How Religion Ruined Christmas
I believe in Christmas. I love almost everything about it, though
there are a couple of trends that concern me. Christmas has the potential
to be the salvation of the human race if only people would get with the
program. So let me state right here the true meaning of Christmas.
Ready? here it is:
and GOOD WILL
it! Got it? Furthermore, what most people think are problems with Christmas
are not problems at all. Lets look at some of the misconceptions.
People are only nice at Christmas time and not the rest of the year.
This is a problem? It's called 'The Christmas Spirit' and it is a
good thing. When we are filled with the spirit of Christmas, we give
of ourselves to our fellow man, even strangers, especially to strangers.
We are charitable with our treasure, our time and our trust. One
can simply not afford to be so charitable all through the year. If
we did, we would soon be bereft any resources at all. We would become
poor and jaded. The point is, that once a year we can afford to allow
the dishonorable to take advantage of us so that the truly worthy may benefit,
knowing that we can't always distinguish between the two ahead of time.
We scatter the seeds of peace and good will in the hopes that some few
of them will find fertile soil.
Christmas has become too commercial. The exchanging of gifts,
the decorations and the other things we spend money on, are all customs
that can provide profound spiritual import. Anyone who has ever struggled,
and succeeded in finding the perfect gift, knows the inherent rewards of
giving. Likewise, the lifting of spirits that accompanies an embracing
of the season, is of benefit not only to ourselves but to those around
us. To the extent that there are those who engage in these activities
while eschewing their deeper significance, the rewards are diminished but
there are no penalties suffered. If nothing else, the economy gets
a boost and there are more jobs, and better paying jobs, and to the extent
that possessions can enrich our lives, they are so enriched. Even
so, we need not content ourselves with such meager goals. The shallowness
of others in no way prevents us from wringing depth and profundity from
each small act of kindness.
I do find a problem in the expansion of the Christmas season. I propose
that we all insist that no Christmas themes, in music, retail wares, and
especially in advertisements, will be permitted before Thanksgiving.
As the Christmas season gets longer and longer, it necessarily becomes
less and less special. Being good requires effort. Being extra
good requires extra effort. The less time we attempt to sustain a
heightened disposition the higher we can reach.
Which brings me to the one real problem with Christmas. Let met state
again, the true meaning of Christmas is PEACE
and GOOD WILL. Peace and good will are
objectives absolutely everyone can get behind. If you chose to put
the nativity front and center in your personal celebration, I have no problem
with that. However, by insisting that Christmas focus on the birth
of Christ, non Christians are necessarily excluded. The Christmas
holiday has become so successful that everyone has to get in on it.
There are competing celebrations such as Hanukkah and Kwanza.
Now I understand that it's just not going anywhere to suggest that we take
Christ out of Christmas. Nor do I wish to deny anyone else the particular
celebrations of their faith. What I am suggesting is that Christmas
has already engulfed us all, and that for one brief period of time each
year, all the people of the world should unite in promoting peace and good
From the tinsel to the carolers, I think Christmas is pure magic, but at
it's core is something that just might turn out to be more beneficial to
mankind than all prior political movements, enumeration of fundamental
rites, or philanthropic organizations. As always, it's all up to