For most of my adult life, I have hated Christmas with a passion. (And I come from a Christian background.) As one friend remarked, "It's a re-paganized Christianized pagan holiday." I always admired the suggestion of one priest that Christians move the entire religious observance of the nativity to Epiphany (known in some traditions as "Old Christmas") and just abandon December 25 with its shopping, trees, tinsel, Santa Claus and general bad taste to the pagans. My mother often suggested that gay men were the only adult males that truly liked Christmas. ("Oh, you must come and see our tree.") I have heard the expression, "As queer as Christmas," so maybe there was something to her opinion. As it is, I just dislike the tacky decorations, the expense, the hassle, the sense of mutual obligation in gift giving, as well as the tawdry, sentimental pseudo-religiosity. Besides, I almost invariably seem to catch cold at Christmas time. My most illustrious ancestor commanded the dragoons in Cromwell's New Model Army. The Roundheads were big on stamping out Christmas ("the superstitious festival of the nativity"), so maybe it's a hereditary thing with me.