We Wish You an Ironic Christmas
What does every Christmas story have in common? Is it joy? Merriment? Giving? Chocolate? The word "'twas?" The answer may surprise you. Irony. Every single story ever told about Christmas is ironic. Think about it. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas ends up giving it back, Rudolph's nose makes him an outcast his whole life but suddenly turns him into a hero, and Ralphie's infamous Red Ryder BB gun (spoiler alert!) does shoot his eye out.
But what does irony have to do with Christmas? Everything. Because every Christmas story is just a reflection of the Christmas story. This holiday celebrates the birth of God's son on earth as a man. What a grand occasion that must have been. Yet, the story says that Jesus was born in a manger to an unmarried woman on the run in the land of shepherds. How ironic. Someone so great and holy came into the world surrounded by the lowest of society. How ironic that King Herod tried to hunt down the one that was sent to save him. How ironic that three wise men came and bestowed the baby with expensive gifts, but the gift we remember best is the song the little drummer boy gave Him. How ironic that, 33 years later, a sinless person took the blame for all sins.
I try to keep in mind this irony during the season. It helps remind me that, like in A Wonderful Life, the poor can still be rich and, like in A Christmas Carol, the opposite can be true as well. It helps me remember one of the most important messages of the holiday, that more comes from giving presents than from receiving them. It helps me stay away from what Christmas has become for many: a time of stress, materialism, division. I hope that these humbug vibes cannot drown out the peace, generosity and unity that Christmas is all about. That would be ironic.