To believe that Christ intended us to buy things for the sake of giving things is a bit of a stretch. And to believe that it is an “American tradition” is to not be educated in history. Our nation was without any holidays for the first 67 years of it’s existence. And to think that we were founded as a christian nation is also a falsity. Our founding fathers were mostly deists, or in the case of Thomas Jefferson re-writing the new testament to exclude all miracles.
The formation of a nation built for religious freedom and separation of church and state would have definitely included the decision of making a national holiday that favors one religion over others. But, I digress…
Our desire to celebrate what is to many a sacred time of year with the wasteful consumption that insures the continuation of economic bloating is a slap in the face to the very meaning of the holiday. It invades our desire to spread good by making us believe we can only do good is by buying stuff and things. Yes! Magazine did a wonderful article about having a Christmas with No Presents.
I propose we start donating time to those who need it, donating money to the needy, donating food to the homeless. Give your kids the gift of seeing someone disadvantaged being helped. Bring them to a soup kitchen. I challenge all of us to actually spread good will in this time as we so often feel we’re doing by giving useless, expensive things.