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THE COMMERCIALISM OF CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS

Article of the website marlene adlit, created on: 12/27/2010 11:10:13 AM

By: MARLENE ADLIT | Published: 27/12/2010 11:12 | |

Christmas is the most awaited season each year. People are hopeful that they would spend it with their families and friends. Christmas or Christmas Day is a holiday observed generally on December 25 to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. The date is not known to be the actual birthday of Jesus, and may have initially been chosen to correspond with either the day exactly nine months after Christians believe Jesus to have been conceived the date of the Roman winter solstice, or one of various ancient winter festivals. Christmas is central to the Christmas and holiday season, and in Christianity marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days.

Although nominally a Christian holiday, Christmas is also celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians worldwide, and many of its popular celebratory customs have pre-Christian or secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving, music, an exchange of Christmas cards, church celebrations, a special meal, and the display of various decorations; including Christmas trees, lights, garlands, mistletoe, nativity scenes, and holly. In addition, several figures, known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, and Santa Claus, among other names, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season.

Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity among both Christians and non-Christians, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas is a factor that has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world.

What is the true spirit of Christmas then? Among the economists it is the season of good business. It is purely commercialism. People would buy anything and give it as presents business, commercialism and materialism indeed.

When I was growing up, Christmas was my favorite holiday. I was a little fuzzy about the baby in the manger, but I knew all about Santa. I also knew there would be presents, lots of them. One of my annual pre-Christmas rituals was carefully going through the toy section of the nearest mall or perhaps wrote down my wish lists.

More often than not, my parents came through and I got what I wanted. But I usually had a big letdown when Christmas was over, because it meant that Christmas was whole year away. For a kid like me, whose philosophy was that it is more blessed to receive than to give, that was a lifetime.

My parents remind us that Christmas is about Christ, and that the presents under the tree reflect Gods greatest gift, the gift of his Son. But the message doesnt always get through.

Of course, Christmas materialism is also stoked by our modern consumer culture. The holiday accounts for about 25 percent of the nations annual retail sales. And some of the nations retailers are trying to have their Christmas fruitcake.
And just what are we doing with all this stuff, anyway? The so-called reality TV shows help people get rid of their junk. And 50 cities in 17 states have chapters of Clutterers Anonymous, which is modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous.

The classic movie Its a Wonderful Life told us that a bell rang whenever an angel earned his wings. Now the jingling you hear is probably from a cash register.

We Christians are right to be concerned that the culture is trying to take Christ out of Christmas. Lets just be sure that we dont bury him in an avalanche of our own holiday junk.

 

 

 

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