No one can blame an alien – from a far-flung galaxy – for thinking that earthlings, especially those living in South Africa, worship some very strange gods.
If an alien had to visit our shopping malls during this time of the year, he would come to the conclusion that we are in the midst of celebrating and worshipping to our gods: the Pine Tree, the Tinsel Rope, the Flashing String of Lights, the Shining Bauble, and the Fat Man in the Red Suit – with Elves as his helpers. (Note: Elves, not Elvis.)
Go to any shopping centre and you would be hard-pressed to find anything depicting the birth of Christ. Gone are the days of little Nativity scenes and Bethlehem stars, of children singing “Away in the Manger,” of wishing one another a “Merry Christmas.” It has now become the politically correct “Season’s Greetings” and “Happy Holidays.”
Should some benevolent earthling take the time to explain to our alien visitor that Christians traditionally celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ; he would still be baffled as to why atheists participate in the festivities; and why they should benefit from the Christian holidays. It would also be difficult to explain why atheists do not celebrate the Islamic, Hindu, and Buddhist religious days, with the same fervour and enthusiasm.
Atheists would be quick to point out that the 25th of December was originally a pagan winter festival. So, does that mean atheists are actually pagans, who, by coincidence, are celebrating their pagan rituals during Christ’s birthday? Who knows; if you believe in nothing, you might as well be a pagan.
The point I’m trying to make is that, if you are an atheist, Hindu, Buddhist, or from the Islamic faith, why don’t you refuse to take the Christmas holiday and prove your religious conviction by insisting on going to work on the 25th of December?
An alien would also find it strange that snow is depicted in all the pictures of reindeer, layered on the roofs of happy little cottages, and other festive scenes. For most of us living in this country, the only white stuff you will ever see is the cocaine concealed in the dreadlocks of some (innocent, Ha!) drug mule.
And then, last but not least, our little green visitor, with his antennae by now quivering, would be flabbergasted by the compulsive over-eating and drinking of the earthlings; as well as the unrestrained use of their credit cards.
If the baffled alien had to come back at the end of January, he would be even more confused. The “Happy Season’s” gods will have deserted their worshippers after having punished them with extra kilos in weight, empty bank accounts, and unpaid bills. As usual.
Getting into his departing space ship, you would probably hear him saying something like: “Ho! Ho! Ho! These creatures are crazy!”