Santa and Jesus at a Dinner Party

You're having a dinner party to celebrate the season finale of your favorite new show: So You Want to Be the Next Top Oompa Loompa Manservant. It's a great show. You're sad to see the first season end but hopeful that the great ratings will ensure another season to come. Clearly a dinner party on the night of the finale is an awesome idea. But you have a problem with the guest list...

You see, five of your friends are big fans of the show. Throughout the season you've shared lengthy conversations, emotional emails and excited show-time tweets. They really get why Oompa Loompas make the best manservants (tiny living quarters, payment in chocolate, etc.) In short, they make the whole show watching experience that much more fun and you feel great when they're around. Clearly they will be on the guest list! But then, there's Aunt Sally.

Aunt Sally is not really your aunt in any biological or marital sort of way. She's just this friend of your parents who has been around since before you were born. They taught you to call her Aunt Sally, which wasn't so weird as a kid, but as an adult feels a little strange--given that you aren't actually related and you very rarely have any contact with her other than hearing stories about her from your mother.

The only reason Aunt Sally is even on your radar is because you mentioned the dinner party to your mother and she suggested you invite her. Of course, you already knew Aunt Sally was a big fan of the show because your mother has told you about a million times. But you never expected to be asked to invite her to your party because... well because it's your party and the guest list should be up to you.

And now your mother's feelings are hurt. She's convinced that Aunt Sally will be terribly offended (though you're about 99% sure Aunt Sally won't care one way or the other). She says that she must have been a terrible mother for you to be so ungrateful as to not want Aunt Sally in your life, after all she did for you as a kid. And you feel a little guilty, even though you can't remember Aunt Sally ever doing a thing for you other than hanging out with your parents while you played in your room.

What's worse is that you know you'll probably be going through the same argument when you have your Christmas dinner party in a few weeks. The only difference is at that party you've already invited Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, Scrooge, The Grinch and Buddy Elf. Your parents' friend, Jesus, didn't make the cut, and you know your mother will be furious.

It's not that Jesus is such a bad guy. In fact, you kind of like some of his stories. It was cool when he made friends with Mary Magdalene, his Sermon on the Mount made some good points, and the turn the other cheek stuff was pretty good advice. Plus, being able to change water into wine would be a big help at the dinner party. But Jesus is this big celebrity and has a superiority complex to boot. You've even heard that he's said that anyone who doesn't make him their BFF will burn for all eternity--and that's not cool.

Another problem: Jesus comes with this whole entourage and some of them are really abrasive. They push his image more than he ever did himself, and frequently add their own spin to anything they claim he said.  And all that is just too much for you. Yeah, he might have some good points, but so do a lot of other people in the world.

Your other Christmas buddies have messages that really resonate with you. Santa gives to others without expecting anything in return (though cookies are nice!); Scrooge reminds you that personal success shouldn't come at the expense of relationships; The Grinch reminds you that holidays are more about people than presents; Frosty is so happy to simply be alive; and Buddy Elf points out the importance of imagination and following your dreams. On top of that, they are all good fun and don't take themselves too seriously.

So Jesus doesn't get the invite to your Christmas party and Aunt Sally will have to find out who becomes the next top Oompa Loompa manservant with her own friends. And that's okay. Because Aunt Sally and Jesus get lots of invitations from other people, and worrying about their social lives is not your problem. It's your party, so you get to decide who gets invited.

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