. Mike, I believe you believe in the right to be gracious and extend rights for Muslims to practice their religion. Christians deserve that right too.

I'm sure Argie will dance with joy on this next comment, but I think sometimes what is referred to the "left" give more sway/leniency to those who worship Islam than those who worship the Christian "God"

December 18, 2014 @ 10:43 AM

Lynne

@McNulty ! ! !

(I just looked it up, it is actually Bah, humbug! - according to Wikipedia)

December 18, 2014 @ 10:53 AM

this guest

Jehovah *is* like an abusive spouse
Good analogy McNullty

My understanding of (the historical) Jehovah:
Originally 'He' was part of some triune local 'god'
over there, in some fertile field,
and 'His' supporters somehow, don't ask me how,
staged a corporate takeover.
Well, my it was a hostile takeover.

Now suddenly we have the Dick Cheney of deities
playing funeral dirges on American Bandstand.
I SAID SLAUGHTER THEM.
of course he fits in with the other 'male' gods.

@ Lynne:
thanks a million. You're a sharp cookie yourself. :- )


December 18, 2014 @ 10:53 AM

McNulty

Don't always trust the Wikis!

As quoted from the book :

Bah!'' said Scrooge, ``Humbug!''

He had so heated himself with rapid walking in the fog and frost, this nephew of Scrooge's, that he was all in a glow; his face was ruddy and handsome; his eyes sparkled, and his breath smoked again.

``Christmas a humbug, uncle!'' said Scrooge's nephew. ``You don't mean that, I am sure.''

``I do,'' said Scrooge. ``Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? what reason have you to be merry? You're poor enough.''

``Come, then,'' returned the nephew gaily. ``What right have you to be dismal? what reason have you to be morose? You're rich enough.''

Scrooge having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment, said, ``Bah!'' again; and followed it up with ``Humbug.''

December 18, 2014 @ 10:57 AM

Philly-Bob

@ Irv - nail on the head. Mike has every right to celebrate Christmas however he wishes, but calling Jesus a Fairytale is just a little too far. I'd rather see Mike use his rather sharp whit to point out the hypocrisy in modern Christmas, or in modern Christianity in general

ie. Bible makes exactly one reference to "man not laying with man as he does with woman" and the religious nut jobs say God hates Gays, but the eating meat on Fridays, cheating on your spouse, getting divorced, lying, stealing, and generally being an asshole all goes away the moment you sit in a little box and tell the priest you're really sorry...

Oh, and let's get a kickstarter going to have Irv's commercial made lol.

December 18, 2014 @ 11:00 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Philly-Bob

I believe the story is a fairytale in that it's fiction with as much evidence as the story of Humpty Dumpty or Rapunzel.

Since you clearly believe it's true, and you believe without a stitch of evidence, I can't fathom it would matter to you what I write on the subject.

December 18, 2014 @ 11:05 AM

Lynne

@McNulty - You beat me to it. I don't trust Wikipedia either. So after I found their questionable entry, I went to the trouble of downloading the book. And yes, the correct quote is: "Bah!" said Scrooge, "Humbug!" .

December 18, 2014 @ 11:09 AM

BJ

To each his own.

But yeah, those "keep christ in christmas" signs are pretty egotistical. I often wonder how Jews or Muslims feel about them.

December 18, 2014 @ 11:12 AM

McNulty

@ Mike

While we disagree on the sign, I don't get how your opinion on religion and your writings about religion are offensive.

December 18, 2014 @ 11:12 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@McNulty

Me neither.

@Everybody

Since we're now in the Christmas spirit, here are 10 great holiday songs: http://www.torontomike.com/christmas/

December 18, 2014 @ 11:15 AM

Philly-Bob

Because it's disrespectful Mike, simple as that. For someone who preaches tolerance of virtually every other identifiable group on the planet, you think you'd be a little more tolerant, and understand how calling our beliefs a fairytale would really upset some people.

You'd tear my head off if I said that being gay was a choice and not a biological imperative (please note I do not believe this, I'm just making a point). Is there evidence that proves it's biological??

You don't want to believe, don't, I've never once tried to change your mind on that.

I can't fathom why this sign bugged you enough to create a post over it, but you did.

December 18, 2014 @ 11:15 AM

Lynne

@this guest - Flattery appreciated, but not really deserved - not by a long shot. I do believe I know an exceptional mind when I encounter one - and yours fits the bill.

However, excluding the occasional punctuation mistake (ha!), I guess I'm not the dullest knife in the drawer. Now I must get back to my regularly scheduled nothing day.

