A Very Garrison Keillor Christmas

12 Dec

This post is written in response to Garrison Keillor’s mewling whine Leave Christmas Alone published in the Baltimore Sun. it’s from 2009 but has been once again making the rounds on social media.

Hello, and welcome to the Keillor family Christmas celebration. Emphasis on the Christ. As in Jesus Christ. If you don’t believe that Jesus Christ is our saviour, then you can leave. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that in an hour or so god will peer into my house and incinerate any non-believers and, well, I’d just rather not clean that up. Plus I don’t really feel like risking my own precious soul by allowing infidels into my house. You know how it is.

I bet those politically correct Cambridge elite won’t even tell you that the word Christmas is derived from the Old English Crīstesmæsse, or Christ’s Mass, a fact which I blame on that dilettante of the intelligentsia, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Did you know that Emerson once preached at a Unitarian church that has since tried to remove all references of god from “Silent Night”? Because both of these things happened in the same building, Einstein’s law of Cause and Effect and Spooky New England ghosts proves that they’re indubitably related.

Did you know that there’s a war on Christmas? Why, just yesterday they were burning Christmas trees in the town square. A mob had the mall Santa bound and gagged and were threatening to burn him at the stake, only to spare him at the last minute. Last week a little girl was sent to juvie for singing Jingle Bells. There’s been talk of making all of those who celebrate the birth of our lord Jesus Christ wear manger-shaped patches, the better to round us up when the real campaign of terror against Christians begins. Of course it goes without saying that when we must worship in secret; we all live in constant fear of the government coming into our churches and forcing us at gunpoint to say “Happy Holidays” instead of the good ole fashioned “Merry Christmas.”

Have you ever seen a grown man have a full-on tantrum? Well, prepare to be dazzled by the one I’m about to throw over Christmas Carols! It is wrong, wrong, wrong to re-write Christmas songs to get rid of religious stuff. How dare you steal our sacred music? I mean, it’s fine when Christians do it, like when William Chatterton Dix wrote “What Child Is This” in 1865 to the tune of “Greensleeves,” whose previous lyrics are an Ode to Henry VIII’s boners. Dix was obviously only trying to improve an unworthy ditty, whereas when you change the words to “Silent Night” you are literally ruining my life.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard the term “cultural appropriation,” but Christmas is a classic example. Did you know that lots of Christmas carols are written by Jewish men? And that sometimes non-Christians put up trees and exchange gifts on December 31st? This has nothing to do with the oppressive cultural domination of Christmas in the west and everything to do with Jews and their ilk trying to horn in on our holiday. Do I celebrate Yom Kippur or write songs about Rosh Hashanah? No, I don’t, because I for one know what it means to be respectful of other religions, unlike you and your spiritual piracy.

We Christians have been Christ-like about your “cultural elitism” long enough. And by Christ-like I mean that we have a history of killing, torturing and ostracizing those who don’t share our beliefs, stuff which is very similar to the acts performed by the actual Jesus Christ, like healing lepers and caring for the poor. Regardless of all that, it’s time we Christians stood up and said no more! Yes, all of you non-Christians are forced to endure two months of Christmas crap colonizing practically every public space, but don’t you dare try to participate! Get your own damn holiday. Celebrate Yule instead which, admittedly, looks a lot like Christmas since many of the old pagan traditions were incorporated into western Christmas celebrations. But really, I have no idea what Christianity’s history of appropriating other religions and cultures has to do with anything.

So please, come in, and let us begin our celebration. We will sit by the fire in a circle of rough-hewn wooden chairs, eat seasonal nuts and tubers, and smugly remind each other that Christmas is ours and ours alone. While you’re here, we’ll probably pull out my old notebook, bound in a leather hide I tanned myself, and completely re-write the last 2,000 years of history so that we Christians somehow come out looking like the oppressed minority. Later, we’ll come up with a list of synonyms for the word “elite” – so far I’ve got “Jews,” “Unitarians,” “People Who Say Happy Holidays,” and “That Harvard Dude.”

The nice thing about being a white American man is, well, literally everything. I’m able to be outraged by only things that directly affect me without having to think about how any of my actions or words hurt others. Everyone treats me as if my thoughts and beliefs are precious jewels to be cherished forever. I get to lull myself with some kind of weird myth about how everyone is equal now, which allows me to bellow like a cow in heat every time I feel that the status quo, which prioritizes me over literally everyone else, is becoming even slightly more inclusive. Being a white man means that, even though I’m a serial adulterer who has been married thrice, I’m allowed, nay, obliged to lecture all of you on morality and Christianity. So come in, and bask in my light. I promise not to play any awful Christmas songs –  none of that dreck like Rudolph or Jingle Bells. Here we will have only the classics, like that one carol all about killing babies. That one always puts me in the holiday spirit.

To finish, let me end with what might be the most petulantly White Dude statement of all time: if you’re not in the club, buzz off. This also applies to gentleman’s clubs, country clubs, and sock-of-the-month clubs. Buzz off, and take your faux-hymns with you. Quit trying to steal back all the stuff we righteously stole from you.

