Is The Reason For The Season A Moot Point?

I was just reading this blog about how we should remember the real reason of Christmas is to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. But is that really true or even a fair expectation anymore? We’ve all seen the ‘Keep Christ in Christmas’ campaigns. But honestly, I think that ship has sailed. I’m not saying that because I’m not religious or because it isn’t a nice concept, but because we are just too far gone collectively as a nation to expect people to value that truly. We aren’t even really a nation made up of just Christians anymore. More and more people feel like they can define themselves as atheists than ever before, and it’s both becoming politically correct to either acknowledge other religions and be more inclusive or associate ‘The Holidays’ with no particular religion in mind at all.

I just really think the ‘reason to the season’ ship has sailed… Jesus has left the building.

Schools aren’t allowed to tell kids about religion, cities can no longer put up religious figurines in the town halls and Santa is the real king. Whether we like it or not, he’s the real Big Guy up in the sky that we ask for help in answering our prayers. Santa and wish lists and sale sale sales are everywhere; and I do not see it ever going back.

While religion has declined in the US statistically, it’s more than just that. It’s that we’ve also come to the consensus that we just like consumerism more.

Christmas is more about gifts and being obligated to buy things and appease others than anything else. Even Thanksgiving, the holiday where we are simply just supposed to be thankful for each other, is becoming overrun by retail establishment’s need to stretch out the Christmas shopping calendar and Black Fridayify the crap out of everything. We may set up the nativity scene, sing the songs, but does anyone just not do all the bells and whistles and spend an absolute ton of money? Right or wrong, we’ve travelled down that fork in the road and there’s no going back. No waking up one year and it’ll all go back hundreds of years ago when Christmas didn’t equal sitting on the lap of a guy in an itchy red suit and telling him that you’ve been extra good this year, so he’d better check his list and bring on the gifts.

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Although it’s not the main concept for us, I usually do tell my kids that Christmas is a celebration for Jesus’ birthday, I’m not raising them in a religious household per-say, but I like teaching them about history and pop culture. I read them a few books about the birth story and tell them who Mary and Joseph are, and that’s about it. In our house it has always been about presents for the kids at Christmas more than anything else. Really Jesus was born in January at some point, so I’m not even sure how that’s supposed to make sense. But then again, the holidays overall seem like they’re more about following traditions than really making sense. Maybe Christmas needs an asterisk on the calendar as ‘Jesus’ birthday observed,’ just like we do for Veteran’s Day.

What do you think? Is the reason for the season a moot point or should we try to preserve a non commercialized aspect to the holiday?

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10 responses to “Is The Reason For The Season A Moot Point?

  1. I’ve always said, left to cultural influences and their own animal instincts, children without their mommies would grow up to be . .. . . well, ANIMALS! So to answer your question, yes, we should keep trying. We make a difference.

  2. Jesus was not born on December 25. The reason the Church chose that date is because there were already pagan rituals celebrated around that time – same reason they chose Easter in the spring. However, the commercialization of Christmas really bothers me. We jump right from Halloween (another major commercial holiday) into Christmas and completely blow right by Thanksgiving! Then it’s on to Valentine’s Day – if you love your sweetie you’ll buy her a diamond! I would love to see some push back and have people refuse to spend a fortune every Christmas just because advertisers say they should.

    • They sell based on guilt. Husbands and boyfriends are lousy if they don’t buy lots of expensive jewelry. Parents think their children will have a terrible childhood and require years of therapy if they don’t get everything they demand.
      I refuse to spend a fortune every Christmas. I prefer to not give or receive gifts which has irritated several of my family members. But really, why all the hype just for one day?

  3. I like celebrations. I make up reasons all the time to celebrate. Every day you can find something to celebrate. For me personally, I don’t care if somebody tries to make a buck off it. It’s kind of nice to have the option though. Imagine if we had to go kill our dinner for our feast. That’s a lot of work. 🙂 But I wouldn’t let someone dilute the context of my celebration… let them do their thing. Tolerance is good. Hey, I’m gonna celebrate tolerance tomorrow. 🙂

  4. Once again, you hit the nail on the head here. The entire holiday season has taken a big turn for the worse. I never liked the entire “Walmart Holiday” attitude, to me, that’s not what Christmas is all about.
    Your mom has called me The Grinch all of my adult life and I have no intention of ever changing.
    Perhaps Christmas doesn’t come from a store….

    • Thanks for the comment.. I’m not saying I’m happy things are this way, but unfortunitly Christmas has become about boxes and ribbons and what you GET.. I do not look forward to christmas in a way because I feel like it puts greed and “wish lists” in the front and that’s the take-away for (my/our) kids

      • When PJ was around 16 I overheard him and his friends talking about Christmas. They were telling each other the best Christmas gifts they ever received as kids, the biggest, best and what they remembered the most. PJ said he really didn’t remember any particular gift.He told his friends what he remembered the most about the holidays were getting together with others and the food. He loved the food the most. making cookies, etc.
        After hearing all that, I smiled and patted myself on the back.

      • That’s great! My best memories are the things that I did with my family, driving around looking at Christmas lights, my dad reading teas the night before Christmas and getting together with family. I also remember fond times getting together with the Novaks, miss that time

  5. Around 30 years ago your mom gave me a book “Unplug the Christmas Machine”. She was probably tired of hearing my “BAH HUMBUG” attitude whenever the holidays were approaching. I’d read it every year when the Christmas frenzy would start, just as a simple reminder that it was ok to march to the tune of a different Christmas drummer.
    Maybe I should pass the book on to you.
    http://unplugyourkids.com/2007/11/12/unplug-the-christmas-machine-by-jo-robinson-jean-coppock-staeheli-christmas-unplugged/

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