Little by little, the word ‘Christmas’ is sliding out of view - and out of minds. Christmas is becoming ‘Holiday Time’ and ‘Seasonal’ whatever. The music playing in the malls and shops is mostly general noisy ‘pop’ stuff with the occasional Christmassy song - but hardly ever a carol. Well, that is, a carol that is recognisable as one of the (old?) stirring type of religious – and dare I say ‘worshipful’ - carols.
The shoppers in Westfield are intent on ‘getting’, which does indeed eventually turn into ‘giving’ I suppose, but there seems little evidence to inspire happiness, peace and love in the faces of people we see when we brave the hordes of shoppers intent on hauling those piles of glittery junk that now symbolise Christmas.
The other evening I saw a ‘holiday tree’ advertised on tv. A ‘holiday tree’? Well, it certainly looked like a Christmas tree to me, but, there you have it – it was a ‘holiday tree’! That’s blatantly ridiculous!
Every year we hear stories (rumours?) of why it’s now called ‘holiday time’ and not Christmas time. It is, ‘they’ say, so as to be inclusive and not to upset people who would like to celebrate at this time of year and yet are not Christians.
Apart from the fact that I consider this notion to be an absolute fabrication, I also wonder how ANYONE nowadays considers Christmas to have much to do with actual Christianity.
Well, do you?
It seems a strange, even sad, state of affairs when whole communities are pursuing frantic endeavours to not only ‘shop till they drop’ and max out their credit cards but are being sucked into re-branding this festive season, thus removing its original premise.
‘Yeah, yeah’ people say, ‘we know the story of Baby Jesus and the shepherds and all that, but….’
But, wasn’t that what started all this hullaballoo?
That the baby born in a stable, because ‘there was no room in the inn’* (and, of course, the rest of the story) is the reason and substance behind ‘our’ Christmas?
Think about it. There was ‘no room in the inn’. There are currently hundreds of people in our towns for whom there is ‘no room in the inn’; no room anywhere. They are homeless.
They are probably even more poor and needy than the parents of Baby Jesus.
Perhaps that’s the angle that Christmas giving should be more generally aimed towards. Instead of the mass hysteria of shopping sprees, decorations, Santa Claus, over indulged children and excessive partying, eating and drinking, there should be more than just a tiny thought to that other approach; the approach of really giving to our neighbours.
Just a thought.
It certainly would be less stressful – and cheaper!
I’m not being a ‘party pooper’, nor am I a Scrooge or a religious ‘nut’. I enjoy giving gifts as much as anyone, but I’m also pointing out how far we have come as a society from the first meaning - and the first idea of celebrating Christmas…(a time that may soon be just known as the end of year ‘Holiday Time’ celebration with no mention of Christmas).
Just remember we are supposedly celebrating at this time of year because, over 2000 years ago, there was a baby born in a stable when ‘there was no room in the inn’.......
What’s that got to do with glitter and excessive consumerism?
Anyway, I wish you all a very Happy Christmas.
And would you like a “Grand Pine Tree”, with that?
*(Luke 2:7) ‘And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.’