I have a secret. Well, not necessarily a secret because if you know me in real life or read this blog post, last December, then this will come as no surprise to you.
Christmas is my least favorite time of year. I am already starting to feel that dread I feel, when it’s this time of the year.
It’s not that I don’t celebrate the birth of Christ. As a believer, it has personal meaning for me to celebrate the birth of Jesus, I just don’t believe in the commercial version of it. It doesn’t mean that I am against having fun & celebrating Christmas cheer. It doesn’t mean that I am against gift giving and all things red, green and white.
The post I wrote last year sums up how I feel quite well…
“What it comes down to is this…I don’t like the commercialism that rules from October until January. Even before Halloween, Christmas decorations are out. The commercials on TV are pushing to buy, buy, buy!!!! I heard Christmas music playing in Wal-Mart before Halloween for goodness sakes. Are you flippin kidding me? We ran into the mall a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving and already the mall Santa and Mrs. Clause had a long line of children waiting to see them. Thanksgiving barely gets recognized, and we are blasted into red, green and white.
I don’t like this big fat crazy whirlwind of commercialism. The pressure on the stores to sell. The push to buy. The bigger the better. The pressure to spend money we don’t really have or money we should be saving. Pressure we put on ourselves or let others put on us. The push for all of this to come earlier and earlier. It used to be that Santa didn’t come out until after Thanksgiving.”
I know some of you don’t have Thanksgiving in your country and those of you in Canada celebrated in October. But, for those of us in the United States, what happened to celebrating Thanksgiving first? Whatever happened to celebrating this holiday without having all things Christmas pushed upon us before we’ve even sat down to Thanksgiving dinner?
Regardless of where you live, do you not get tired of Christmas commercialism pushed on you earlier and earlier? Or is it not like this in the country you live? If it’s not, maybe I need to move my family there.
Christmas used to be magical. The focus was on families & friends being together…decorating a tree and putting the star on top…baking and sharing our goods with one another….Christmas programs and parties at church and school…nativity displays…sitting on Santa’s lap and whispering in his ear… a gift or two and singing carols. It used to be about so much more than all of this commercialism.
I want. I want. I want. I want. I want. The selfishness that is bred to want more and more…and bigger and better…to expect more and more and bigger and better.
Where does it stop?
And where does this come from?
I know I sound like a poop on the fun parade. I know it’s fun to give. Hell, I love to give presents, so it’s not about that. The thing is, most of us that are going to be getting gifts already have way too much stuff already.Most of us, will buy things for those that already have way too much stuff.
Christmas is suppose to be about “peace and goodwill towards men” and about joy and caring and spreading the holiday cheer.
For those of us that are believers, it’s suppose to be celebrating the birth of Christ.”
The day after Thanksgiving, all hell breaks loose. People lose all good sense and manners in search of the perfect deals. How ironic is all this pushing and shoving, as Christmas music plays in the background?
When I am out and about in the stores, I don’t see the spreading of peace and goodwill towards men. I don’t see all that much joy. And I certainly don’t see a whole lot of holiday cheer being spread. I surely don’t see Christ in the pushing and shoving.
Instead, I see sadness. I see confusion. I see rudeness. I see meanness. I see anger. I see lots and lots of selfishness. I see people pushing each other and hear of people getting hurt, fighting over a toy or some sale item. I see a lot of overwhelmed people that don’t want to be there, spending money they don’t really have but don’t have a clue how to step off this crazy train.
I personally think, this must make Jesus sad.
While shopping for household things the other day, I over heard a woman scream humiliations at her husband. I listened to people talk loud and rudely on their cell phones. I witnessed parents trying to get out of control kids to behave. I watched an elderly couple get pushed out of line. The worst was over hearing a younger mom tell her friend that they wouldn’t be having Christmas because they have no money. Hearing the defeat and sadness in her voice broke my heart. I watch all these things while listening to Christmas music playing in the background.
And yes, I think this must make Jesus sad…sad that it has come down to getting so stressed that we act like complete idiots or think that there will be no Christmas if there are no gifts.
This here is at the heart of why it is hard for me to be happy for Christmas…a holiday that has become more about money and gifts then anything else.
It is hard for me to get into the spirit of Christmas joy when I see so much sadness and brokenness around me.
I know those that barely make it without the added expense of buying presents. I know those going without and I know their desperate prayers for these holidays to pass quickly so that it will be all over. I know people struggling with illness and depression. I know people that have no money to go to the doctor let alone buy a present for their child.
It’s hard to be happy about a birthday party when everyone’s not invited.
Just imagine for one moment to be one of these people in which hard times have fallen. It’s hard enough on a regular day but can you just imagine what it is like to walk in their shoes as the holidays approach?
I challenge each one of us to do something during the upcoming holidays, that would make a difference in someone life…something that would make someone feel like they’ve been invited to the party.
It doesn’t have to be big or out of the ordinary. I guarantee you that every small act you do will make a difference.
Wouldn’t it be great to take the commercial out of Christmas? To make it what it used to be about?
Would you like to see the push of Christmas before Thanksgiving stopped? Would you like the retailers to stop pushing Christmas on you before you’ve sat down to Thanksgiving dinner?
In Jim’s words…
“I do this, around this same time every year, because I truly believe the cheapening of our holidays can be stopped. Do I believe it will happen right now, because of this post? No. It will take your help, and help from your friends, and then help from their friends.”
“Should you be as incensed as I am concerning Christmas schlock, [hitting stores way too early] please post a "Thanksgiving Comes First" entry on your blog. Write from the heart. Everybody who visits your blog will find out how you feel. My guess is they'll agree with you. Perhaps they'll also write about it, and so will their friends, and so forth. I hope that, if enough of us do this, we might make some small impact.”
I really do encourage you to check out his blog and read Jim’s whole post. If you feel the same way and would like to send the message to retailers that we the people are fed up, please write a post so the word can be spread.
Year after year, I avoid going to malls or stores at this time of year, in an effort to avoid having the Christmas joy sucked out of me. Yet, I cannot walk into the store for regular items, without being bombarded with the irony of it all.
I am advocating for not supporting the retailers that are pushing Christmas before it’s due time.
We must stop allowing them to do this. We are the consumers and we need to send them a message.
“Thanksgiving Comes First!”
Until next time, hugs and love, Lori