Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Commercialization of Christmas

There's always a lot of talk around Christmas about how the holiday has been commercialized, and how people are missing the true meaning of Christmas, and how people should have a stronger appreciation for the religious basis for the holiday. If that's important to you, that's fine. I don't have a problem with anyone's priorities on any subject, as long as it doesn't affect my day.

I'm not religious. Like, at all. And I like Christmas. Is it wrong for me to enjoy the "bastardization" of a holiday that I don't celebrate as it was originally designed? I don't think so; I certainly don't feel bad about it.

When I buy a video game for my sister, or mittens for my mom, or a poster for my brother, I don't feel like I'm disparaging anyone's religious beliefs. I'm not trying to spit in the face of anyone who has a different view on Christmas. I'm just trying to make them happy, and let them know that I care about them. Is it wrong to try to make people happy by spending money on them? We do it all the time:
  • Buying a beer for a buddy
  • Giving money to a charity
  • Paying for dinner on a date
From the other side, do I like getting stuff for Christmas? Yes. Obviously yes. I always like getting stuff. And part of it is the acquisition of new things, usually some kind of toy that I can enjoy. But another part of it is the understanding that these people who gave me gifts care about me.

And that's the other aspect of Christmas, the part that me and the pious can get together on. Christmas is a time to appreciate each other. It's a time when families come together, kids come home from college, people from out of town fly in to spend a few days with their cousins/siblings/parents/children. Commercialized or not, we all still recognize Christmas as a time of year to spend with the people who matter the most to us. And on Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day, we sit around a table with our family and closest friends. We break bread with the people who've shaped our lives, these people for whom we've expressed love, through words and actions and, yes, gifts.

Sounds pretty meaningful to me.


Marcus said...

I really enjoyed this post, just wish I had read it before Christmas.

Anonymous said...

I hate anything Marcus likes... sorry

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