MediumRoastSteam Well said. Unfortunately, the three Christian holidays (UK - Good Friday, Easter Sunday/Monday, Christmas) these days, for most, are about opening presents or eating as much chocolate as they possibly can (in no particular order) and upload to social media. Sometimes I do wonder if those who “celebrate” actually know the background of the holiday/festivity in the first place!
I’d guess most do know, but it sure can be hard to detect it these days in all the commercialised razzamataz. To be clear, I’m not of a religious mindset but if I were, I think I’d be seriously offended by the …. and I think I use this word advisedly …. corrupting, of the whole point of Christmas by the Bacchanalia of it all.
It’s NOT that giving presents upsets me. Not at all. In my childhoo, it used to be a wonderful time. Maybe that’s largely rose-tinted nostalgia, but I think it’s more to do with being raised on the tail-end of post-war austerity, and rationing. Recent decades have seen far, FAR more materialistic wealth, and very expensicve coffee machines are probably a very good example. My setup here is pretty modest in cost, but still is probably £2500-£3000 on all the bits and bobs, and that’s a pittance compared to many, I’m sure.
I think the problem is largely that, though certainly not applying to everybody, a pretty large percentage of the populations of most advanced economies are materially vasty more affluent than were were even 50 years ago, and of course, vastly more so than the majority of the world’s current population. Which is another aspect of my …. ‘discomfort’ on pointless present-giving given that we (the wife and I) really don’t want presents, and to be indulging in such materialistic excesses given the stark poverty of so much of the world just seems somehow utterly contradictory to so much of the principles the Bible (and from my understanding, most religions) stand for.
This is probably sounding a bit politically left wing, but though I’m not getting into that, left wing I most certainly am not.
The counter argument, and I entirely accept it, is doing the presenty-Christmas thing when kids are involved. I’m not criticisng that, at all. Personally, I think it still needs to be done carefully, and again personally, for a good many years I’ve always strongly preferred to give presents ONLY when someone isn’t expecting it. So, the Grinch in me says the same about birthdays (except for kids) as Christmas. And birthday cards are only for those I cannot wish birthday greetings to directly, which in these days of mobile phones, is precious few people. Again, I don’t feel inclined to prop up the card industry, and only in part because at least a phone call doesn’t result in a card that raises a momentary smile, then rapidly progresses to the recycling bin. Few things are more obviously conspicuous consumption than that.
We’ve all been ‘conditioned’ into cards for this, cards for that, and present-giving should be a delight, both in giving and receiving, not a chore to select, and false smiles at yet another pair of socks, or a jumper you don’t even like. It’s all about commercialism, and so little about generosity let alone a religious celebration.
So yeah, my “grinch” remark about myself was a bit tongue-in-cheek but I really don’t much like what Christmas has been corrupted into unless kids are involved.