Every year, a bevy of brave, hardened anti-theist journalists complain about Christmas. Greg Craven is sick of their whingeing.
This is a great time of year for hack columnists. The opinion editor is hung over. The chief of staff is AWOL. The editor is still trapped in that leather Santa suit.
Now is the time to rage over a personal grievance so self-indulgent and intemperate that even Phillip Adams would not touch it.
You see, I’m not worried about things such as global warming. In fact, I rather like global warming.
The way I see it, global warming will ruin the world for my grandchildren, who will be the children of the children who euthanased me and took my superannuation. Bring it on.
I rejoice in the thought of the last CSIRO scientists huddled on the peak of Mount Kosciuszko bellowing to any empty world, “We told you so”.
No, what really peeves me is Christmas cooling. Yuletide just isn’t what it used to be.
It’s not that I realise (belatedly) that Father Christmas isn’t real. Bastard. Like Wayne Swan, he never delivered anyway.
It is, partly, that the balance of Christmas trade alters as you get older. As a kid, my parents gave me presents.
Now I dole out largesse to sulky post-adolescents who should have grasping progeny of their own.
It’s not even the emotional trauma of living inside a 54-year-old body with a psyche that anticipates all the excitement of a six-year-old’s Christmas that never eventuates.
No, my real venom is directed towards the army of anti-Christmas refuseniks who spend their time bagging Christmas, its traditions and theological underpinnings while scoffing turkey, swilling champagne and resignedly accepting ideologically incorrect gifts.
Their beef is the same old whinge about moral conscription that opposes Bible classes in schools, Anzac day ceremonies and a perfectly normal obsession with cricket.
Why should I be socially abducted by an institution – delicate sigh – in which I do not believe?
So doubtless, yet again, we will have some Mike Carlton telling us that Christmas coincides with a pagan festival, and that Christ probably was not born on December 25.
We know, Mike. It was on the back of ancient bubblegum wrappers excavated in the 1960s.
Fellow public atheist Peter FitzSimons will be anxiously counting the sales of his latest doorstopper, Eureka.
Remarkably, publication was timed to coincide with the Christmas season, providing a literary stocking-filler to replace those bloody sugared almonds Nana used to give us.
Enlightened souls will be ingesting lobster and shrieking over titbits of jewellery, while talking vaguely about “a family occasion”, and sniggering that anyone could associate the day with a mythical birth in Judea in no-star accommodation. Bah. Humbug.
Isn’t it time these ideological freeloaders got a holiday of their own? I, for one, am over sharing the birthday of my deity with a group of gatecrashers who can’t even speak well of the host.
I’m not talking about people of other religions. Jews and Muslims, for example, who may not celebrate Christmas, certainly understand why Christians do.
The same could be said for anyone with a belief in belief, including some atheists and agnostics with at least enough joy in their hearts to understand the human message of the Nativity.
But for those who really hate Christmas – trading and ingestion opportunities excluded – wouldn’t it be better for you if, like the miserable father of George Costanza, you have your own festival? That way, you could celebrate family, love and intellectual superiority untainted by the rest of us troglodytes.
The date may be a problem, however. I did check the birthday of departed atheist messiah Christopher Hitchens, but April 13 is a little close to Easter, and I understand you have a problem with resurrections.
Logically, the correct day would be the one furthest from Christmas, which would be just about June 30. Admittedly, in much of Australia, this would be cold and miserable, but this does seem to reflect fairly accurately your festive outlook.
Better still, it is the end of the financial year, so you would be able to maintain your commercial focus and, as you keep telling us, roast turkey really is a winter dish.
You could gather round a roaring fire, free of all taint of religion, and treasure each other.
You could toast departed friends and relatives, who had vaporised into the ether, without trace or hope. It sounds lovely.
All you need is a name. How about Nothingmas? It could offend no one.