As a Jewish teenager at Leesville Road, Christmas confuses me.
Plastic Christmas trees. Multicolored flashing lights. Tinsel and garland from Dollar General. The overwhelming commercialization of December 25 is a virus; it infects the heart of the holiday and reduces it to nothing more than a worldwide party.
With only childhood memories of lighting the menorah on Hanukkah to guide me, I have never, and never will be, more than an observer of Christmas traditions. But I have noticed that through all of the manufactured garbage, one man has had it the worst of all: Santa Claus.
I cannot say that I know the above-mentioned Mr. Claus on any sort of personal level. However, if I were to guess, I would assume that he would not appreciate the tarnishing of his image. Sweets and chocolates, inflatable lawn ornaments– the list goes on.
Still, none of those atrocities measures up to the most heinous act in all the land: Secret Santa. While dear Santa Claus spends his holiday season toiling over gifts for children all over the world, thousands of mischievous students steal his thunder with their personal gift-giving.
Many of Leesville’s own partake in Secret Santa without ever realizing the consequences of their actions. Emily Parks, sophomore and Secret Santa mastermind, has enlisted a group of her friends to participate each of the past two years. “It’s just a fun way to get into the holiday spirit. Since I was a freshman, my friends and I have gotten together at some point and exchanged gifts.”
Cole Basset, junior, realizes the true purposes of Secret Santa groups. “They come with great intentions, but that’s just how they lure you in,” said Basset. “They’ve chosen you, which is great for you; the problem is that not everybody can be chosen.”
What Basset is referring to is the real crime in Secret Santa, the selection process.
“I had a group come to me and ask if I wanted to join. The reason I said no was because I realized that they were only choosing certain people, and I don’t want anyone to feel left out,” said Basset.
And therein lies the evil of Secret Santa. According to legend, every year Jolly Ole’ Saint Nick travels worldwide on Christmas Eve, delivering presents to good boys and girls everywhere.
The very principle of Secret Santa slanders that image even more than it already has been. What about all the good boys and girls who happen not be included into a group?
Santa’s glory stems from his equality. No matter what gender, color, race or religion, Santa Claus gives gifts to everyone so long as they behave. Secret Santa takes that blank state and twists the good name of Father Christmas by excluding certain children from holiday merriness with its selectivity.
Parks, looking back, recognizes her mistakes but still refuses to learn from them. “Maybe it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, especially if people are distraught over my actions. Still, I think Secret Santa is worth it; it’s a fun, enjoyable experience to participate in. I just hope everyone has the opportunity to take part at some point,” said Parks.
Basset was enraged. “Brendan, I am no Grinch,” said the frustrated junior. “But this all has to end! It is extortion amongst so-called friends, and the selection process is emotionally destructive to too many people.”
My loyal fans, I agree. Stop the madness and the heartbreak. Am I Ebeneezer Scrooge? Not in the slightest. However, it is my duty as a responsible Loonie to use my influence to rid our fine school of this menace once and for all. So again, I beg, run Secret Santa and its destructive selectivity out of Leesville and make Kris Kringle proud.