Wednesday, December 25, 2013

What Christmas Means to Me. Again.

I wrote this post a few years ago, after somebody questioned how an atheist like me, could celebrate Christmas. And I've run it every year since then on this day, because with some minor revisions to accommodate the passage of time, it still sums up how I feel about this day. 

It's Christmas Day, and once again I have to explain to my friends, that although I'm an atheist, and I believe that our beautiful planet is our heaven and our hell.

And although I hate the shopping and the greed.

And although I know it can be a sad and lonely time for many. 

I was raised in the Christian tradition, I believe in the earthly message of Jesus the revolutionary, I share the vision of those fighting for a kinder, gentler world.

And I do love this time of the year.

The lights, the snow, the warm feelings, the food. And all those sweet little stories that moved me when I was a child.

Like the one whose happy ending made me weep, when I was nine-years-old, and was spending Christmas in a hospital recovering from a bout of meningitis that almost killed me.

The story of Small One, the poor old donkey and his friend, who was ordered by his father to sell him. But the only one who wanted him was a tanner...for his hide.

And both were in despair, until the kindly stranger arrived...

Because even back then I loved animals and happy endings eh?

Just like I love Jake the old donkey at  Far Enough Farm...

Who was abused when he was young before he came to the farm, but slowly learned to trust people again.

Who now when he's feeling energetic, or thinks you have an apple in your hand, can make the same funny faces as that cartoon donkey did.

And who has helped me recover from the pain of losing this beloved companion last year...

My gentle little reindeer who I miss so much.

And also because somehow, even as a boy, I always wanted the humble to inherit the earth.

And now that I know that there are so many in this cruel Harperland...

I could never support any government that doesn't put them, or other poor Canadians, and our hungry children FIRST.

And I will fight the cruel Cons who don't care a damn about them, until the day I die.

Then there is the music, and the songs I used to sing when I was a budding juvenile delinquent dressed up as an angel.

In a choir like this one...

The words never did, and still don't mean anything to me eh?

But isn't the sound of gentle humanity GLORIOUS?

Imagine what kind of beautiful world we could build, if we were really our brother and sister's keeper, and there was really peace on earth.

Oh well. From me and my wonderful companion Sébastien, who makes me believe in his quiet way, that we can build that earthly paradise if we fight for it hard enough.

And that we can definitely build a better country than this hideous Harperland.

To all my readers and friends who support me so much, even when I don't deserve it.

Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noël, Happy Holidays everybody !!!

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  1. Merry Christmas Simon and thanks for the peace and hope you encourage throughout the year.

    1. hi sassy...Thank you for all your support over the years and Merry Christmas to you !!!

  2. Replies
    1. hi Ron...thanks I'm glad you liked it. I enjoyed writing it.

  3. "And that we can definitely build a better country than this hideous Harperland." — and we will, in 23 months, when Stevie is gone. Our mission is to make that happen. All the best to you and your loved ones.

    1. hi Edstock...I'm sure we will. Every country needs a wake up call, eight years of Harper have reminded Canadians what can happen when the Cons can win a majority with 39% of the vote. And our mission is to take no prisoners ;) And all the best to you and yours...

  4. Anonymous12:44 PM


    1. hi anon...Thank you. I enjoy writing stories about the beautiful things in life, instead of always have to concentrate on the horror of the Con regime.And being able to write about nice animals instead of those beasts is a bonus... ;)

  5. Merry Christmas Simon from all of at The Galloping Beaver.

    1. hi Dave...thank you, and Merry Christmas and Happy NewYear to you and all the amazing gang at The Galloping Beaver. May you gallop on forever....

  6. Oh, your dear old dog!

    You got me there. I refuse to give Christmas greetings; I'm a pretty hardcore atheist. And, viewing the whole short film, there were some very dubious, anti-Middle-Eastern or anti-Semitic (in the broader sense, including Semites of all religions) content. They did get the skin and hair tones right, at least, and of course the sappy animal story got me crying, due to my 18-year-old cat whom I love dearly and who obviously won't be around forever.

    We had a nice, improvised réveillon yesterday evening (long story). I've taken in a friend who has a minor household disaster, and feel a bit invaded. Alone now, quietly.

    Have a good Solstice festivity, as the light slowly returns.

    bisous de Montréal

    lagatta et Renzo

    1. hi lagatta....well thank goodness for the dog eh? For sparing me from the full fury of your atheist wrath. And thank goodness you're not religious or you would be a fearsome Mother Superior. ;)
      As for the cartoon, I'm sure there are some stereotypes. But then all cartoons are like that, and if you want to see some real stereotypes you should watch Brave the Disney movie about Scotland. Because the only thing that saved that one was the excellent heroine. And Small One moved me because as I said in the post I loved the way the humble donkey triumphed in the end.
      So try to forgive my human failings Mother Superior, and all the best to you and your loved ones...

    2. Simon, qu'est-ce qui te pique? That is one of the nastiest things you have ever said, and I really don't think anything I said deserved such insults.

      Like many people, I find Christmas depressing, but have managed to ignore it for several years now.

      Ni Dieu ni Maître!

  7. Anonymous3:41 PM

    I love your x-mas story. I am fostering a dog, that was very badly abused. I have been *fostering* him, since 6 years ago. No-one has any idea how old he is. However, his muzzle is grey and he is becoming very deaf. He has a sweet loving nature, he is the pet of the entire neighborhood. He has conned every neighbor into giving him treats. The school kids passing by, are good for treats too. The mail-lady gives him treats, even when I don't have any mail.

    I give him all the love I can, trying to make up for the terrible life he had, before he came to me.

    May you and Sebastien have a happy holiday.

    1. hi anon...thank you, I'm glad you liked my little story, because I sure love yours. Good for you for fostering an abused animal. And he sounds like a very lucky dog indeed. I know people go crazy over puppies, and I do too. But after losing my pet, I can't see an old dog out for a walk without wanting to hug it. They really are special. I hope you and your friend have many good times together. Happy holidays to you and yours !!!

  8. Anonymous12:19 AM

    Loved it.

    1. hi Way Way Up...thank you, I'm really glad you liked it. As I said to that other commenter, it really is a pleasure to write about nicer things than the Harper regime, and I'm looking forward to the day I can do that all the time. All the best to you and your loved ones...

  9. Mr Christmas Simon,

    I used to be an atheist but then discovered the beauty of the Giant Flying Spaghetti Monster. May you have a very pasta Christmas
    Pastafarian Steve