Ba-Humbug!


Jon Stewart has done a series of shows/skits about the “War on Christmas.” I have watched them and thought, yup, he is dead on about this one!

I struggle to see exactly what that war could be? The demand by retail corporations that employees say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” – that seems to be a good business move.  I mean, really, not all Americans are actively Christian. Whilst 75% of Americans identify themselves as Christian, only 9% claim religion holds an important place in their lives. So, about a quarter of Americans are not Christian.  The largest growing religious population is the “un-churched.”

For many of these un-churched, myself included, Christmas is one of the biggest problems. It’s not a religious holiday! It’s a merchant’s holiday. It’s a boon for the electric company. The mall. Online shopping. Credit card companies. I’m sure our version of Christmas would horrify Jesus.

Really, December 25 isn’t even his birthday. The date of December 25 was chosen by early Christians to coincide with pagan Roman celebrations. It was chosen so it would be inconspicuous. The ancient Christians – who were willing to face lions for their faith – didn’t want this day to stand out in their society. What would they think of the garish lights? The nativity scenes? The over-indulgence, the greed? The stampedes on “Black” Friday?

Christmas has become a secular holiday; well save maybe that 9%–for them it could be religious. For the majority of Americans, Christmas is about gifts, time off from work, gifts, overeating, gifts.

Yeah, gifts, and greed, and gluttony are having a war on Christmas. And the other 25% of the population is tired of watching. Tired of being sucked into senseless commercialism by their children trying to “keep up” with their peers. Tired of glaring, garish lights eating valuable resources so someone—whoever owns the house—can feel good about their celebration of Christmas. There were no gaudy lights in Israel in 7BC. And having studied the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth, I think they would offend him.

To celebrate the birth of Jesus, from a historical standpoint, we’re in the wrong month (and even the pope admits the year is off). The census that brought Joseph, and the heavily pregnant Mary to Bethlehem happened in the fall (September/October) of 7BC. So, Jesus was not a Capricorn (although I am guessing he ate organic food); he was, more than likely, a Libra. 7BC makes sense astrologically, because a child makes a commitment to living during the first hard Saturn aspect, at age 7… so for esoteric Christians, this date makes perfect sense. Jesus was born in 7BC, but the Christ energy became a grounded reality in the year 1. Cool, huh? I’m guessing the Pope doesn’t think so.

There are many people, myself included, who think that the December war is not on Christmas, but rather on the planet. The lights, the gluttony – what does it cost the planet? In fossil fuels? In squandered resources? How much in trees (both those decorated, and those cut down and made into wrapping paper)? Mother Earth smothers under the weight of Christmas. To the planet, this Christian holiday is war.

I’m not anti-Christian. Not at all. In fact, I use Jesus as my example in most things (and Buddha). I think the message that Jesus taught is amazing, it is a moral compass. His life is one to be exemplified. But to dress up greed and gluttony in a holiday dedicated to Jesus is a sick modernism that needs to have war declared upon it!

 

 

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Ba-Humbug!

  1. I do agree with you that Christmas is so commercialized, and now that you mention it, I wonder how may young people really KNOW what Christmas is about. I was raised a Roman Catholic and even went to Catholic grammar school. I, too have forgotten what the true meaning is. Thank you for reminding me.

  2. Mel, I want to argue with you about this. I really do. Unfortunately, I can’t. You’ve hit it pretty much spot on. The fault lies not so much with the holiday as how it is being celebrated. There’s not a lot of peace and goodwill these days, is there?

  3. I think your blog makes the point that Christmas isn’t about the trappings we normally associate with it, rather it is about the spirit of helping others and celebrating the birth (even in the wrong month) of Jesus. I like this post, I like to think that myself and many others are trying to follow in the footsteps of our Savior. I like the decorations as I associate them with good memories of my childhood, but I am not fooled into believing that these displays glorify my Lord in any way.

  4. So true. The new breed of “holiday” songs do not mention Christmas–not sure if that is good or bad. I may not be an “every Sunday Catholic, but I remember the reason we have Christmas. My mother, who was a devout Catholic was railing about this for years before her death. She would like this post too.

  5. For the past two years my husband and I have committed ourselves to trying to do all of our Christmas shopping through local businesses. It’s no magic pill for the consumerism and environmental problems of the Christmas season but it at least makes me feel better to support small business owners and artists in my community.

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