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Maxed Out

Channelling the true spirit of Christmas



And so it came to pass, as it does around this time every year, that the days were completed to deliver a Christmas column. This will have to do.

It's been a tumultuous year. From the opening salvo of pre-Olympic frenzy, to the months of great loss, to the light at the end of the tunnel, it's been a year when I've been overwhelmed with the feeling I can't really trust myself. The safe space in my head where I retreat to sort things out offers all the support of loose tapioca.

The first rule of writing is this: write what you know. If I put any faith in that rule, I'd have quit this job after the first dozen weeks. And right now, I'm in a Rumsfeldian vortex - don't know what I know, don't know what I don't know.

The first rule of being a columnist is this: being completely unqualified to offer an opinion on a subject is an insufficient reason to forego offering an opinion on said subject. I've never violated that rule.

Being completely unsure of myself and facing the daunting task of writing something vaguely Christmassy, I figured I needed some help. Who ya gonna call?


Away in a Manger

As any fool will tell you, Christmas is all about celebrating the birth of Jesus. If Away In a Manger and Oh Little Town of Bethlehem isn't enough to convince you of this simple fact, the word alone should suffice.

Christ·mas : December 25 th , widely celebrated as the birth of Jesus. From the Latin (Christ) being the nickname Jesus was given by his close friends + (Mass) being an almost incomprehensible Roman Catholic Eucharistic liturgy intoned in a dead language and designed to offer children their first real glimpse of eternity.

Still, doubts linger in an increasingly secular society. A recent poll conducted by USA Today found the birth of Jesus was mentioned by fewer people as the "True meaning of Christmas" than was, in order, getting presents, office parties, cookies and dropping a small fortune to decorate the house.

Using the power of modern technology I reached Jesus through www.channelthedead.com and put the question to him. For the sake of brevity, I'll abbreviate what was quite a lengthy correspondence.

Max: Happy Birthday, dude!

Jesus: Thanks.

Max: So, some people claim you weren't really born on Christmas. Any truth to that?

Jesus: You're born; you die. Maybe you're saved; maybe not. Up to you. What's important is what you do in between, isn't it?