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.
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?