Spread the Holiday Cheer.

I know it's a tad early but that's the point.   I had a debate of sorts with a friend of mine over Christmas today and I thought I'd blog about it.

She really reminded me of a younger version of myself and my old and strong opinions about the corporate greed and the lack of understanding behind this time of year.  She explained her "disgust" with the world because Christmas is all about buying stuff now, and not Jesus.  Not only that, Christmas Trees are actually of Pagan origin, and people should understand that before they put one up in their house.  She missed the door-to-door caroling, and the parades that I guess made the holidays special for her during her childhood.

Although I agree with most of that, I don't get angry about it anymore.  Getting angry won't stop the corporations from making jingles out of Christmas Songs.  All it might do is put a guilt trip on people during a time of year that many people regard as a time to celebrate with family and friends.   It's true, Christmas isn't all about Christ anymore.  But it's not like it's against the law to sing "Happy Birthday Dear Jesus...." on December 25th.   The holidays in general are more of a cultural aspect than anything.  I'm agnostic, and that's the way I choose to see it.   I'm not going to force my beliefs (positive or negative) on anyone.  I'd rather just enjoy spending time with my extended family.   Our potluck dinner is something I've always looked forward to every Christmas Eve.   I remember as a kid my dad would tell my siblings and I to keep an eye out for Santa in the sky on the way home.

Gift giving is something I'm on the fence about, but found a solution to.  I do think that corporations do make a mess of the holidays by making it out like this time of year is all about buying shit.  Where I see greed and over opportunism, I also see necessity.   Many retailers rely on Christmas to stay a float.  It's when they make the most of their money (depending on what they sell).  I don't feel sorry for Walmart, but I can see how good vs bad sales during this time can effect the economy over all.   Speaking of necessity, Christmas is also when most people donate to charity. As much as buying useless crap for family is an "obligation", people feel more morally responsible for giving to those in need as well.   If you don't want to celebrate Christmas at all, instead of making your "disgust" for the holidays known to those who enjoy them, ask those who would otherwise spend money on you, to donate that money or goods to a charity.  That's a win-win-win situation.

Now let's get to the topic of Pagan rituals popping up in Christian tradition.   If we could for a few moments take "God's Word" out of the equation, and look at the history of Christianity, we'll be able to understand what's going on there.  I don't want to insult anyone by saying this, but without Paganism, Christianity wouldn't exist like it does today.  Christian beliefs were very much frowned upon during the first few hundred years after Jesus was crucified. Basically,  it was against the law and punishable by death in the Roman empire, until a ruler named Constantine adopted Christianity as his religion.   Paganism being one of the main religions of the time, it took some coercing in order to convert them to Christianity.  Add in a bunch of politics and what we eventually have left is a fur tree in our living room each year.   When it all comes down to it, every aspect of every religion can be traced back to a political agenda of some sort.   People have the choice. You can either be a downer and give kids a dirty look when they get excited about decorating a tree, or you can choose your battles a little more carefully and try and assign a different meaning to it like every one else has.  Personally speaking, Christmas wouldn't be the same for me without childhood memories surrounding our Christmas Tree.   My parents have had the same fake tree for most of my life, same goes for some of the ornaments we put on it.  Some of them are family heirlooms given to us by family and friends who aren't with us anymore.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we have the rest of the year to nitpick about the injustices and hypocrisy in this world.  Fortunately, we live in a free country where we have the right to believe and practice - or not.  There are no laws that say you must kill a perfectly good fur tree and lug it into your house.   It is however a part of culture than brings a lot of positive influence into people's lives.  Whether you believe in God or not, you can still enjoy this time with family... hell even a couple days off work is something to celebrate and appreciate.

If this blog hasn't convinced you to lay off of Christmas, please PM me and I will certainly give you something that's truly wrong and  disgusting to bitch and preach about.
Uploaded 11/15/2011
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