The Nation of Scrooge
The People's Republic of Humbug
A conservative diatribe written to a radical album, the irony is not lost. Ever since I was a kid and a while before that, complaints have been rolling out year after year in the Western World about the commercialization of Christmas. Those complaints seem to be dying down, our society is one that has embraced consumption despite how much it has become aware of of the final costs we as a society will have to pay. Christmas is the perfect excuse for the shopaholic to cut loose and spend, so reminders about commercialization and the true meaning of Christmas have lost their way and are about as welcome as an STD.
People don't complain about the early, overly-persistent ad campaigns the way they once did. The true meaning of Christmas is willingly lost or dismissed in an increasingly secular society. The Politically Correct love to make a storm about how Merry Christmas is insensitive to recent immigrants and non-Christians. They point out that we should move to something more neutral and inclusive. Personally, I just want to tell them all to button it.
Funny how many of the Indian immigrants I have worked with over the years have made a point of asking people to wish them a Merry Christmas. I worked at one place where many were from Bombay and Goa, and they would meet "Season's Greetings" and "All the best for the Holidays" with "Please just wish us a Merry Christmas. We are here now, it is your holiday and we don't mind adjusting to that fact. You wouldn't get the same sort of consideration in India, so please stop worrying about offending us." And for those of you who don't believe it - believe it this really happened and that was a few of them said to everyone in the office. I have met many Sikhs over the past couple of years who have really made a point of stressing to Caucasians: Have a Merry Christmas. Hell, a Muslim at work wished me "Happy Christmas" yesterday - so really, who are we afraid of offending?
Let us put an end to all the humbuggery. Christmas is a great time of year and I think I know many more people who have fond memories of Christmas than people who don't. Think you have it hard on Christmas? You probably can't lay a finger on me and I am sitting pretty compared to a whole lot of people out there. Don't believe in Jesus Christ ot God? So what? Is it really a lot of skin off your nose? If Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims can get into some aspect of the Spirit of the Season - why can't you? No one is ordering you into church for services, so why be a Grinch about it?
Christmas reduced to it's basic elements is about hope. For Christians it marks the beginning of life of sacrifice that leads to Grace, Forgiveness and the hope of Ressurection. Maybe you just can't believe in that - don't it is your choice, right or wrong. But live in hope for something better. It is easy to wallow in the baser aspects of human nature. If you cannot believe, let Christmas be about being better than what we are. Let go of the pettiness and just celebrate. Water of a duck's back.