(… to the world)
You don't have to be an atheist to be suspicious of Christmas, but it sure helps.
It's not so much that people trot out their mildly festive sanctimony and ritual, it's that the version that they choose to bring is so thin and seemingly unequal to the task. I'd almost enjoy the holiday more if everybody ramped it up a bit, really brought their God A-Game. Sort of a Crusade-style holiday: beatings, intolerance, blood thirst, bargains and savagery, impulse acquisitions, the bastinado, all of it. Like Walmart, only somehow grander in scale, broader in scope, more culturally penetrating.
The parking lot of the local grocery store is the best place to gauge the soul of the holiday. I spent about an hour yesterday at lunch driving around and pulling into spots and then pulling back out again, waving at people out of my window, wishing them seasonal mirth.
I'm in the spirit though, truly. I even sent out Christmas music, just to give you an idea. I bought presents. Well, in truth, I bought none, but I paid for presents to be bought by one who enjoys the process of shopping much more than I, and is far more accomplished at it.
My benevolence knows when to take a back seat, enjoy the view, the ride, etc.
Okay, I wish all those happiness who also wish it for others.
In that we are not so dissimilar, the Christmasians and I.