Everyone knows what we have been taught as to what the meaning of Christmas is, and I’m generally not a Debbie downer type, but over the years I have grown to loathe Christmas.
What I see throughout the holiday season is not peace on earth and all things cozy. What I see as Christmas in America, is a society turning into a band of greedy, angry, impatient roaming hordes of shoppers.
Everywhere I have gone this holiday season I’ve witnessed people looking stressed out.
At what point did Christmas become all about getting stuff? The idea that you do not have a good Christmas unless you get that “perfect” gift for that “special” someone? What happens if you don’t get that gift? If the perfect gift turns out to not be what they really wanted and they return it to the store then what did you actually do? Why not just give people money and let them pay off a bill or buy what they really want? If we did that then we’d be considered by some as not really caring. Doesn’t it seem that if ones degree of love is measured upon how much time and money is spent in purchasing a gift that perhaps we’ve got a rather skewed idea of love and caring is all about.
Marketing experts incorporate the techniques of Sigfield and Freud to create this gift giving frenzy based on the idea that the act of gift giving is a demonstration of how much you love or care for another. Brilliant marketing stradegy for retailers as the puppets turn out in droves, stacking their carts and arms full of over priced things that must be perfect in all ways.
I am not sure how, but I will make it my resolution to try to change the hearts and minds of people I know without little kids to look at ways to bring real joy and hope to people on Christmas. One of the best stories in my opinion to help people remember what it is supposed to be about, the story of Scrooge.
At the malls and various stores there are the bell ringers fundraising for the Salvation Army and the Angel trees with a tag listing a child in need and what they may need or want for Christmas, these are good but very impersonal to me. The child in need perhaps would be better served by helping his or her parent find a job, or improve their job skills through training. The holidays are a very hard time on poor families and people that are alone, but a present no matter how well intended provides only a brief feeling of happiness that quickly fades when one only looks around and see’s that their life is still the same struggle and no closer to the life they hope to have for themselves or their children.
The materialism of Christmas doesn’t do anything to improve the lives of people it only serves now to increase the bank accounts and profit margins of retailers.