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Gerry Nicholls Headshot

The Scrooge Side of Occupy Christmas

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RHODE ISLAND HOLIDAY TREE CHRISTMAS
AP

It's Christmas season, a time of joyous fun and festivities.

And if you believe that then you have clearly been duped by multinational corporations, working in conjunction with the Tea Party, the CIA and Fox News.

In reality, Christmas, with its crass commercialization, is a nightmare of capitalistic exploitation, decking the halls of big business power and jingling the bells of corporate profit.

Luckily, help is on the way. The people behind the Occupy Wall Street protests, which if you recall recently turned our public parks into Trotskyite summer camps, are offering helpful hints as to how citizens can celebrate a socially responsible, non-exploitive and generally duller Christmas.

They cleverly call it "Occupy Christmas", which come to think of it would also make a cute idea for a carol - "I am dreaming of an Occupied Christmas."

Anyway, despite its name, "Occupy Christmas" is not about actually "occupying" anything; instead, it's about changing our regular capitalistic holiday habits. For instance, it takes dead aim at the ancient holiday tradition of gift buying, which the Occupy Wall Street movement considers an evil manifestation of consumerist culture. (And I got to hand it to them, this sounds much better than "I'm too cheap to buy you anything".)

Still, the Occupy people are not completely anti-gift.

Rather than buying Christmas presents for our loved ones (thereby enriching corporate fat cats), the Occupiers say we should make gifts ourselves. They recommend, for instance, making soap or candles.

While this is fine in principle, could you imagine how it would actually work in practice?

Consider this scene on Christmas morning:

Socially responsible father: "Kids, I know you really had your hearts set on getting the hottest video game of the year, Gory Death IV, for Christmas, but I got you something even better - my homemade soap and candles."

Any normal kids: (grumbling and snarling noises)

Socially responsible father: Merry Christm.....Hey what are you kids doing? Ahhhhhh ....."

Emergency room doctor: So exactly how did you get soap and a candle in there?

But what about other Christmas traditions? How would they fare in an Occupy Christmas?

I can only surmise, but it's a safe guess to say the Occupy folks would object to buying a Christmas tree as this would only fatten the profits of evil Christmas tree-growing corporations.

A much better alternative would be to follow the example of our hardy ancestors and trek into the woods, axe in hand, so we could chop down our own tree. Of course, this might have the unintended consequence of helping fatten the profits of another evil industry - the corporations which manufacture prosthetic limbs.

And what about the traditional Christmas meal: turkey, cranberry sauce, Uncle Charlie's special "Kentucky-style" eggnog?

Well, I am sure any food items produced by the greedy capitalistic overlords who run the world's agribusinesses are strictly off-limits.

The Occupy movement, after all, preaches self-sustainability, which means ideally all Christmas meals should come from whatever you can grow in your own backyard.

Unfortunately, since it's winter nothing can actually grow in your backyard, meaning an Occupy Christmas meal would consist of whatever walnuts, fruitcakes and candy canes are left over from last Christmas. Yummy.

At any rate, I wish the Occupiers a merry capitalism-free Christmas (if they survive).

As for me, the only thing I plan to occupy this holiday season is the couch in front of the TV.