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DPChallenge Forums >> Rant >> The Commercialization of Christmas
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12/30/2008 08:28:24 AM · #1
Okay, at the suggestion of ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/29009.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/29009.gif', '/') + 1) . ' L2......(Howzat for taking something out of context!)

Here's my dilemma.....I truly and wholeheartedly believe in theis concept:

Peace on earth & goodwill towards man.

What I object to is having someone ram their particular bent of how and when this should happen down my throat, and putting their spin on how *I* am supposed to be and act according to THEIR beliefs.

I have a lot of trouble with the whole, "'Tis the sacred Christmas season." crap right before that drunken office party, the dysfunctional (unavoidable) family gatherings, and the whole concept of "Holiday Spirit" which is nothing more that the way we SHOULD treat each other 24/7/365.

I also don't believe the fat guy with the glued on beard in the mall is a holy man, and I do not have the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior, so DON'T tell me how to be because you do!

Flame suit SECURELY fastened!............8>)


12/30/2008 08:53:41 AM · #2
Good morning :)

I have a bit of trouble with the whole Christmas-as-a-package for goodwill, peace, money spending, etc. also. Many do.

I do like the intent of trying to get along, actually seeing family membes, traditions, and of course (for Christians) celebration of Christ's birth.

I have a LOT more problems with "people" (aka 'society') telling me my body style is wrong, my daughter is neglected because she doesn't have the coolest cell phone and doesn't dress like a street walker, that I must be CRAZY for having my mother in law live with us for 10 years so far, that I'm an underachiever because for most of my married life I was a stay at home mom, that I "offend" people for quietly praying in public, and that I'm intolerant because my definition of rude is apparently different from many other's definition - or they just don't care.

The point is that society "tells" us all the time how we SHOULD act and be. Christmas is just a speck of dust in the grand scheme of our cultures's effects on our decisions and behavior.

I'm not "okay" if I'm not a huge fan of Christmas (which, by the way I tend to be), or like sports or whatever.

Just try to live life on your own terms - but that doesn't mean being selfish.

So I will join in by judging people who are judgemental :)

This is why I don't usually respond to a rant. I make no sense, but I do feel better.
12/30/2008 09:57:36 AM · #3
I agree with you Jeb. Christmas as we know it, Has very little to do with the birth of Jesus. Apart from my family going to Christmas Mass. It is all about Shopping, Gifts, Decorations, Food, Getting together with Family and Friends etc...

Like you said in the other thread, It starts in October the stores start putting up Christmas trees about then, Which actually unnerves me at times. Because I think it is too soon, But it isn't only Christmas that is treated this way, Much like today you can go to almost any Walmart Store and they have 2 - 3 isles dedicated to Valentines Day which isnt for almost another 7 weeks. V Day another creative sales pitch. It will be the same for every Holiday and each year the stores will race to be the first one with an item on the shelf. Eventually it will be Christmas, Halloween, Valentines and St Patricks day all year long.

I think there should be a standing rule that all the pre-christmas hype be forbidden until the day after Thanksgiving. And also make those people who still have their trees up in March, Take them down before the end of January.

12/30/2008 10:17:02 AM · #4
Well said, Jeb. I too am tired of being told I have to conform to Society's notions (and when all of Society finally manages to agree on just what those are, they can send me a fax!).

As I see it, Christmas is a social holiday dominated by the marketing industry. I approve of the idea of getting together with family and friends and showing some recognition and appreciation for them, as I am truly thankful for the people in my life. To that extent, I participate in the consumerism, because I like getting gifts for the people I love. On the other hand, I really hate having to endure the constant barrage of marketing, which is why I read books, listen to records, and shun television in an attempt to minimize it.

Xmas trees, lights, decorations, and goodwill are all good things - why not be jolly and celebrate something for a couple of weeks (yes, the whole thing does start too early, but I'm really talking about the 5-7 days either side of Christmas itself).

And while we're talking about how to celebrate, I frankly don't see the Christians having any real claim to Christmas as a "high holy day" anymore. If individuals feel that it is such and want to celebrate it that way, by all means, they should. But they have no right to force that view on the rest of us who see it differently. And let's face facts here - "Christmas" existed long before the Christians got their hands on it. Yule, for example, was celebrated for a long time before it was assimilated into the Christian holiday. So if we're going to base our method of celebration on the original holiday, we might as well skip "Christmas" altogether and go back to it's predecessor.

12/30/2008 11:31:57 AM · #5
It was really the first "Hallmark Holiday" and it's origins have as much or more to do with the pagan celebrations of the winter solstice than the birth of Jesus.
12/30/2008 06:59:47 PM · #6
The guy wasn't born in December. It's a co-opted Pagan holiday. None of the crap that goes on has much to do with either event. Sure, there are a few symbols left over from the Pagan events. There are a few managers with critters and representations of folks that may or may not have been present for an event which most certainly didn't occur at this time of the year. But really - the guy that folks claim to be celebrating would probably cry, and call out "i was wrong, flood them all again" were he to show up down here these days.

