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post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
It's to commercial, I know it's been said loads of times but this year just got me a little annoyed.

Watching some kids show on TV one of the presenters asked his co-present what he likes about Christmas. His answer was '...eating food and all the presents!'

Um, I'm no Christian but isn't it about celebrating the birth of Christ? Or have I been misguided and the actual reason Christmas exists is not to celebrate that but in fact to spend a ridiculous amount of money on presents?

Every Christmas morning I always say 'Happy Birthday Jesus', something I've done for years, but not because I'm a religious person but because I respect it.

He died for our sins and not our presents.

I could go on but I would offend to many people and I'm not like that.
post #2 of 25
I have to agree with you. The other day I was talking with my mum thru IM, and we were talking about how christmas has become so commercial, what happened to the true spirit of christmas? In the last few days before christmas you see people going crazy, buying presents, and I think its a shame really because kids of today dont realise what it is all about, they only know it as 'presents' day. Maybe I have become jaded myself, who knows? I loved christmas when I was growing up, I got excited, I really enjoyed being around my family, and the added bonus was that it was summer and we could eat our meals and then jump into the swimming pool after the presents had been handed out. Before I came to the US, I always thought that Christmas in the wintertime would be the coolest thing, but now I prefer it in the summer. I hate being stuck inside, when you could be doing so much.

I guess I will stop the rambling for now.
post #3 of 25
I have to agree. I don't do decorations or anything. The only people I buy for are my kids. I would rather give a gift at any time during the year when I see something I know a certain person would truly like. All of this going to the store with a list and buying things just for the sake of buying them is not for me. I also cannot stand this act of buying every Tom, Dick, and Harry at work something. Where do you draw the line? My sister was telling me that my mother's husband's daughter was ticked off at the amount of the "annual check", and it didn't seem fair, because "there are more of 'you' (my mother's kids, grandkids) than there are of 'us'." In essence, they are shelling out more for my mother's side of the family, dollar for dollar. The whole thing makes me sick. People call me a Scrooge, but my holiday season ends at Thanksgiving, a holiday of pure enjoyment with no strings attached.
post #4 of 25
Mike and I feel the same way. The true Spirit has been lost by so many people long ago. The stores push the commercilism to the extreme. About a week before Christmas Mike went to a well known electronics store in our area. He was looking for a digitial camera for me. I was not on this trip, I was at home. When Mike came back home he was furious- I asked him what happened and where had he been? This is the conversation he told me about.

(Mike browsing and poking around the digital cameras) a salesman approaches:

"Good morning Sir, may I help you?"

"I'd like to buy a digital camera for my wife."

"Very good Sir, I can show you several. Umm- how much to you love your wife Sir?"

"What do you mean? I love her more than life itself-why?"

"Well, do you love her $99.99 worth? Or do you love her more than that say "599.99? If you love her more than life itself, then you should buy her the best camera we have to offer! Otherwise how else will she know you love her?"

Mike said he looked at this punky little kid and then he told him quietly. "Sir, I am going to forget you told me that the measure of my love for my wife has to do with the dollar amount I spend on her for Christmas!" Then Mike came home and told me about it. I was just amazed that Mike didn't deck the little guy! LOL I think I would of!

We had no lights, no decorations, no tree, and we had a very peaceful Christmas just the two of us. Phone calls were made to special friends and family and we received many of the same. There was no $85.00 Christmas tree and no digital camera. Guess that means Mike doesn't love me!

I got wonderful and bittersweet gifts from old friends. My best bud Mo called me and she now lives only 50 miles from me. She just moved to Eugene. I've not seen her in many many years. My best friend Marci called to tell me her father passed on- I have known Marc since I was in diapers. We had a long talk and a good cry, as I grew up in the center of her family more or less. I had another friend that I had had a falling out with some months ago, call me and we made our peace and are friends again. It was truly a blessed Christmas for us-spent with our animals and each other.
post #5 of 25
Well, I'm pretty sure there's a conspiracy going between the "news" stations and the retailers. The amount our newspeople are "encouraging" us to get out and shop has reached unwatchable proportions. One would think there was nothing else going on in the world.

But of course, this IS starting to look like it might be the "worst" "shopping season" in 30 years. I'm not sure that it's newsworthy that because Thanksgiving was "so late" this year, there WERE 6 less shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas than there were last year.

Where are the stories of the young children who choose to give all their gifts to the orphange? Where were the calls to donate to the food drives?

