Open Source Christmas?

by Matthew Langham

T'was the night before Christmas, when suddenly Rudolf stormed through the door of Santa's office to find him buried in his new iBook. "Damn WIFI is down again", Santa mumbled, "I can't post anything to my new weblog."

Rudolf used the break in Santa's surfing to launch into his well prepared speech. "You know Santa, I've been thinking about this whole Christmas project thing. Maybe we should be looking at open sourcing the project what do you think?"

"Open sourcing Christmas?", Santa nearly leapt out of his chair, "you must be joking. Why would I want to do that?"

Rudolf had prepared his arguments well. "First, if we open source Christmas then we can start building a real community around it. You could be project lead and I would be a committer. You know, there are lots of people who don't like Christmas or can't seem to get in the spirit. If we make the whole thing open source then people could get involved. And we can get people to write new documentation for the project. The documentation we have seems to be a little out of date."

"What would people want an open source Christmas for?" Santa was trying hard to follow.

"Well, they could change bits they don't like. Like for instance perhaps people would prefer Christmas to be in say Summer, instead of Winter. Or have a flexible Christmas depending on which hemisphere you live in. Or perhaps they would prefer you to come through the front-door instead of down the chimney. You know that sort of thing. If Christmas was open source then the community could vote on things they would like to change. Maybe we can even get other festivity projects to merge with the Christmas project wouldn't that be great."

Santa gazed out of the window of his office for some time. "You know Rudolf", he said after a while, "this open source idea is not bad. Really. But there might be a couple of drawbacks. What if the community decides it doesn't need a Santa to bring the presents. What if they decide that some Brad Pitt lookalike would be better? And as to Rudolf and the other reindeers pulling my sleigh, what if they decide that Brad should arrive driving say the new BMW?"

Rudolf paused for a moment. "Ah, yes, I hadn't thought about that. Ok. So, when do we leave?". "Soon, Rudolf, soon.", smiling to himself, Santa went back to his weblog.

Happy Holidays.


2002-12-24 05:27:24
What is the real purpose of Christmas?
Your story is cute and provocative. Some people reading it maybe are tempted to deduce that some things are better done as proprietary (Windows vs Linux?) or that the open model don't fit every bill. But there is a shortcoming. The real purpose of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of a little child that changed the world. Noel or Santa Claus are just mundane things intoduced much later in the real story, which deviate us from its real purpose. The little child said to us share things with the others, to help other people as if they are all our brothers. He became a king very different from the other kings, and he reigns all the world until today, even if we pay no taxes to him. This is the real spirit fo Christmas.

Merry Christmas!
Rildo Pragana

2002-12-24 07:12:06
More Meaning of Christmas
For the last N years, Christmas has depressed me.
Everybody prancing around saying, "Oh look at what
a good person I am!". But if you look back at the
whole year, probably 49 weeks out of 52 many of
these people are just the biggest "jerks" you can
find. Add to that the TONS of commercialism we
now have.

Christmas should be a time of family and friends.
To get together and talk, go for a walk in nature,
share a few hugs, enjoy good food. Gift giving
is fine, but I think that this non-birthday (of
the recipient) gift giving would be better done
at say, the anniversary of the marriage (or
common-law relationship, or ...) that this person's
birth came from. With anniversaries like this
being distributed over the whole year, this would
remove a HUGE chunk of the commercialism of the
whole thing. And maybe give Christmas a chance at
becoming a family event again.

2002-12-24 10:33:52
What is the real purpose of Christmas?
Don't forget that his purpose was also to live and die for us so that we may have eternal life with God the father in heaven!!! Having said this, what I would most like to see in Christmas is people putting the "Christ" back in Christmas.

Merry Christmas,

2003-12-11 14:29:11
What is the real purpose of Christmas?
rttgtrr tr