Do i celebrate? Only as much as i feel is necessary to pacify my Baptist inlaws, who have finally accepted that we do not believe what they believe. No trees here while my hubby is overseas and now that the kids are grown, tho some Yule traditions will invariably show up when he's home. Do we give out presents? Sure. Of course, you're just as likely to get a present from me in February, or October. Might be wrapped from the same jumbo-sized never ending roll of paper, too.
12/30/2008 09:18:46 PM · #7
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

It was really the first "Hallmark Holiday" and it's origins have as much or more to do with the pagan celebrations of the winter solstice than the birth of Jesus.


Yule. -Which Pope was it who issued the bull banning pagan holidays and transferring Christian ones to coincide with these? 12th century or thereabouts, was it?
12/30/2008 09:27:28 PM · #8
Saturnalia.
12/30/2008 09:33:36 PM · #9
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Saturnalia.


That was Rome proper.
12/30/2008 09:47:15 PM · #10
sorry for being off topic but i think commercialization happens to all other major dates, like valentine's day, mother's day, father's day, secretary days, and whatever those marketing gurus were able to invent. i'm starting to feel that these are all marketing gimmicks nicely hidden behind a fake moral agenda.
12/30/2008 09:57:13 PM · #11
Originally posted by crayon:

... all marketing gimmicks nicely hidden behind a fake moral agenda.


Pretty ostentatiously, if you ask me.
12/30/2008 10:23:46 PM · #12
I'm amazed that of the 20 Christmas Cards, only 2 had references to Jesus.

Christmas without Jesus is just one big marketing scheme. I went to the mall today and all the decorations were taken down.

When in actuality, Christmas happens until Epiphany or 12th Night. In the Eastern Church (or rather families), presents aren't opened until then.

I'll still keep on staying "Merry Christmas" until January 6th.

BTW, Merry Christmas!
12/30/2008 10:36:12 PM · #13
who invented Santa Claus?
12/30/2008 10:51:33 PM · #14
Originally posted by crayon:

who invented Santa Claus?


Santa Claus comes from Saint Nicholas. Wikipedia has an article on this and how the name Santa Claus was derived.
12/30/2008 10:53:00 PM · #15
Originally posted by crayon:

who invented Santa Claus?

That's what I'm talking about....

How did things get from the earthly birth of the son of God to a fat guy in a red suit and white beard in the mall?

Where did the "Traditions" of gifts, feasts, decorating a tree (Hacked out of the forest, no less!), stocking stuffing, sleigh rides, and ALL that hype come from?

And why is all that crap seemingly directly tied in with the "Sacred" holiday?

And I also agree with you about ALL the commercialization of holidays across the board.

My wife and I have been together through thick and thin for 30 years, and NEVER have I given her red roses on Valentine's day......yet I'll bet you more red roses are sold on V-day than all 364 other days combined. It just irks me to no end that someone tells me I have to do that!

I buy my wife flowers because I love her, and it's Tuesday......I don't have to have any other reason, or a calendar reminder that I should do something nice just to express my love.

Gifts should be from the heart, and spontaneous, not forced.

Heck, I've seen more genuine loving spirit here in the way that people swoop down on others having issues, or a tough spot, just because they care......not because it's "That time of year", but because someone's sick, or their camera took a dive, or someone's in the hospital, or for no other reason than they see a need.

I believe in random, unprovoked acts of genuine kindness.

I *HATE* being manipulated.
12/30/2008 10:55:41 PM · #16
Originally posted by Covert_Oddity:

Originally posted by crayon:

who invented Santa Claus?


Santa Claus comes from Saint Nicholas. Wikipedia has an article on this and how the name Santa Claus was derived.

Oh, that's DEFINITELY the fat guy in the mall!

Sheesh!

BTW, Bah Humbug!......8>)
12/30/2008 11:29:47 PM · #17
Originally posted by Nullix:

I'm amazed that of the 20 Christmas Cards, only 2 had references to Jesus.

Christmas without Jesus is just one big marketing scheme. I went to the mall today and all the decorations were taken down.

When in actuality, Christmas happens until Epiphany or 12th Night. In the Eastern Church (or rather families), presents aren't opened until then.

I'll still keep on staying "Merry Christmas" until January 6th.

BTW, Merry Christmas!


Christmas with Jesus is just a big religious marketing scheme and always has been.

The holiday has as much in common with pagan/polytheist winter celebrations that pre-date Christ by thousands of years as it does with Christ.
12/31/2008 10:55:41 AM · #18
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Christmas with Jesus is just a big religious marketing scheme and always has been.

The holiday has as much in common with pagan/polytheist winter celebrations that pre-date Christ by thousands of years as it does with Christ.


