Sour grapes? A bah-humbug Scrooge? Anti-establishment? Irreligious? No! Practical. Logical. Truthful. And, believe it or not, biblical! Here are my reasons for deleting Christmas from my budget. Try it — you might like it! The average yuletide spender squanders nearly ten percent of his annual income on this overdone holiday, and keeps paying for it — no doubt at 18 + percent interest — for about two hundred shopping days after. And then it's time to start shopping and charging for the next "nativity." In short, I can't afford it! Materialism and commercialism so dominate this "season to be jolly" that many businesses depend on it for their survival. One good thing to notice — for those who didn't waste money they didn't have before December 25 — is that on the 26th of December, the same things you paid (?) terrible prices for are on sale for 30 to 50 percent off! That's the time to buy — what you need. Giving is special to me. I resent being expected, commanded, coerced, cajoled, beggared into giving. My gifts go to my family and loved ones spontaneously, with love and freedom — spaced by natural events that occur throughout the year. The total cost is far less, and the gifts are appreciated. "I hate Christmas," said one department store manager. "I hate the hypocrisy, the one-day Christianity of Christmas; I hate the commercialism — and I'm part of it!" The "spirit of Christmas" all too often comes from a bottle. Hypocrisy and frustration stand as the hallmarks of this season. A famous physician says that the Santa Claus myth is a fantastic web of lies which can cause your child — when he finds out — confusion of mind, possible schizoid splits in his personality, or even a physical ailment resulting from the emotional letdown of "losing " so close a friend as Santa. Truth is most precious — why lie to your kids? You know they'll find out sooner or later. And when they do, they'll always doubt a little about what you say from then on. As one kid was overheard to say: "Yea, and I'm going to check into this Jesus Christ stuff too!" Is that the kind of seed you want to sow? I hate to lie to my kids — how about you? More murders, divorces, family arguments, enemies made from friends, depressions, suicides, drunkenness, fights and just plain orneriness occur at this time of year than any other period. The Xmas tree bears bad fruit. Intellectual honesty is another victim of Xmas. You can search in vain and you will not find corroboration for the birth of Christ on December 25th. "Let's put Christ back in Christmas," many say — because they see the evils I have just enumerated. The difficulty is that Christ never was in Christmas in the first place. Nowhere will you find Him commanding or even suggesting that we notice His birthday — though He does command observance of His death day. In fact, it wasn't until many centuries after His death that the practice became "Christian." In fact, it's plainly pagan! Read Four Thousand Years of Christmas by Earl Wendel Count sometime and see. Then read Deuteronomy 12:30-31 — or maybe read that first; it's more easily available. To give to every Tom, Dick, Alice and Mary and NOT to give to Christ, particularly at a season which claims Him as its center, seems to me the greatest hypocrisy of all. If people came to your birthday party and exchanged gifts among themselves, leaving you completely out, how would you feel? If you are going to give to anyone at Xmastime, how about to Christ and His Work? When I gave up Christmas, I didn't give up anything but debt, materialism, hypocrisy, lying, bad fruits, intellectual dishonesty and paganism. The freedom of the truth is rich and gets richer every year. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Why don't you join me in my freedom? Why not X out Xmas?