GIFs Guide to the True Meaning of Christmas - Culture | MERRY JANE
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GIFs Guide to the True Meaning of Christmas

Don’t buy what corporations are trying to sell you.

by Claire Downs

Merry Christmas, travellers! As Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, I suppose it is my duty to participate in some seasonal GIF-giving. It’s hard to be festive when 2016 has been filled with all-out political brawls, national tragedies, and a whole lot of bizarre occurrences that made us go, WTF?? Alas, we’ve made it here, to the heart of the holiday season, and are ready to embody the Christmas Spirit. Some have chosen to Scrooge-out this December, but ultimately, there are more instances of people doing right by each other than not. But first, let me clarify what I mean about the “true meaning” of Christmas.

 

When I talk about Christmas, I don’t mean this…

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And I don’t mean that we should launch a Starbuckian War to protect religious Christmas either…

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In fact, many of the traditions we know and love about Christmas have pagan and pre-Christian origins, like mushroom man Santa (derived from beliefs in sky-spirits and elves)...

The Christmas tree (derived from the pagan tradition of bringing greenery inside for winter)....

And Krampus, which is just Krampus.

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That leaves the spirit behind the Christmas season. Which, as I interpret it, means spreading goodwill, joy, and charity. It means coming together for the greater good.

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And that’s something all of us can get behind, regardless of your religious beliefs.

Lately, it may seem like the “true meaning” of Christmas has been lost on some of us.

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In a Scroogey move, Donald Trump spent Festivus asking Santa to bring him a nuclear arms race during his presidency via Twitter.

Earlier this month, racist trolls descended upon the Internet to announce their displeasure with the Mall of America’s Santa Claus who is played by an African-American named Larry Jefferson-Gamble. FYI, Jefferson-Gamble is still thriving as Santa and having a great time.

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And, the Hatchimal toy craze has parents feeling like consumerism is taking over with long lines, pushy customers, and planned product scarcity meant to hype this apparently underwhelming gadget.

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But, for every awful, grumpy news item this season, there’s some wonderfully redeeming tales of the Christmas spirit that will renew your faith in humanity.

Last week, news broke about black blues musician Daryl Davis, who has spent his life befriending members of the KKK to bring out the humanity in people. Davis has convinced many to disavow the organization, including some high-ranking leaders within the hate group.

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Throughout the United Kingdom, religious groups are coming together to help the homeless for Christmas. In London, a partnership of Muslim and Christian groups teamed up to deliver turkey dinners and sleeping kits to 90 people last week. Meanwhile, a coalition of eight religious charities combined forces to open a shelter in Leicester.

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It was reported Thursday that the Ebola vaccine tested 100 percent success in over 6,000 people and will be fast-tracked for global use in 2018.

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And, let’s not gloss over this adorably determined panda who was caught on the Toronto Zoo Panda Cam wrestling a snowman.

So, friends, this Christmas, let’s keep in mind the true meaning of the holiday. Be good to one another and to yourselves. And...

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Claire Downs is a writer and comedian based out of Los Angeles. She's written for Nickelodeon, VH1, Funny or Die, and Hello Giggles. You can follow her on Twitter @clairecdowns. She prefers Indica to Sativa, in case you're wondering.



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