Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cristmas* (for Christmas*)

The only difference between today's typo and the word for which it stands is the letter H. Which for me this week stands for Hitchens, who famously stood four-square against Christmas. Christopher Hitchens passed away a fortnight ago, but his spirit remains as strong as ever among his many devout followers. He argued fervently against the promotion of religion, the existence of God, and the hypocrisy of many Christians during his final years (his book God Is Not Great came out in 2007) and somehow it seems fitting that his first posthumously published essay should concern the "forced merriment" of Christmas. It seems like it should be one of the happiest days of the year, but then there's always a Hitch. If it's not the compulsory cheer, it's the unrealistic expectations, the crass materialism, the shameless lying to children, the pious bias against non-believers, the holiday-themed Muzak, the drunken mall Santas, the phony flying reindeer, the rock-hard fruitcake, noxious eggnog, hideous sweaters, preening "Christmas letters," etc., etc. Cristmas* was found eight times in OhioLINK and 43 times in WorldCat.

("Where Santa Claus Lives," 1900, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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