Who is Christmas

Ben Lyons, Staff Writer

Pine trees, vibrant light bulbs, crackling wrapping paper, and commercialism. I’ll take “what is Christmas” for 200, Alex. Yes! That is correct! But had a contestant answered family, friends, community or even Jesus, they would have been out of any points they had felt entitled to because those are answers to the far more appropriate question “who is Christmas” that people ought to be asking in place of “what”.

If you are one of those people upset about the holidays becoming more and more material, you’ve got to stop framing it in a way that preemptively implies it. Instead look at Christmas as purely a product of the people you’ve come to know and love, be it a neighbor, mother, or a cashier from a gas station you’ve become strangely acquainted with after a few too many late night junk food runs.

Growing up in a secular household, Christmas when I was younger, as it was for most kids, was Santa. Shocker. As I would get older I would realize that Santa was just an extension of my mother and that the similarity in their handwriting was more than just a coincidence. She would stay up till about two A.M. arranging the mound of gifts under the tree for me and my sister, which, as bad as it may sound, made the holiday what it was to me. But if I hadn’t had someone there who loved me enough set up the holiday, it wouldn’t have existed for me. Call me cheesy all you want, but in recent years the centerpiece of the holidays has been about spending time with my family, although I certainly don’t mind the gifts. The consistent factor for me has always been, in one form or another, my mother, so I choose to attribute the holiday to her.

Plenty of people can relate to the above after-school special scenario I’m sure, but that isn’t the situation for everybody. The goal is to figure out who is at the root of the holiday for you. To the families who receive donations from the true blue program, Christmas might be the contributors from their community. Some might see it as all the people who gave food to Utah’s hungry, which according to the Utah Food Drive, was able to distribute 38 million pounds of food last Christmas. To others, it might just be Jim Carrey for his portrayal of the Grinch. Whoever Christmas is to you, be sure to realize it, because it is going to remain a holiday bout “stuff” if you don’t.