The Grinch didn’t steal Christmas, capitalism did
Deck the halls with boughs of holly…fa la la la la, la la la BLAAA.
It’s that time of year again. Wal-Mart is already full swing in the Christmas cheer with cardboard elves when you walk in the door, Christmas cookies in the first aisle, Christmas sweaters and leggings and T-shirts overcoming the clothing section, and aisles upon aisles of pre-packaged Christmas gifts and decorations.
Not only that, but I was driving back to town on Thanksgiving night and I had to turn my radio off because every radio station on the face of the planet was playing Christmas music.
Don’t get me wrong; I love Christmas. Christmas Eve candlelight service is one of the most beautiful things. I love watching youngsters put on their Christmas skits, and Christmas is usually the only time of year that my whole family gets together.
However, Christmas has warped into a disgusting material-driven ritual. People are so obsessed with buying gifts and decorations that the meaning of Christmas has been completely lost. This didn’t happen overnight though. This has been a brewing problem for years now.
When I was growing up I remember rushing to the grocery store the night before Christmas Eve because back then the stores in my hometown weren’t open on Christmas OR Christmas Eve. But retailers realized that they may be losing money by not being open on those days, and now every store is open on Christmas Eve and most are open at some point on Christmas.
While it may be beneficial for the retailers, there is no sympathy for the people that have to work the holidays. Instead of having a day to spend with their family and relax, they have to work like any other day.
There are also ads on the radio from the banks in Chadron that people can either put off a payment on their debt or borrow up to $1,000 so that they can afford to Christmas shop. It is absurd that people are more concerned with buying presents then they are with their financial stability.
Americans have even created two new holidays to celebrate buying stuff for Christmas. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are elaborate plots by corporate giants to get people that think they are celebrating Christmas with the most cheer into their stores to spend money they don’t have.
This stems from the way that people today view the importance of stuff. Everything is about who has the nicest car, or the nicest clothes, and this toxic mentality has poisoned Christmas. Now Christmas is about who gets the nicest or the most presents or who has the most elaborate Christmas decorations put up.
I am not saying that I am above the new materialized Christmas, because I spent hundreds of dollars last year trying to buy my siblings and my parents Christmas gifts that I thought they would love. But when push comes to shove, it doesn’t matter what presents I got them, because they will still be my family when Christmas is over, and just like it is when you buy a kid a new toy and they get tired of it in a couple hours, people forget what they got for gifts and many of them sit in closets or on shelves and never get used.
I will leave you with some food for thought. This Christmas season, try to see through all the bullshit that is thrown at us every day from Thanksgiving to Christmas day. Try to remember that Christmas day is about the birth of Christ and the time that Mary, Joseph, and Jesus spent together in the stable. Bringing gifts for a person comes from a sacred place with the three wisemen bringing laud for the baby.
Christmas was never meant to be about the stuff that can be bought at the store.
“God rest ye merry, gentlemen let nothing you dismay. Remember, Christ, our Saviour was born on Christmas day.”