I seem to have missed all that on the news this year.

post #6 of 25
I think that Laurie's photo of the three musketeers looking out the window at the snow, while they are warm and cozy inside, is pretty much the spirit of Christmas.
post #7 of 25
Every year at school, we have a canned food drive. It's kind of ironic, because many of our families are the type that get donations from agencies to help the poor. Anyway, on the last day of school, one other teacher and I loaded up our trucks and brought our contributions down Metropolitan Ministries (the local agency collecting donations). We had 1500 pounds of cans and dry goods. The guy unloading said to send a special thank you to all the kids at school, as ours was the biggest donation of the season...and that was on Dec.19th.
post #8 of 25
Well, Christmas for me, years ago....was the family reunion. All of my family is scattered here and there so we all looked forward to being together. The best gift I received was the hug from my mom when I walked through her door. That was/is so precious to me. I'd see her only once or twice a year. Yes....there always was a gift exchange. But even if there would not have been, I treasured every minute spent with her and dreaded saying goodbye and driving back home.

She is gone is my father and to me, those memories of Christmas will stay with me forver.

I think it's up to each and everyone of us to grasp what is the most cherished Christmas memory and hang on to it tightly. The memories never die.

If it was not for my boys, personally....I would not be celebrating Christmas at all. It is not a happy time of year for me. Seems everything happens around this time of year. But, yes...we buy the gifts, we decorate the tree, we put the lights up on the roof so Santa can find our home. We do everything to keep the excitement alive for them. And we also explain that even Santa has a budget! That way, they don't ask for over extravagant gifts.

We also go to Church on Christmas eve and we say our prayers and shake hands with all our neighbors and wish them all the best. (Unfortunately, we were not able to this year for various reaons...)

Santa is a myth...but not to a 4 year old and my 8 year old is borderline in his beliefs right now I don't want to take that away from them. Not yet. Unfortunately, they do believe in Santa more than they understand the meaning of Jesus and God. But, we are working on that.

I got my Christmas wish this year...Both my grandfather and my sister were in the hospital Christmas day. We were all supposed to get together and did not. But, by 10:00pm last night, they were home. Each to their respecive homes but at least they went home. I saw grandpa (he was discharged earlier than my sister and he lives closer). He looked pretty good. That was my gift for this year.

But personally, I do not enjoy Christmas like I did in the past.
post #9 of 25
Take one look at the mall around this time of year and it is OBVIOUS what it has all become. My parents don't do EXTRAVAGANT gifts for us because we do things for each other all through the year (fix the car, put tires on, etc and so on). So...this year we got cute little things as tokens of of Angel enlarged, socks (because I go through them like water, etc), and we had dinner....

BUTTT..we got over to Roger's dad's and well...he got a PlayStation 2. His sister: a karoke machine. Nice stuff, but the focus is that and not what it really means.

Enough said. It isn't about what is spent. It isn't even ABOUT buying. It is about LOVE. Being with each other.

My memorable thing: being in bed with Roger Christmas Eve and seeing the snow come down in our Christmas lights that were on. It was wonderful and peaceful!
post #10 of 25
Originally posted by -BuNN-

Every Christmas morning I always say 'Happy Birthday Jesus', something I've done for years, but not because I'm a religious person but because I respect it.

He died for our sins and not our presents.
I totally agree with you BuNN. I think the reason we exchange presents though was originally because of the wise men bringing presents to baby Jesus to celebrate his birth, so we do the same to symbolize it, but it has just gone too far!!! I had people at work that don't even hardly talk to me any other time coming up to me with gifts, (candles, etc) and I then felt that I had to go out and buy them something even though I hadn't planned to and could have used the money for something else. I see nothing wrong with exchanging gifts among close friends and family members, but it gets ridiculous when you feel you have to buy something for every single person you come in contact with on a daily basis!! My parents and grandparents are all gone, and so personally I would prefer to buy only for my husband, Amber, my 2 step-children and 3 or 4 of my closest friends and hubby's mother and that is it...period. But of course that's not the way it works. His sisters who both make way more money than we do always get us gifts, (which is very nice of them) so I don't want to be rude, so I get for them too, which is fine, but then I have these people at work bringing me gifts, and some of them are friends, so it is okay, but some of them I barely speak to, and yet here they are with a gift! I would rather have them take a little time to get to know me during the year than give me a gift once a year.

