Arts and Culture

Occupy Christmas: What protesters could learn from the true meaning of the holidays

There once was a Grinch who hated Christmas. By extension, he also hated a group of creatures called Whos who loved Christmas, and so one night he snuck into their village and stole all of their Christmas presents, which did not deter them from celebrating Christmas anyway, and then the Grinch learned the meaning of Christmas and everybody was happy.

Cool story, except in the real world, Christmas is about presents and true justice can only be applied through force. But there is a lesson we can take from this Dr. Seuss-penned tale if we see it as an allegory, and in that allegory, Occupy Protesters are the Grinch who Ruined Christmas with Shiftlessness.

The reason the Occupy movement exists has never quite been clear -- it seems currently to be a series of complaints about police harassment -- but it was originally something about socialist wealth-redistribution and not getting a job. And that's sad, because getting a job is the only way you can participate in Christmas unless you are independently wealthy, because, as we all know, Christmas is about commerce.

It's right there in the bible: "And lo, an angel of the Lord came upon them... and the Angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of awesome savings, which shall be for all people, even liberals. For unto you is born this day in a shopping plaza near you a super-sale, with discounts up to 40 percent." That chapter of the gospel of Luke goes on to recount how three Wise Men came to baby Jesus bearing gifts, like frankincense, the iPad 2 and a Set 'n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker! (TM). Then, as the legend goes, Baby Jesus grew up to be Santa Clause and now he lives in malls.

And Jews, don't think you're off the hook here, either, because it's pretty much the same thing with Hanukkah, during which a holy Menorah once burned for eight days with the help of oil subsidies and Alaskan Wildlife Refuge drilling.

But of course, there is no such thing as "Santa Clause" or a "Menorah," and in reality, Christmas depends on you and me, and specifically on the influx of cash and trade that allows retailers to hire on temporary help and artificially drive down the unemployment rate. It's good for business all around, and what's good for business is good for ordinary folks, and what's not good for business is to stand around in the street provoking gentle-hearted policemen to acts of shocking brutality by complaining about how some people are rich.

We shouldn't be complaining about how rich people are rich, not on Christmas. Rich people can't help it if they're genetically superior to people of lesser economic means -- they were just either born that way or born with the genetically superior work-ethic to make them that way; nevertheless, history teaches us that there's no way to remain poor in these great United States if you've just got a bootstraps and a little gumption. And you can't get either of those things camping in parks and inciting Very Small Riots. You can, however, get them in select retail outlets -- from behind the cash register! Ha ha! Get it? [Hint: The joke is saying that you can't really buy gumption and bootstraps, but you can earn those things through gainful employment, possibly in a retail outlet.]

So this Christmas, let's extend a big hearty thanks to rich people from beyond the confines of their ornately walled gardens for keeping the economy going with the lavish gifts they will buy for themselves and their loved ones. And while we're at it, let's go out and also get one of those temporary jobs, because something is better than nothing. And maybe then our children can have a Christmas that's not some lame-ass no-gift Christmas just like rich people have except for not as good.

Because it's not just rich people's job to buy products. It's our job, too. That's the reason for the season.

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