Who killed the Goblin.

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For the love of beer!
HBT Supporter
Sep 27, 2005
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Cheshire, England
Death of a Goblin.

Bah, Humbug!

The illustration is by Ronald Searle, from A Christmas Carol, 1960.
It is no surprise that Christmas brings out the inner curmudgeon as surely as it brings out the inner child. Most of the year, I cultivate a certain, shall we say, gay curmudgeon in myself. But I stow it away come Christmastime. Others find Christmas to be the ideal season during which to display their humbuggery, taking ample opportunity to guffaw and harrumph.
The greatest of the humbuggers is, of course, Scrooge. And in Scrooge we find a proof of my thesis here because his story is the central myth of the Victorian Christmas as we know, remember, and practice it. (Both this year and last, my friend Roy took me to the American Conservatory Theater's exquisite performance of "A Christmas Carol." If you live in San Francisco, by all means make plans to see it!) In other words, is it not curious that this great Christmas story addresses humbuggery, even if humbuggery meets its match.
Humbuggery, then, is as much Christmas as sleigh bells and wassail. But, the humbugger is not even so much our alter ego as our familiar. He participates with us as we play our Christmas games. He searches Christmas out so as to have a venue to humbugger. The twinkle of lights inspires him as it does us. And, most importantly, he understands and believes that behind Christmas is something greater than what stands before us.
Modern humbuggers often ramble on about the commercialization of Christmas. Of course, they would equally rail against the commercialization of life itself in a larger sense, but that would undermine the special holiday pleasure of taking Santa Claus's name in vain. Modern humbuggers often snicker at all the lights and sweetmeats and specificities of Christmas, averring that it is all hollow or meaningless. But they too line up, demanding, "We all want our figgie pudding" just as do dedicated Christmas sprites.
Because humbuggers merely celebrate the season of warmth and giving in a different fashion ... and we must give them the same courtesy and acceptance as we give all the various Christmastime celebrations. Let them grumble by the raging fire, and pass them another mug of wassail.
Now, some will say that they truly hate Christmas, perhaps because of some childhood trauma, or because they despise what they see as its phoniness, or because the season as we presently enjoy it devotes insufficient time to religion or ideology.
There are two arguments we can make here. The first is that this is a season whose very message transcends the specific religion or ideology or practice to become a greater reflection upon the qualities which draw us together, which make us better people. That this celebration is associated with a specific tradition or culture is no surprise, nor should it be. Surely it is a great social good that we carve out a season of the year to remind ourselves directly that there are greater goods and larger purposes, that goodwill is a facet of human being to be cultivated. The humdrum of our everyday lives does not provide the same collective venue as a designated season for higher reflection. So we use the opportunity of an ancient, syncretic tradition to remind ourselves of the currents of warmth and kindness that course through even the Scroogiest of us all.
The second argument, not unconnected to the first, is that all is not what it seems. We might say that the phoniness of Christmas masks its inevitable ability to inspire. We might say that the bright lights enable the Scrooge to contemplate human kindness while attention is focused elsewhere. We might say that the "phony" displacement of attention from the intractable problems of this terrible species to which we belong enables reflection otherwise unattainable. We might just say simply that a pause for joy is good for you, so take your medicine whether you like it or not.
Which, I think brings us back to poor Scrooge. He was cured of his humbuggery by ghosts who scared him into jolliness. We often think of poor Tiny Tim, or the efficacy of ghosts, or even the terrible effects of the promise of inevitable death. But I say, think back on Scrooge. Were not the ghosts creations of his own mind? Did he not reflect upon his own life, his own choices and the effects of those choices on those around him? Did he not find Christmas within?
So Scrooge is just like our putative humbugger ... a man of goodwill and joy unwilling for whatever reasons to express those qualities in the very season which epitomizes them. So the next time your mean Uncle Al or your surly Aunt Bess grouses at all the trouble, hand them a glass of Christmas ale with a smile and a pat on the back.
And say this: Merry Christmas to all
and to all a good night.

Ah, there it is. So is this a permanent death or a temporary thing? Do I have to start calling you "BAH" or "Hummer" or something?
while I enjoy Christmas, putting up all the decorations and Christmas tree annoys the **** out of me.
I'm in favor of legislation declaring that Xmas shall only be observed once every four years. That schedule works well with the Olympics, I see no reason why it shouldn't work for shamelessly commercial holidays as well.