December 18, 2014 @ 11:16 AM

Anonymous

I don't think a lot of Christian's understand how this is offensive to others. For them it serves both as a reminder of messaging around Christmas: love, peace, hope, goodwill and generosity to others based on a particular spiritual context. However, it's also a bit of trumpet blowing and chest thumping trying to say "hey, this is OUR holiday!" Like any religion there's a fairly broad spectrum of faith and the degree to which that's communicated/imposed on the greater community. Personally I think it's unfortunate that what let's call the basic "best practices" of Christianity which are also tenets of the faith get subverted by a more strident voice. I mean, after all... why can't generosity include gift giving, chocolates and parties with friends? Good King Wenceslas anyone? That obviously extends into thinking of those less fortunate and Irv... you're a saint! Whoops... is it ok to call someone a saint? No offense taken I hope? Jesus!! Damn... there I go again.

Merry Christmas!

December 18, 2014 @ 11:17 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Philly-Bob

I am tolerant of those who believe in religion. They have every right to believe what they believe.

As for why this bugged me enough to blog about it, you do realize you're talking to the guy who blogged about his Special K changing, his favourite gum disappearing from shelves and the fact Good Charlotte headlined Edgefest, right?

December 18, 2014 @ 11:24 AM

Philly-Bob

@ Mike - Baaaaah!! You just don't seem to get it man. It's the whole fact that you refer to it as a Fairytale...why do you have to be such a dick....dammit...never mind. This isn't something to get too worked up over, I don't even buy into the majority of the stuff the church spews out...it just baffles me that someone who is so tolerant about everything else would continue to be so inflammatory about this one thing.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

December 18, 2014 @ 11:39 AM

Philly-Bob

Oh, and them changing you favourite cereal, taking for gum of choice off the shelf, and a crap-tastic band like Good Cahrlotte headlining are all very legitimate beefs and you should continue to blog about such topics :)

December 18, 2014 @ 11:40 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

But @Philly-Bob, that's what I believe. I'm not shy to share my beliefs here on my blog.

I have no tolerance for assaults against someone's skin colour, gender, or sexual preference, but I'm perfectly comfortable sharing my belief that all religion is bullshit.

December 18, 2014 @ 11:41 AM

Philly-Bob

@ Mike - you're right it is your blog and I choose to come here.

December 18, 2014 @ 11:50 AM

Aurora Bob

I am not Catholic but the sign is clearly from the Knights of Columbus.

I really do not think that the sign is offensive and if you are offended, perhaps you are a little thin-skinned. No one is telling you how to celebrate.

Whether you believe the "fantasy" of the Christ birth story or not should not matter. I am sure that you perpetuate the fantasy of Santa on your children too. How is this fantasy more valid?

December 18, 2014 @ 12:02 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Aurora Bob

I wouldn't say I'm offended. I want to know why he cares how I celebrate Christmas and what business of his it is.

The Santa fantasy is only perpetuated for a very short time while kids are quite young and it's done in the name of harmless fun and good spirit. It's not the same thing, IMHO.

December 18, 2014 @ 1:06 PM

Anonymous

Knights of Columbus: In service to one, in service to all*.

* except the gays

December 18, 2014 @ 1:13 PM

Irv


Aurora Bob has a point. I think we're all a bit thin skinned sometimes. BUT..at least we're debating instead of recreational shopping.

@Anonymous: I'm far from a saint and I admit at times I can be outright nasty. Most cities will have campaigns or groups you can assist. I've handed out dry socks, coffee, warm food, mittens, makeup kits, hot pockets, blankets, towels, etc. You can get it all cheap too. And if you're afraid you can hand it out of your car window instead of getting out. It's good for them but just as good for the person doing it. You step outside your boundaries.

We got the idea from this thing we read online. Some type of educator had sent out his students to hand out a red rose to a street addict/prostitute. They were to tell the hooker "someone thinks you're beautiful". It was as much about making that prostitute feel good as it was about self reflection on the person giving the rose. You stepped outside your comfort zone and hopefully reflected on your own stereotypes.

Truth is I like Christmas because it's a break from my "always on" lifestyle.

December 18, 2014 @ 1:32 PM

Tiny Montgomery

In terms of historical reality is anybody here aware of what Columbus's actual 'Knights' actually did in the Caribbean i.e. the 'America' they discovered? One could make some interesting changes to the text: Keep the ______________ in Christmas (reflecting behaviour of the actual 'Knights' of Columbus).

December 18, 2014 @ 3:30 PM

Aurora Bob

@Toronto Mike
"I want to know why he cares how I celebrate Christmas and what business of his it is."

When did he ask?

December 18, 2014 @ 3:45 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

He asked us all to celebrate his God when he erected the sign.

December 18, 2014 @ 3:49 PM

Sammi

Mike....you say that all religion is bullshit. I am curious if you believe in God and/or Jesus......or is it 'religions' you are opposed to.

December 18, 2014 @ 5:46 PM

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