Every year around this time, I have a holiday tradition that I like to take part in. I like to wait until the last minute to go Christmas shopping because I am both cheap and disorganized. So every year,with only days left until Christmas, I take my son and I go shopping for my mother.
For those who don’t know, she’s a New Hampshire/Florida snowbird and for six months out of the year, she lives with me. She is the reason that I get mail from AARP and the scooter store. She and my dog have a lot in common. They’re both little, they both fall asleep several times a day, and they’re both fascinated with squirrels.
Anywho, I never know what to get her. She always asks for the crappiest presents.
Mom: Oh, you know what I need? Some more Borax.
Me: Mom, Borax isn’t a present.
Mom: You sure?
Mom: Ok, I’ll think of another one then. (Tilts her head.) You know we’re running low on milk.
Me: (physically painful eyeroll) Gift card it is.
I mean Jesus. So every year, I drag my son to the mall and we do some seriously disorganized, half-hearted shopping. It’s hard to shop for the kind of person who thinks a grocery list qualifies as a present list. Logan and I always focus on two things. We get her a box of chocolates (that we are sure to eat on her behalf a few days after she opens them) and we get her lotion. We go to the Bath & Body works store where I drop $50 on some candles that say things like “Fresh Cotton”, but really smell like “Hippy Van”.
And I get some stripper glitter.
That’s a yearly tradition too. See, my white trash roots refuse me to turn down anything with glitter. So, for the month of January, 2013, I will be covered in a layer of stripper glitter that will be blinding to look at. No joke, I will be visible from space. It won’t fade until I stop caring about my looks again. That happens several times during the year. I fade into a haggard, sweatpants wearing beast of a thing. I consider it my cocoon period. I’m only resting until its time to burst out of my shell as a beautiful butterfly.
Covered in stripper glitter.
I’m looking forward to January. Not just because New Years Eve will be a place to wear my new stripper glitter, but because I know 2013 is going to be a good year. It’s the make it or break it period for me and I’m pretty sure I’m going to make it.
If so, you’re all invited to my strippers and coke party. Dress as your favorite literary figure for $5 off the cover. Date TBD. I’ll be the girl covered in stripper glitter.
I inserted the above definition to remind any journalists or newscasters out there that the news is supposed to be delivered in the exact manner of the above listed word. The word is verbatim, aka, word for word, unbiased, without inserting your own personal slant. Ver – god – damn- ba – tim.
The news is not an opinion piece. It’s the news. Share the facts, and not your opinion of the facts.
I’m bringing this up tonight because I’m seeing a familiar news story pop up. It comes around every year at this time, and the headline is always something along the lines of “those evil atheists are trying to ruin Christmas again.”
I dealt with in when the news was complaining that all the atheists had gotten together and demanded that Christmas become ‘Festivus’, despite the fact that the story was complete bullshit and a source could never be found. I dealt with it when the news jumped in and said the evil atheists wanted to cancel government holidays related to Christmas, because they were religious. Again, no source located and ridiculous premise. Who the hell demands they NOT be given a day off?
This year it’s a nativity scene that is at the center of that controversy. Apparently, a bunch of evil atheists got together and demanded that nativity scenes in a local Santa Monica park be taken down, because they shouldn’t be forced to look at them. The nativity scenes would apparently offend their delicate sensibilities. At least, that was what my newscaster alleged.
Unfortunately, he was unable to separate how he felt from the actual FACTS of the news story. Let me tell you what really happened.
Let’s start with the history. Back in the day, a collection of Christian Santa Monica churches used to take up all 21 available slots in Palisades Park to stage their own nativity scene. A couple years back, a few more groups jumped in. They said, ‘hey, we would like to stage our own Christmas scene too.’ In the interest of fairness, the city of decided to hold a raffle, so everyone would get a fair chance at setting their own Christmas scene. There were 21 spots available.
Atheists won 18 of those spots, a Jewish group won another. The final two were allocated to the Christian churches that entered. So the Christian churches sued. Today they lost.
And the atheists ruined Christmas.
There is no guarantee that the Atheists wouldn’t have done anything, just because it was for Christmas. In fact, several of the groups were planning traditional ‘Santa Clause and Reindeer” displays. Also, the ‘atheist’ spots were actually ‘secular’ spots. But don’t bother a newscaster with actual fucking facts. Their too busy reporting their opinions.
Of course, in answer to the controversy, the city banned ALL private displays. So now nobody wins. And it’s all the atheists fault.
Here’s the thing. I, like many American’s, am not an Atheist. But I am also not religious. I like to consider myself an Agnostic Apathist. (Which is a religion I made up entirely). Mainly, the philosophy of an Agnostic Apathist is that the only people who know what happens when you die are dead people. So, I’ll go ahead and worry about what happens after I’m dead WHEN I’M DEAD.
Agnostic Apathy in a nutshell. I try not to hurt anyone, I make decisions based on my own moral compass, and I leave other people the hell alone unless their asking for my help. I don’t have to go to meetings once a week. I don’t make fun of what other people believe in. I don’t pray to a father figure, because I don’t need to. If I really feel like I’m doing something wrong, I don’t do it. If not, I do. I don’t act like I know how we got here or how it all ends, because in all honesty, nobody does! Maybe there’s something, maybe there’s nothing, but to date, no one has given me any definitive proof either way.
At the same time, I feel like atheists get a bad rap. Most of the atheists I meet are a lot like me. They agree that their might be something, but at the same time, their afraid of admitting it lest some over eager zealot try to shove religion down their throat. They’re not bad people, they’re not good people. They’re just people and their not trying to ruin Christmas.
I will admit there are some snarky atheists out there, with the condescending attitudes who think they know it all. And for every one atheist like that, I could probably introduce you to a religious counterpart who is just as bad.
So news, stop trying to create a bad guy every year around this time. Stop pinning it on the atheists because their easy targets. Instead, report the damn facts of any given situation and stop adjusting them to meet your own ends.
I’ll go back to getting wasted on eggnog and watching Rudolph. All is as it should be, just like on the first Christmas.