Saturday, December 27, 2008

Holidays are Hypocrisy

Brothers, Sisters, and Transgendered Comedists everywhere,

New bit I'm working on:

Yes, Christmas comes but once a year. Kinda like being married...

You know, I have a theory about the holidays. Holidays are hypocrisy. The term "holiday" comes from "holy day" and we like to pretend we are celebrating what is sacred, what is virtuous, but really when you look at what we are really celebrating, it's sinfulness. And not just any sins, the big ones, the seven deadly sins.

For example, we have a holiday called Labor Day when no one goes to work. We say we're celebrating hard work, but really it's laziness, the deadly sin of sloth.

Think of everyone's favorite of the deadly sins, lust. When do we celebrate this? O.k., when do we NOT celebrate this, but officially when do we celebrate it? If you are involved in a relationship it's Valentine's Day, if you aren't, it's Palm Sunday.

Greed? Christmas. Goodwill to men? No, goodwill to all the crap I got last year so I make room for everything I want this year.

Gluttony? For adults, it's Thanksgiving, for kids it's Halloween. Halloween is always a tough time for us because my wife and I are those parents everyone is glad they don't have. You know, those vegetarian organic tofu for dinner parents. The "we keep our kids away from candy" parents. So, Halloween is a bit of a conundrum. On the one hand, you want them to have the experience of trick or treating, but on the other hand, for kids who can't eat candy, it is kind of like taking a eunuch to a brothel on customer appreciation night.

The thing is, that is isn't just our holidays. We love to celebrate other culture's special times, too. One would think this was a great multicultural broadening of ourselves. A real "we are the world" moment. Except that whenever we do it, we invariably celebrate by taking it as an excuse to get completely wasted and take home a stranger. Think about it: Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick's Day, Mardi Gras. Nothing says "I respect your heritage" quite like meaningless drunken sex.

Interestingly, there is one non-majority holiday that calls for drinking and still isn't widely celebrated: the Jewish holiday of Passover. You're supposed to drink four glasses of wine -- it doesn't say how big -- in order to get happy. You'd think this would be a shoo-in for wider consumption, but no. My guess is the other part of the ritual, during Passover you cannot eat anything that is leavened. When you can't put anything in your mouth that rises, it may have seemed less festive.

Live, laugh, and love,

Irreverend Steve