Really, since when?

There are/were a lot of pagan gods and holidays. I'm sure some of those pagan holidays fall on Christmas.

The same could be said if Christ was born in the fall/spring/summer.
12/31/2008 11:00:41 AM · #19
Originally posted by Nullix:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Christmas with Jesus is just a big religious marketing scheme and always has been.

The holiday has as much in common with pagan/polytheist winter celebrations that pre-date Christ by thousands of years as it does with Christ.


Really, since when?

There are/were a lot of pagan gods and holidays. I'm sure some of those pagan holidays fall on Christmas.

The same could be said if Christ was born in the fall/spring/summer.

Exactly! And since the whole Christ thing happened hundreds of years after the pagan/polytheist holidays, why does it get this "divine claim" to Christmas? No matter what season it fell in, it would still try to make the same claims, no matter what else exists.
12/31/2008 11:12:17 AM · #20
Originally posted by OdysseyF22:

Originally posted by Nullix:

Really, since when?

There are/were a lot of pagan gods and holidays. I'm sure some of those pagan holidays fall on Christmas.

The same could be said if Christ was born in the fall/spring/summer.

Exactly! And since the whole Christ thing happened hundreds of years after the pagan/polytheist holidays, why does it get this "divine claim" to Christmas? No matter what season it fell in, it would still try to make the same claims, no matter what else exists.


I'd rather Christmas didn't have divine claim. It'd make it more sacred for us that celebrate it. The only other holiday I hear is Winter Solstice. I do wish my pagan friends happy solstice.

12/31/2008 11:33:55 AM · #21
I mainly feel bad for the kids who expect something at Christmas time even though the parents can't afford it. Or you have those parents who will skip paying a monthly bill so that they can get their kids presents at Christmas for fear that their kids will feel left out and hurt if they don't receive something.

They have places like the salvation army and charity donations for less fortunate families to receive items throughout the year, who need them, which is great. But it's pretty bad when they have to set up a place for people to bring items so that less fortunate kids will get christmas presents at this time of year. It shouldn't even be an issue of that. It's sad.

Message edited by author 2008-12-31 11:35:06.
12/31/2008 12:02:23 PM · #22
Originally posted by Nullix:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Christmas with Jesus is just a big religious marketing scheme and always has been.

The holiday has as much in common with pagan/polytheist winter celebrations that pre-date Christ by thousands of years as it does with Christ.


Really, since when?

There are/were a lot of pagan gods and holidays. I'm sure some of those pagan holidays fall on Christmas.

The same could be said if Christ was born in the fall/spring/summer.


Christ wasn't born in December.

Since the Romans celebrated Saturnalia.

You really should read why the holidays are when they are.

12/31/2008 12:46:08 PM · #23
Originally posted by Spazmo99:


Christ wasn't born in December.

Since the Romans celebrated Saturnalia.

You really should read why the holidays are when they are.


That's a pretty bold statement to make.

Do you even know that Saturnalia is? It was offically celebrated on December 17 in which Augustus limited to 3 days. We're also talking about 200BC. I don't think Romans will mind since there's nobody who celebrates Saturnalia. Most Romans now a days are Catholic (being the center of the Catholic Church).
12/31/2008 01:04:40 PM · #24
In recent years, East Asian historians have attempted to match the birth of Jesus with special events in their history. They found that, according to the oldest record of the Comet Halley during the Han Dynasty, "The comet heads east with its tail pointing west at night, and was appearing in the sky for more than 70 days". in 6 BC. This has been suggested as an independent record of the "Star" described in Matthew 2. If accepted, this suggestion would place the birthday of Jesus in summer rather than winter.

12/31/2008 01:47:33 PM · #25
Of course Christianity has a "claim" on Christmas. Duh. It wasn't celebrated before Christianity was around. They don't have a particular claim on December 25th and other traditions have utilized the solstice or other December dates to their own effect. It's quite silly to say all the people who observe Christmas are really duped because there was a holiday before.

Would the same people say Valentine's Day should properly be returned to the Catholic Church? Or would the argument now take the form that the origins are so lost in the past as to be meaningless?

EDIT TO ADD: Back to the OP though. I agree with the rejection of the uber-commercialization of Christmas. However, I read an interesting essay a year or two ago that admitted that Christmas has become so important to our consumer economy as to be necessary. He proposed we keep it as some "Happy Material Wealth Day" and that Christians everywhere should devote themselves to a defense of Easter as our highest sacred holiday. I see the logic in that.

Still, I love Christmas. I get together every year with the entire Friesen clan from my 92-year old Grandmother to my cousin's 1-year old daughter. 23 in all this year for a great dinner, conversation, swapping $15 gifts (a meaningful CD or book theme this year), and singing while my very musically talented cousins play guitar, piano, drums, or whatever. A definite highlight of my year.

Message edited by author 2008-12-31 14:08:31.
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