The Grinch’s Christmas message

I hate Christmas. There I said it, and it’s true.

Yes, I know I’m a Christian, even a Reverend but I still hate Christmas!

Let me give you my five reasons for hating Christmas:

1. It’s hot – I sleep well with the fan on and the window open on the coldest nights in Stanthorpe, but the heat just knocks me. At least in winter, you can add another layer but there is a limit to the number you can take off in summer.

2. The decorations – The other night we were travelling through town and my beloved remarked how beautifully some of the houses were decorated. Tinsel, lights and blow-up decorations galore. But I really struggle to get past the cost of such decorations (purchase, storage and global warming).

3. Santa, reindeer and snowmen – Christmas (literally: Christ Mass or Jesus Church) is meant to be about Jesus. Yes, I know most Australians are not Christians but consider the outrage if people started using ANZAC Day to celebrate a fat guy in a red suit (particularly as the red suit is a product of Coca-Cola advertising!).

4. Expectations – There is an expectation family will come together in a warm glow of peace and love. What about those who don’t have families and I can recall more than a few Christmases in my family where there were squabbles and fights. Indeed, the expectation of peace and love seems to make it harder to achieve peace and love.

5. Presents – My problem is deeper than just socks and jocks; it is the whole misappropriation of the term ‘presents’. A present is meant to be an undeserved gift. Let me explain: my wages are not a present as I work for them. By contrast, Christmas ‘presents’ are reciprocal even to the point of people typically trying to match the cost with each other. We have all heard the line we are exchanging presents (max value $20). Note not simply the price tag but the language of ‘exchange’.

By contrast, the Christmas story is all about an undeserved present. A present not for God’s mates or the people who have been ‘nice’ (rather than naughty). The Bible records the gift of Jesus was given to all people. The difference is not naughty or nice but who will recognise the gift and receive Jesus as saviour and Lord. Now, if Christmas was about that then I could certainly get excited.