Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Reason for the Season

My favorite holiday is over. Now comes the season I most dread every year. With all the media hype about how the 'left' is trying to steal/destroy Christmas, I thought I'd share my own personal feelings with you. Just in case your interested.
Did you know more people commit suicide during the 'Christmas' season, than any other time of year? More people suffer from depression during the 'Christmas' season than any other time of year. More people spend money they don't have and can't afford to spend between now and December 25th, than any other time of year. For millions, probably tens of millions this 'season' is a miserable, lonely, desperate time of year. Trust me when I tell you I can understand why many, many people would gladly see Christmas just go away.

Now, you may think I hate Christmas. I don't.
The truth is I love Christmas. I love the feeling I get when I walk into a church and see the manger, with Mary, Joseph, and the animals. I love the story of the birth of Jesus. I love the idea that a poor and simple young girl, could be chosen by God to be the Mother of his son. That a young man could have such deep faith that he would accept this young girl and her child, that he could love and care for a child not of his own seed. This is a story not only of faith, but of love, trust and hope. Myth or reality, it may be the most beautiful story ever told.

HowEVER, THIS NOT the Christmas celebrated by the vast majority, and certaninly not by corperate America. They use this special day/season as an excuse. An excuse to encourage/shame us to shop, shop, shop, charge up credit cards, go into debt, and spend more money than we make, buying toys and whatknots for kids and adults already far too spoiled by way too many toys and whatknots. Women (and i'm sorry if that insults women but I don't know too many men who do so) will start their shopping as early as July or August, just to insure their kids/grandkids/nieces/nephews/husbands/friends,ect get the best presents. These days Christmas is all about the glorification of the almighty dollar and greed. It is no longer about the birth of Jesus, or the celebration of a great Christian event. If it were, there'd be a whole lot fewer people celebrating. Ask yourself, in your many preparations for the 'season', when was the last time you seriously gave thought to Jesus?

Even worse is that Christians are as responsible for the desecration of this holiest of holidays as the secular in our society. I wonder how many even read the story of Christ's birth to their children or families on Christmas eve or Christmas day? Do their children even know who Jesus is, or what he represents? Or why this day is set aside to celebrate his birth?
At least with Halloween there's no denying that it is what it is. Which may explain why so many in our society have turned away from the 'religious' connotation of Christmas. We should be ashamed for using the heart of Christianity as an excuse to display our greed.

If you have the means, and can afford to do so, by all means, go out and spend to your hearts content. Shop until you drop. Charge up those credit cards, buying more toys, more clothes, more gadgets and dodads, for people who already have more gadgets, dodads, socks, ties, shirts, sweaters, and toys than they know what to do with. It's your money, you earned it, you have a right to do with it whatever you please. But don't call it celebrating Christmas because your not.

If you genuinely want to 'celebrate' Christmas, then do it by doing something that honors the memory of the man who's birth it represents. A man who stood for love, compassion, and forgiveness. Do something for someone who REALLY needs it. Buy clothes for children who have so few. Buy the ingredients for a meal and give them to someone who has little hope of having one. Help out at homeless shelters. If you need to buy toys, try buying them for the children who have no toys. If nothing else try cleaning and boxing up some of the many toys (or clothes) hardly played with by your own children and donating them. Look beyond your own family circle and you will find a world of people you can help. That is after all the true Christian spirit is it not?

I suspect when Jesus looks down upon us during the Christmas season, he probably feels much like the writer of the following [now famous] email did.
"The majority of the world [still] has different practices other than "christmas" which is an ancient tradition that has its roots in Siberian shamanism[search]. The colors associated with 'christmas' red and white are actually a representation of the aminita muscaria mushroom[search]. Santa is also borrowed from the Caucuses[search], mistletoe from the Celts, yule log from the Goths, the time from the Visigoth and the tree from the worship of Baal. It is a wide wide world."
Most of all "HE" knows what's in your heart and why your celebrating. Call it whatever you wish, "HE" knows what it really is. The celebration and glorification of greed.

Frankly I'm thinking of starting a movement. I'll call it taking the Santa Factor out of Christmas. I'm guessing Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, JC Pennys, credit card companies, ect. aren't going to like that idea one darned bit. But if it works, there will be a lot more people ready and willing to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas.
And a to you and yours from this Bama Belle's house!


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