I have no problem with Santa, but I will not be teaching Amber to believe in him myself. I don't feel like I am taking anything away from her by not doing this, although it is a sore subject with Hubby's family. They think she should believe in him. Well I was never taught to believe in Santa, and I LOVED Christmas as a child...I knew the real reason we celebrate Christmas was to honor Christs birth, and that my parents and grandparents were the ones buying the gifts for me, (which didn't make it any less exciting) and Santa pictures, etc were not allowed in the house (although I have no problem with a santa figurine or picture being in my house) but I have great childhood memories of all my Christmases, Santa or no santa. And I didn't have to live through the letdown of finding out he didn't exist. I'm not saying kids shouldn't be taught to believe in Santa, I think it is wonderful if that's what their parents want to do, my friends children believe in him and that is great! But I will not be teaching Amber to believe in him. That's my perogative, and Hubby doesn't care either way.
post #11 of 25
BuNN, Thank you for mentioning Jesus' name the day after his birthday! It seems that many people think it's radical to be a Christian, even those who were raised as such. Christ is the center of our Christmas day. However, I think Santa epitomizes Christ's teaching: "Let not thy right hand know what thy left hand doeth." Our gifts are to represent the greatest gift of all. But Santa comes after the church service is over. You're right, however. Many people have forgotten "the reason for the season." In fact, I will probably get some private criticism for posting this, even though it is a central part of my life.
post #12 of 25
Quite a few years ago I worked for Sears Roebuck. I was one of the people who sat in an office taking customer's catalog orders over the phone. Sears would start mailing the Christmas catalog out to people during the early part of September, and this is also when we would have to start promoting this catalog and encouraging people to order from it.

I don't know a lot about this, but I have heard that the commercial part of Christmas has a pagan origin which was started some time before the birth of Baby Jesus.
post #13 of 25
I did a search and found a site which discusses the pagan origins of common Christmas traditions. Here is the link.
post #14 of 25
Lorie, Of course we don't know the exact date of Christ's birth. We celebrate it in December-probably because of the Roman holiday Saturnalia, which was, of course, not a Christian holiday. However, tha site you gave us would have us celebrate Hannakah, which is a minor Jewish holiday. That would be fine, because of our belief in the Old Testament. The site said God would have given us the real date of Christ's birth if He wanted us to know it. Well, he didn't give us the exact date He created the world either, but we believe He did. (I'm speaking only for Jews and Christians.)
The tradition of the tree began in Victorian England. That tradition and many others are of secular origin, and should not take precendence over the birth of Christ. They are not evil in and of themselves, as the site insinuates, just because they were not ordained by God. Of course I respect you and your friendship, but have you read everything on that site? The beliefs represented there are somewhat contrary to the Evangelical churches in America.
post #15 of 25
I don't see anything wrong at all with santa or trees, except it does bother me when Christians forget the true meaning of Christmas, and santa and the trees, presents, etc are all they care about...but I realize people don't all believe in God or in Christ, etc so they have a right to celebrate Christmas however they want. I have no problem with is the Christians who are supposed to believe in the birth of Christ as the meaning of Christmas, but who get so caught up in santa and everything else that they forget it that bothers me. I love Christmas trees, I think they are beautiful! I just don't care much for santa, never have.
post #16 of 25
Originally posted by Jeanie
The beliefs represented there are somewhat contrary to the Evangelical churches in America.
Oh great, now I'm going to be
(insert foot-in-mouth smiley here)
Well, actually I didn't read everything on the site and it doesn't necessarily represent my personal beliefs. The ministers at my church really don't spend time on the pagen aspects of Christmas or the commerical part of it. They preach about the true meaning of
Christmas and also encourage members to do something for those who are less fortunate like donating to the food shelf or Toys for Tots. Also, they encourage this behavior all year, not just at Christmas.

And now I will spend some time just reading quietly, without posting anything.
post #17 of 25
Lorie, please don't read quietly without posting, you didn't say anything wrong at said that link was to a site that gave the PAGEN origins of Christmas....of course that would differ with the evangelical beliefs, and you also did not say you believed that way yourself. I just think it was a misunderstanding.
post #18 of 25
Lorie, You're such as asset to the site. Even friends can disagree, can't we? We're only discussing, not arguing. That's the way philosophy works.
post #19 of 25
Ok, I'm posting again.
post #20 of 25
We live in such a serious World that I honestly believe that if my children want to believe in Santa, The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy for a few years before reality sinks in, then I will play along.

Children need to be children and it's all the imaginary fun things that allow them to be just that.

Somedays, I wish I still believed in Santa. Life was so simple back then. I have to honestly admit that when my boys see Santa at the mall and their eyes light up like stars, it makes my heart melt to see the little things that bring such joy to them.

Besides, Santa lives in every one of us....haven't you ever caught yourself doing something wonderful for someone else? Giving something to the needy?'ve all played Santa at least once in your lives.

