Xmas - And, lo, a small teddy bear will lead them:
In the days before Christmas, the Rude Pundit roamed his neighborhood, looking at the displays in the charming stores and corner markets. There he saw the agony of so many dichotomous feelings about this holiday. One window had a kneeling, praying Santa next to a baby Jesus in the manger. Santa's hat was off. He was balding. Another display had the jolly old fat man landing his sleigh and reindeer on the roof of the manger. Surprisingly, neither Mary nor Joseph seemed rattled by the noise, although a camel was looking upward, as if asking, "What the fuck?" The Rude Pundit loved that camel.

Ah, sweet camel, what the fuck, indeed. Christ and commerce, Alleluia. The Savior has been born and he thanks you for your presents. Santa showing that he'll even honor the king of the Jews in the land of Islam. There's no telling what it means (and don't get all up in the Rude Pundit's face about St. Nicholas). Except this: we want to embrace both things, good deconstructionists that we are: Santa, who soothes our greed,and Jesus, who promises us peace. Either way, we want them both to tell us we're good people, nice people. And, of course, guilt-ridden Christians want to make sure that Santa toes the party line, you know.

For the holiday, here's a few of the Rude Pundit's favorite Nativity sets:
The Polar Bear Nativity (the manger reads, "Alaska")
The Teddy Bear Nativity (because baby Jesus isn't cute enough as a human)
The Mice Nativity
The Native American Nativity (complete with teepee instead of manger and a Mohawk king, 'cause, you know, the Indians benefited so much from the birth of Christ)
This is not to mention the Cativity, the Dogtivity, the Chickentivity, the Safaritivity, and the Forestivity, all available unironically for your Christmas consumption.

Back Monday with commentary on torture of another kind. And Tuesday, with more tales of the Christ weary.