Dateline: TORONTO—Many Torontonians and Americans have had their power knocked out by a catastrophic ice storm, but some are taking solace in the fact that being cursed with such utter darkness has taught them the true, horrible meaning of Christmas.
The ice storm has brought down thousands of large tree branches which knocked out power lines, causing power outages in the homes of over 200,000 Torontonians alone. Huddling around their candles, fireplaces, and flashlights, in the bitter coldness of the Canadian winter, with darkness falling at 4:30pm, some of these haggard Canadians have rediscovered the original purpose of Christmas.
“It suddenly dawned on me,” said one Torontonian, holding his two children by the fireplace in his living room which has become his family’s makeshift bedroom. “With all this coldness and darkness and with the winter solstice coincidentally happening right about now, who needs this nonsensical Santa Claus fellow? It’s all about the sun, isn’t it? Sol Invictus, as the Romans used to call it, the Unconquered Sun. What’s the point of worshipping Jesus, either? Without the sun, we’d really be screwed.
“You don’t appreciate the sun until it’s gone for a long while and you’re left without substitutes like commercial light bulbs or power generators. Not until you’re sitting in your house, which feels more like a cave in the evening and nighttime, with all the lights out and no heating or distractions from TV or the internet—not until you’re looking out the window at the desolation, at the trees torn in two by the weight of the frozen branches and at the fire trucks going by and the ice coating absolutely everything outside, that you start to beg for the sun to return.
“How spoiled we’ve become with this Santa Claus impostor! Jesus said to give away all your possessions, because you’ve got more important things to do, worrying about, you know, your eternal destiny in the afterlife. And now on Jesus’s alleged birthday we’re supposed to be consumed with acquiring more and more possessions? How obscene is that?
“Anyway, I’ve got even more important things to worry about now, like keeping my kids from freezing to death. Bless the sun’s return in full force around our silly little Christmas Day!”
Asked about the true meaning of Christmas, the shivering Torontonian said, “It’s that we’re no better off in some ways than our ancient ancestors who literally worshipped the sun. But the sun’s not alive. Neither, of course, is the freezing rain. We’re at the mercy of indifferent natural forces.
“By all means, let’s be jolly when the days will finally start to get longer around Dec 25. But is it too much to ask to spare a thought for the true hero in all of this and not be distracted with tales of some fat guy who cares too much about children? Or with myths of some ancient bearded dude who would pretty much hate all of us awful hypocrites if he were still around? Bless the sun, I say! And to you, Unconquered Sun, even though you can’t hear me and you couldn’t care less, I say, irrationally: Get yourself back here ASAP before I freeze my balls off!”