Write your congressman.
Jeezus, Orfy, I ain't reading that whole thing. Brevity apparently is not your strong suit. I agree with your Scroogeness, though. Bah Humbug!
Bernie Brewer said:
Jeezus, Orfy, I ain't reading that whole thing. Brevity apparently is not your strong suit. I agree with your Scroogeness, though. Bah Humbug!

x2.... I need cliff notes.
Bah Humbug said:
It says.

I don't like Christmas so be nice.

Much better. Thanks!

I second your sentiments BTW.:mug:

EDIT: My apologies if I was a bit crass in my first post in this thread. I was grouchy because the Packers were stinking up the TV, plus I had a a few Belgians in me and was getting quite druck.....:drunk:
Actually, me too!

Now, I do like Christmas. I mean as an acknowlegdement of the birth of Jesus. I like setting aside time in my life to ponder the meaning of this, because in my day to day life, I'm not a real deep thinker. As a Christian, this is important to do.

But I hate the presents, decorations, store displays and the friggin' Christmas music they've been playing on the radio for two weeks already! I hate the commercials that encourage men to buy diamonds for the women in their lives because it's Christmas. Or a Lexus. I hate the ads that encourage people to go crazy and go into debt because my Savior came to earth in the flesh.

I did buy my kids presents- don't get me wrong. But never, ever, did I go overboard and put things on a credit card. A few gifts to delight the kids- that's really fun. This year, I have two older teens (17 and 15) and my exhusband and I chipped in and got Tara an Ipod to take to college next year. She's always wanted one! My son will probably get an amp for his guitar. But these are things I would have bought eventually for them anyway, or had them chip in on them. To go crazy and go into debt is nuts!
My kids are all under 8, so Christmas is a fun time of year for that reason alone. If it weren't for them I could take it or leave it.

All of the family get togethers drive me nuts. There should be a limit of one Christmas visit per family. Between now and Christmas day we will get together with SWMBO's family 4 times and I have absolutely no idea why.
ohiobrewtus said:
All of the family get togethers drive me nuts. There should be a limit of one Christmas visit per family. Between now and Christmas day we will get together with SWMBO's family 4 times and I have absolutely no idea why.

Wow, that's like every week with SWMBO's family. We usually rotate holidays between her side and my side. This year it was my family for Thanksgiving and it'll be her's for Christmas. Next year vice versa and so on. Eventually both sides will be together for most of the holidays. That'll make things easier and harder :cross:
I enjoy Christmas because I love this time of year (snow and cold), seeing my kids happy and excited, and I actually enjoy getting together with family. We don't get together much through the year since everyone is so busy but we always make time for christmas.
The commercialization of Santa clause is the only thing that pisses me off. Santa advertising furniture, a movie about santa's brother, santa advertising cameras, santa driving a herd of f****** mercedes benz for christ's sake.(sorry)

Religeon aside, I think that the image of santa as a kindly soul delivering presents IS christmas to me. And veryone else can just rot in hell.(just kidding)
Woohoo! I drew standby for Christmas so I get to stay home.

I think Christmas sucks too. It's so bloody expensive that I have to stop building on my house until I can get all the gifts bought and paid off. I usually don't get much of anything for myself but I sure do buy a lot. Three teenagers in the house that now have adult tastes. I can't get away with a few silly kids toys anymore. I'm not religious so I don't even have that to enjoy.

I guess the days off are nice, but in order to stay home and relax I have to take standby. No beer, no eggnog.

Christmas sucks.
Bah Humbug said:
It says.

I don't like Christmas so be nice.

To who?


Everyone on the forum?

Everyone in general no matter how stupid they are?

Sorry, just need some clarification. Don't want to be nice unnecessarily.

Merry Christmas!
z987k said:
while I enjoy Christmas, putting up all the decorations and Christmas tree annoys the **** out of me.

wow, that makes me sad. I get so f'in gleeful doing the decorations and such. I'm seriously like a little kid at christmas time. My brother is even worse, he OD's on it.

Now, between my wife and I we have 3 parents, 8 brothers laws and sisters + a few in and 3 neices/nephews. The one thing that bothers me is my wife thinks everyone needs to get a real nice present. I'm seriously scared we are dropping around a grand on christmas presents. I hate hate hate when my wife spends too much money.

Other than that, christmas is the greatest time of the year :D :D