Lessons to Unlearn from Glee – Season 3, Episode 9

I’m going off-form for this one. Because this is my blog and I can.

This episode of “Glee” had the exact opposite effect on me that a Christmas special is supposed to have, and I think quite unintentionally. See, a Christmas special – be it the Christmas episode, a made-for-TV movie, or a regular movie with a Christmas theme – is supposed to start with the idea that the world sucks, or it sucks for our lead character, or something specifically sucky is happening, but then we learn the true meaning of Christmas and are uplifted and feel very warm in our hearts and generous to our fellow man and like maybe the world is not so crappy after all.

This episode started me off all heart-warmy. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I f-ing love “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” So I started the episode on a happy note. And then I didn’t really pay attention to anything until the Artie-directed Christmas special, which I thought was adorable. I mean, really. That’s what those kids do best, that tongue-in-cheek overacting thing. So friggin’ cute. And so many good songs. “Let it Snow” as performed by Kurt and Blaine? Adorable! “Favorite Things” with Mercedes and Rachel? Love it! “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” the Bruce Springsteen arrangement, with Finn and Puck? Okay, so they’re not The Boss, but still, ! “Christmas Wrapping” with Brittany and the Cheerios? I love that song! Heart? Warmed!

And then it all went to shit.

First, Irish (what, like I’m supposed to remember this character’s name?) has to go all Jesus on us for the meaning of Christmas. See, he was supposed to enter the Christmas special with an edited version of Frosty the Snowman, in which Frosty doesn’t melt (which, yes, would have been dumb) but instead he reads a passage from something New Testament-related about the prediction of Jesus’s birth. To an audience of one atheist (Kurt), three Jews (Rachel, Puck, and Artie the director), several people whose religious leanings we know nothing about (Blaine, Brittany, Santana, Finn, the Cheerios), and one actual Christian (Mercedes). All of whom look rapt and rueful and full of Christmas spirit.

Blech.

I mean, sure, it’s great to focus Christmas messages on giving and love and selflessness – but why did a secular show for secular audiences with plenty of non-Christian characters have to go straight to Jesus? Aren’t there about a billion Christmas stories and songs about giving and love and selflessness that aren’t about Jesus?

(And don’t give me that shit about “But Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus!” Bullshit. Santa. Reindeer. Elves. Fucking evergreen trees. Do these strike you as symbols that came out of ancient Israel?)

But look, if that had been all, I’d have let it pass. I am not the straw man Fox news believes exists who’s waging a war on Christmas.

It’s just that then, the gang went to a homeless shelter to serve dinner and sing. And they sang “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” And the thing is, I don’t think I’ve ever listened to that song. I mean, obviously, I’ve heard it. I am a person whose hearing works who lives in the English-speaking world. But I’ve never listened. And I was only half-listening this time, because I was also doing dishes, because, hey, listen up, all you bitches of Altanta and Beverly Hills and what have you, I am a real housewife. But what I was half-listening to was disturbing. “Thank God it’s them instead of you”?! That’s a Christmas message?! A message of love and giving and Jesus-ness?! No! The message of love and giving is, “Share what you have with them; make a commitment to work on eradicating the differences between you and them; actively work to not contribute to their misery.” Not “Remember how other people don’t have it so good and thank God you do.” Fuck that noise. That is not okay.

I mean, yeah, the other lyrics are “Feed the world,” and I know sales of the song raised a whole lot of money. But because of lyrics like that, it’s still the kind of song you can listen to and think you’re a better person because you went, “Yeah, man, those poor people over in Africa,” but you’re not because you didn’t fucking do anything.

And on that note, who wants to help me buy a sheep?

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