Merry Christmas, my dears. If Jesus were alive today, I’m sure he would have written a blog post just like mine. Because celebrating his birth isn’t about peace on earth or good will towards men, it’s about fighting over who owns what.


12 Responses to “A Very Garrison Keillor Christmas”

  1. viviennemarks December 12, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    Bless this post.

    As one of them elite Jews (and an academic of sorts to boot! Good thing I didn’t go to Harvard….) I am somewhat bewildered by the idea that there’s simultaneously a war to forbid Christmas celebrations of any sort, and commercially oversaturate them to make them meaningless. You think whoever was responsible (people from Massachusetts? Jews?) would pick a side! Although I’ve never been able to find Purim memorabilia at the mall, and I don’t go around wishing people a Happy Passover unless I explicitly know they’re Jewish…. it’s almost like holidays can be deeply spiritually and personally fulfilling without getting an entire nation caught up in them… huh. But then, that’s probably the Unitarians getting to me again.

    Also, I wonder what Mr. Keillor would make of a song like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSCmZU0eFJg

  2. runningnekkid December 12, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

    Great. Now I have to send Garrison Keillor a thank you card for making you write this post. SHEESH, ANNE.

  3. D.T. Nova December 12, 2014 at 9:34 pm #

    “I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard the term “cultural appropriation,” but Christmas is a classic example.”
    Did he really…?

    “Christmas is a Christian holiday – if you’re not in the club, then buzz off. Celebrate Yule instead or dance around in druid robes for the solstice. Go light a big log, go wassailing and falalaing until you fall down, eat figgy pudding until you puke, but don’t mess with the Messiah.”
    He did! He actually admitted that most of “Christmas” is appropriated pagan traditions, but still thinks it’s somehow something different if anyone appropriates one of the few parts that are actually of Christian origin.

    • thebearpelt December 16, 2014 at 8:55 am #

      I once commented to my boyfriend, whose family is Christian, something about Jewish holidays, I think, and he joked, “Well, that’s what we do! We take other people’s holidays and make them better!” I gave him the most withering look I could manage. (He was being completely satirical, thankfully.)

      It’s ludicrous to me that he complains about others participating in Xmas when, growing up, all I was told to participate in Xmas EVEN IF I WASN’T CHRISTIAN AT ALL.

  4. Marisol Flores December 12, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

    Genius. As a devout Catholic, I fully approve of the term happy holidays, which is inclusive of New Years. I also wish people a happy Ramadan, Hanukkah, etc. I don’t know what these people’s problem is. Must have sucked to play in the sandbox with them as kids.

  5. Julia (@schnell_j) December 13, 2014 at 3:50 am #

    Kiiiinda lost it at the photo.

  6. Mario Savioni December 13, 2014 at 8:50 am #

    What I love about this is the controlled satire. As we all know America was founded on freedom from religious persecution:

    “Freedom of religion became a basic American principle, and numerous new … America’s Founding Fathers were nurtured in a Judeo-Christian environment. …. Although they were victims of religious persecution in Europe, the Puritans …” – Wikipedia

    “Many of the British North American colonies that eventually formed the United States of America were settled in the seventeenth century by men and women, who, in the face of European persecution, refused to compromise passionately held religious convictions and fled Europe… The great majority left Europe to worship God in the way they believed to be correct.” – http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel01.html

    No American, white or Christian, may prejudice against another person of another or no religious background. This is tantamount to the spirit of The United States of America. Such presumption is based in fear, I guess. Why would someone be so presumptuous?

    • thebearpelt December 16, 2014 at 8:56 am #

      That’s a good point, but, sadly, our laws haven’t really lived up to that standard all the time. There are still cities with Sunday Blue laws on the books, even though that’s clearly not a separation of state and church. Sigh.

      • Mario Savioni December 16, 2014 at 9:25 am #

        I know Bear Pelt. It is so sad, but we have to remind them of the logic behind our positions.

  7. Leah December 14, 2014 at 4:02 am #

    What a fabulous post. Thank you! I’m forwarding it right and left. 🙂

  8. G'ette Jones December 17, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    Garrsion has mostly reverted to mewling these past few years, so I don’t pay much attention to him any more. I may lose my MPR member in good standing cred over this…

  9. allthoughtswork December 22, 2014 at 7:09 am #

    Awesome, simply awesome. This is the sound of a proud atheist clapping like mad.

    You know, my parents used to worship this guy (pun intended), to the point that they dragged the entire family to the World Theater in St. Paul in the 80s to see the show recorded live, in its original incarnation. Remember, I said “original.”

    He was all shy and sweet and self-effacing back then. We actually got to meet him back stage: the man is a giant. The songs were innocent, the stories family friendly. Then, he got famous.

    I don’t know what the hell happened but Jekyll and Hyde springs to mind as a metaphor. The man just went south. He got testy, pompous, gross, and narcissistic. None of us have listened to him in over a decade.

    Now, I just switch over to other stations until All Things Considered comes on.

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