Not another Sappy Christmas

Uncle Harry, sick and tired of the sentiment and goo of Christmas being used to sell products, designed his own Christmas card to send to the long list of names on his Christmas card list. On the front of the card it said, “Not another Sappy Christmas.” And on the inside he wrote, “Fed up with the con-trick yet? I am. Regards, Harry.”

It was risky, yes, and potentially disastrous for all those useful connections he’d carefully cultivated by sending Christmas cards to people every year, but it was time he was honest. Because for years he’d bristled and fumed as the Christmas machine mowed down all before it as soon as Halloween was over, and out rolled all the usual sappy heart-string ticklers cleverly designed to make zombies of people so they headed to the stores to buy, buy, buy.

He’d been conned by it all too, of course. But obligation had always ruled, so every year he’d been politically correct and done his bit. He’d sent his Christmas cards, bought gifts, travelled in horrible weather to the required family Christmas, said “Merry Christmas” to everyone who’d said it to him, and attended all the awful Christmas parties he was invited to. He’d done his very best to get into the spirit of things and be jovial.

But one day, while looking in a store window trying to figure out what on earth he was going to buy for his four nephews and five nieces who already had every gift they could ever need or want, he saw the reflection of his face in the window perfectly superimposed on the face of a Santa Claus in the store display. The plastic Santa was looking straight at him, with a smile that made Harry shudder. It was a knowing smile that said, “You know, don’t you, Harry? You’ve known ever since your Dad owned up to being Santa Claus that I’m not real. And you know I’m still a contrived fake created by people to make money, right?  So why are you out there shivering like a frozen monkey thinking you’re doing something noble by buying things for people, when you know all this Christmas sappiness is just a ploy to sell stuff?”

“But,” Harry cried, “Can you imagine what will happen if I tell my friends and family what I really think about Christmas?” But Santa just smiled, a mocking smile that said, “So keep on playing the game for another year, Harry. Be a sap like all the other Harrys out there and keep the con-trick going.” And that’s what did it for Harry. No more dishonesty, he said to himself. The spell had been broken.

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