When I was about twelve years old I asked my father what he thought about Chrismas. He was reserved about such things and rarely discussed them with us. But I pushed the point.
“Dad,” I insisted, “what do you really think about Christmas?”
He gave me a thoughtful look and then replied, “It’s the most conceited, commercial day of the year and it’s exploited by everybody. It’s supposed to be built on the principle that Jesus was born on that day, but it’s just a load of pretense. When so many people in the world are suffering it’s a criminal waste to spend all those millions on fancy gifts and unhealthy cakes and drink. It’s a big joke.”
My mother enjoyed the family part of Christmas…the younger children’s excitement, the mysteriously packaged gifts…and I guess my father went along with it all because it made her happy.
–Michael Chaplin, I Couldn’t Smoke The Grass On My Father’s Lawn, 1966