Christmas has many facets. One of them is the never ending commercialization of what really should be a simple family Christian religious celebration. Of course, christmas has in its central theme, much for non-Christians to peruse and consider in terms of its greater spiritual meaning and in terms of other non-Christian celebrations at this time of the year. However, the endless commercialization has really spoiled for me what used to be a happy and beautiful time of the year.
In the Czech Republic, christmas decorations generally still go up around the 1st December. Some of the chain stores with HQ’s overseas start earlier though. In other places like the US and the UK, christmas basically now starts in October or even earlier. It is no longer a religious holiday unless your religion happens to be shopping! Even more bizarre is that the sales begin now before christmas too. Walking around London in late November, I was surprised to observe many company Xmas parties taking place already. The commercialization extends to the internet too of course and the internet begins to be lit up like a christmas tree by mid-October too. I really detest this.
By making christmas last 3-months it’s specialness has been erased. It was a special few days when I was growing up and now its a season all in of itself!
I also have to reflect on Christmas in another way these days too. As we celebrate what is the birth of the Christian savior or avatar and reflect on the values taught by Christ, contrast that with the downright lies we tell our own children! Every year, as parents we concoct a litany of lies about big merry men in red and white sliding down chimneys bearing gifts. He is carried there by a sleigh that flies pulled by several reindeer that can also fly. Apparently, this man lives at the North Pole with Elves and other strange creatures making toys (I think actually, this part is incorrect, it is plainly obvious these days that Santa lives in a place called China. It says so on all of the toys he brings). Any rational and sane person would deeply distrust a man who liked to dress up and be surrounded by elves and children!
OK. I get it. It is fun and it is part of the whole charade we play at this time of year but eventually our own children come to understand that, despite telling them not to lie and fib and make things up, their parents have happily been doing it to them for years… What kind of example does that set?
Then we have the christmas movies, songs and so on. Cynically, just a bunch of people making money out of the holidays.
No, Christmas, is a strange and bizarre time of the year if you really stop to think about it and these days, its a long way from what Christmas was supposed to be. However, I am no Scrooge and I will do my very best to celebrate the holidays this year….