Debby, Lorie, Jeanie,...I do understand what each of you are saying and I too, agree with most of it. I just know that in no time at all, my boys will face all the reality and their beliefs will change in their own time. My boys know the difference between Santa and Jesus. And yes, to them, Santa is more important on this one day of the year. On Christ's birthday. But I am not complaining because the rest of the year, they are still learning about who Christ is and of all the wonderful things he did for us.
post #21 of 25
I think it is wonderful that your children believe in santa and the joy that it brings them! I sure don't have any problem at all with santa....he's a pretty good guy! :tounge2: I just am not going to teach Amber to believe in him, but that doesn't mean I think you are wrong for doing so, I think each person should decide for themselves if they want to tell their children about santa or not. I plan to tell her that santa is one of the symbols of Christmas because he is unselfish and brings gifts and joy to children, but that it is just like Sesamie street on TV, it doesn't really exist. Maybe that is wrong of me, but I don't think so. It's just the way I was raised, and I don't think I missed out on anything....I loved Christmas!
post #22 of 25
Being a pagan myself, I want to step in for a moment. The date that Christmas is celebrated does go back to a pagan festival, as does Easter, (Halloween - that came much later), the whole calendar year. When Rome changed it's allegiance from the pagan gods to Christianity, they knew that they would not be able to convince the common people that they should give up all of the festivals. So they worked the Christian calendar into those already widely celebrated days and changed what the celebrations were for.

The commercial aspect of Christmas cannot be blamed on the pagans, but on modern business. All of the holidays are over-marketed, it's just so much more obvious with Christmas because of the tradition of presents which takes the forefront because there is a lot of money to be made. Is Memorial Day much more than a day off from work and good sales to most Americans?

BTW, the tradition of giving gifts was for the Wise Men who brought gifts for Baby Jesus. Gifts were originally exchanged in mid-January (Epiphany) to go with the Christian calendar. I'm not sure when that changed. Santa also had his origins in a Saint, St. Nicholas.

Yes, I do celebrate Christmas with my family, even as a pagan. Yes, we do read the story of Jesus' birth, as that is the reason for the holiday.

I will step away from this discussion now, and down from my soapbox.
post #23 of 25
I have copied some information from the site I provided a link to earlier to show what I mean by pagan origins of the commercial part of Christmas. This information is being used for reference purposes only.

"The Pagan Origin of The Christmas Tree

The concept of the Christmas Tree originated around 3000 B.C. in ancient Egypt with King Osiris and Queen Isis.

After the untimely death of King Osiris, his wife, Isis, propogated the demonic doctrine of the survival of Osiris as a spirit. She claimed a full grown evergreen tree sprang overnight from a dead stump, symbolising the new life of the Osiris spirit from his death. On each anniversary of Osiris birth, which was the date we now know as December 25th, Isis would leave gifts around this tree.

During the Middle Ages, the Germans believed the evergreen trees were especially imbued with life since they remained green throughout all of winter. Greenery was prominent in pagan winter celebrations in honour of the tree spirit or spirit of fertility.

The Romans trimmed the trees with trinkets and toys at that time of year. The Druids tied gilded apples to tree branches. For many, a tree decorated with orbs and fruit-like object symbolised the tree of life in the garden of Eden."

I have heard a similiar story from a source other than that web site. Also, Jeanie told us earlier that modern Christmas trees originated in Victorian England and were secular in nature.
post #24 of 25
Lorie, although I know you only have the best of intentions, I looked at that site and found it to be a bit radical. Ok, a lot radical. I have studied Eqyptian mythology and I have never heard such a tale of an evergreen tree springing from Osiris' spirit nor of her leaving gifts. (To be fair, Egyptian mythology varied in the different regions, so it is entirely possible that some region did hold this belief.) The evergreen has long been seen as a truimph of life over death due to it staying green while everything else goes barren during winter, so I can see where there is that inference, though.

Here's a few sites that I found of the history of the Christmas tree. It does have pagan origins, I suppose. However the tree as we know it was done by Christians.

I will completely agree that the origins of many of the celebrations can be traced back to pagan festivals and celebrations. However, the traditions have evolved with the times, and I do believe that most of the distortions of the true meaning of Christmas to Christians have come from modern money-grubbing. Sorry, but we pagans are a very small minority and cannot be blamed for everything wrong with society or what society has done.
post #25 of 25
Ghyslaine, I do believe in Santa Claus! When my children asked the inevitable question, I told them he was the spirit of love and giving that thrives at Christmas. Then I read aloud, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." They never asked another question, so we all believe, but, as I said, the birth of the Savior is first. As long as Christians put Christ first and the secular traditions second, we're all right. However, the Pittsburgh area was so concerned about political correctness a few years ago that the official name for Christmas became "The Sparkle Season!" Now, that is ridiculous!

p.s. As Heidi said, Santa is Saint Nicholas, a man who gave gifts to needy children. That is the personification of the Christmas spirit. I repeat, "Let now thy right hand know what thy left hand doeth." KJV
That's what Santa does!

p.p.s. Yay! Lorie's posting! You know we love you!
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