Sur-ro-gate (verb \ˈsər-ə-ˌgāt, ˈsə-rə-\ ).    According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, when used as a noun, a surrogate is one who is appointed to act in place of another or one that serves as a substitute.

As a Christian, I have never been happy with the commercialization of Christmas where the celebration of God’s love gift of Christ to the world has been substituted with a message of crass consumerism and materialism;  where the joy of giving has been replaced by the lust of receiving and where Christmas has been replaced by X-mas.

But this year, I have a new gripe.  I went to my local shopping mall today and as usual, all the normal over the top Christmas decorations were up. However, there was no jolly ol’ Santa entertaining the children;  no plump  fatherly character with a white beard and bright red suit;  no red nosed reindeer or friendly North Pole elves.  Good Grief, there were not even any Santa-rina’s in short skirts!

Instead, jolly Santa was replaced by the Grinch!  The Grinch, was decked out in Santa’s red costume and wandering the mall yelling out, “Merry Christmas” while doing some kind of dance.  Occasionally, he’d stop, bare his big yellow teeth and pat some child on the head.  The Grinch was not alone.  He was accompanied by what appeared to be a white faced Chinese Martial Arts Swordsman and a leprechaun. The theme apparently was “Christmas – Tis the time to be Fable-ous”.


My, my green you look!

Most years at this time, I usually include some pictures or videos of Christmas lights, celebrations or decorations.  This year I am using the illuminated Font Magica Barcelona located at Montjuic, Barcelona as a surrogate.  Enjoy.


Font Magica Barcelona (Picture by LGS)
Font Magica Barcelona (Photo by LGS)
Font Magica Barcelona (Photo by LGS)
Font Magica Barcelona (Photo by LGS)
Font Magica Barcelona (Photo by LGS)


14 thoughts on “Surrogates”

  1. As much as I love the Seuss book, that’s just wrong.

    You know, even as a non-religious person, I don’t care for the incredible focus on buying as much as possible. We do a tree and gifts and stockings, but I don’t spend a lot of time at the stores. For me it’s about peace and family and love.

  2. The reason for the season seems to be forgotten or changed to MAKE MONEY&GET STUFF. Wrong! wrong!

  3. While I don’t like the Grinch surrogating for Santa (I have seen it here too!), the ‘love thy neighbour’ and ‘rejoice’ part of the Seussonian fable is in sync with the some of the Christmas message.

    I als0 dislike the crass munificence of the Christmas-time scene in shopping malls, television, and… well, everywhere. The fake jolly veneer over the still-obtrusive undercurrent of ‘buy! buy now! buy more!’ Definitely not the point.

  4. I am not familiar with this “grinch”-character, but prima faacie I’d say it has not too much in common with St.Nick. Reading the wiki article I learn that it was invented be a man called Dr. Seuss (whom I always sorted in as a cartoon figure, is there actual a person? I have to check this.) as a kind of incarnation of the anti-spirit of the time. Accompanied by a leprechaun and a swordsman – the incarnation of non-christian paganism and a fighter.
    You can not deny that the person – a sales executive? – did invest some thinking and came up with the total negation: A mean spirit, a heathen dwarf-entity of dubious character and a killer right to oppose the idea of peace and consolation expressed by the birth of Christ. It’s a bit like serving roasted pig at the beginning of Ramadan.
    But maybe we should not mix what can not be mixed: There’s a business side to the season, where symbols are used – and St. Nickolaus becomes degraded to a fat bearded man in a red coat giving presents to children, a business event and nothing else. Do not forget that “Sanata Claus” as we know him now is a very recent, business related invention.
    The other side is the spiritual experience, the eternal story of poor people, who have to move from place to place, and have – on top of it – a child born. Any child can be the Christ. We should treat them this way.
    End of sermon.

    By the way, I never saw this fountain!

  5. Cabcree,
    Yeah, I’m not too big on Santa too but what’s next? Jolly Twilight Vampires?

    Secret Agent,
    I think you got it right. Have a blessed, peaceful and loved filled Christmas.

  6. Joyce,
    Christmas bells should be ringing and carolers should be singing …….not cash registers and tills ringing.

    The crass commercialization and the promotion of materialisation really gets my goat. Christmas was all about God’s giving and loving and His example for all of us. Grinch is just a symptom of that underlying ill. I remember that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles once replaced Santa before too when they had action toys to sell. But then again, I guess there are even Santa action toys too.

  7. Mago,
    It was a good sermon! And you are so right that sales person did do a complete negation of everything positive. The fountain is awaiting you in Barcelona and does regular light shows most evenings.

  8. OK that one brought me up short. Wonder how mom and pops explained that one away? Personally seeing as we all know that Jesus was not born in the heart of the winter solstice I really have no need for the trappings and traipsing of this particular season. But I do use it as an excuse to do a little bit of what I do best which is not write poetry.

  9. You know, this is now called the “Holiday Season” rather than Christmas. My Christmas has been expunged, and has now become politically incorrect. It is sort of like Bedford Falls being turned into Pottersville. It’s so sad. The other day at our Christmas party — oops I mean Holiday Party — Santa came in carrying a Happy Hannakah sign, but we were not allowed to mention Christmas.

    But the pendulum will swing back the other way again one day…

    Merry Christmas, Calvin…!!!! 🙂

  10. Huh. Weird. But unfortunately not surprising. Pushing people to buy stuff that they don’t really need is such a greedy thing for businesses to do. But what makes me sad is that so many people give in year after year. If folks didn’t buy so much for Christmas then businesses wouldn’t push so much.

    Materialism has a hold that is difficult to let go I guess. More stuff, newer stuff, can never bring peace or satisfaction. It will never be enough. I hope that people start focusing more on how they can help others. So many people this year are really struggling. God bless anyone who sees that and does something about it.

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a lovely New Year!

  11. Jo,
    I do hope that we will all help swing the pendulum back the other way. Blessed Christmas.

    You are spot on. They chose three books and took characters from the books. I don’t even think two of the books had anything to do with Christmas at all.

    I think you are right. Helping others should be our way of celebrating Christmas. Have a blessed and joyous one.

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