20 December 2006

Making sense of Christmas...

Am I the only one that is perplexed by this whole Christmas thing? The radio blurts out songs about perpetual happiness, sugarplums and jolly fat men. People shell out $$$ they don’t have on huge plastic lawn ornaments and twinkle lights.

Christmas is such a strange time of year. It’s almost as though we force ourselves into a false sense of conviviality and good cheer, wishing strangers “Happy Holidays!” as we plow through them in shopping malls in a desperate attempt to buy the latest gadgets for our loved-ones.

I must admit, I too get swept up in the so-called Christmas spirit, but have you ever stood back and truly examined people at this time of year?!? It’s frightening!

“Tidings of comfort and joy….?” “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…?” Where do people come up with this crap?

For many people, Christmas is one of the most difficult times of the year. It is often a painful reminder of the things or people that we no longer have in our lives. Parents put on brave faces as they assure their children that Santa got their letter, wondering all the while how they will be able to afford the season’s latest gimmick. To put it plainly, Christmas is not always as holly-jolly as Mr. Ives tells us.

Don’t get me wrong…I am not anti-Christmas in any way, shape or form. I love giving and receiving gifts like anyone else. But sometimes I can’t help but laugh at the utter ridiculousness of this time of year. Here’s the sad part…we’ve missed the boat entirely!

Where have the nativity scenes gone? Why are stores selling Santa tree toppers, rather than stars? What happened to the true meaning of the day? I’d be curious to know if the children of today even know what it’s all about…

I am ashamed to say that I have become just as guilty as the majority. I’ll take the time to scout out that perfect tacky novelty gift, yet I’ll opt out of Christmas mass. For a person who was born and raised Catholic, this is pretty terrible.

How did I and so many others get swept up by the all-consuming, money pilfering, version of Christmas? When did we start placing less faith in God, and more in the almighty buck and eight tiny reindeer?

Before you drive yourselves crazy or broke this holiday season, step back and think…am I making too much out of this whole day? Food for thought….

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