So let’s get the facts in summary. In an effort to appease the pagan rabble, some jack-leg 4th-century pope declared that Christ’s birthday would henceforth be celebrated on Dec. 25—just-never-you-mind that he was probably born, as best the scholars and other Satanists can tell, in September, or some other goddam thing.
This was the spoonful of sugar for the bitter pill of conversion—so the heathens could preserve their dawn-of-winter cocktail rituals even as they accepted a new national orthodoxy. Never let a little thing like religion get in the way of a good party, Jake.
And over the centuries, the freshly anointed holiday continued to adopt as its own the weird and colorful trappings of sundry other second-banana faith outfits—Yule logs from European sun-god worshippers, gift-giving from Roman Saturnalia, seasonal trees from the Druids. All of which contributed to shaping this particular bastardized western v. of the classic pagan Solstice celebration into the goofy, quasi-secular, touchy-feely consumerist exercise in boozing it up and taking a month off from work that we’ve all come to love and loathe.
And now, with the coming of century number 21 and the New Era of Sensitivity, a growing faction of folks would have us erase all trace of the word “Christmas” from our collective public vocabs., take down our Santas and trees and discount made-in-Hong-Kong nativity scenes because the holiday is just too damned Jesus-y.
Well, f#$% all that. Christmas is about as Christian as my Great Aunt Suzy’s toe fungus. For better or worse, it ‘s the great American holiday—parties and gifts and spiked egg nog and much mad running about, all of it set in a landscape festooned with the peregrine relics of few dozen lost and otherworldly creeds. Kind of like a D-1 college football game, but with fruitcake.
Here at our very own Preservation Pub, no one cares how, or to whom, you say your Hosannas. If there is a state religion here, it’s called Beer. Adeste Fideles, you weasel bastards: Let us now lay burnt offerings at the altar of the Temple of Barley and Hops.
That being said, we do pay proper lip service to the bug-f@#$ nutso American tradition that is Christmas. And in the spirit of the season, here is a list of Christmas wishes for members of our weird little community, plus a few others who just look like they could use the help:
*For Preservation Pub promoter and Just Say Maybe bassist Scott West: The grace of humility. We’re not saying Scott’s ego is big. But it has its own cell phone. And a better data plan.
*For Pub promotress Bernadette West: A life preserver. Handy for throwing, when hubby Scott goes off the deep end.
*For dearly departed Just Say Maybe drummer Dustin West: Two six-packs of tallboy Mountain Dew, and an eternity’s supply of drumsticks. C/O the Afterlife. We miss you, friend.
*For Oodles chef, Jojax skinsman and new Just Say Maybe drummer Andy Cosby: Two large feet. Simply because he has big shoes to fill.
*For Pub doorman and Grandpa’s Stash trombone rockstar John Colquitt: A special drawer. Who’da thunk a burly trombone player would prompt so many panties to be hurled onstage?
*For Pub server Rachel Williams: Sure footing. So as to avoid another year of grueling orthopedic rehab in 2014.
*For Scruffy City Hall brewmeister Sir Logan of Wentworth: A 40-inch vertical leap. Because you can’t brew great beer without mad hops.
*For Blank newspaper publisher/editor/writer/promoter/ad man Rusty Odom: An industrial strength comb. Because wearing so many hats can sure muss a man’s hair.
*For Just Say Maybe frontman Tom Appleton: A degree in dentistry. Because playing in a band with Senor Scott is just like pulling teeth.
*For members of Knoxville’s Historic Zoning Commission: Colored contact lenses. So perhaps they will be able to look at old buildings with new eyes.
*For State Senator Stacey Campbell: A trip back home (to Vestal, New York) for the holidays. Hmmm. This ticket says “one-way”…
*For Tennessee Governor (and Knoxville ex-pat) Bill Haslam: A comfy cushion. Because the bells get awfully jingly when you spend so much time sitting on the fence.
*For U.S. President Barack Obama: A mixed stocking. Lumps of coal, for certain miscellaneous naughtiness. (“Get that NSA mess off the carpet. And how many times have we told you to stop playing with the Middle East?”) Plus a pair of thick, heavy boots. For wading through rampant pilings of Elephant shit.
Now, if anyone has been offended by this broad-ranging little Christmas epistle, please rest assured that I do not care. As to those of you who weren’t… you probably weren’t paying much attention. That is all, my friends. Be of good spirits, and we will see you again at the hopeful dawn of the New Year.