It was here a while ago and now it’s gone.
Honest–I’m not a ‘bah humbug’ kind of guy. What I would like to know, however, is where has Christmas gone–it’s like someone stole it and none of us noticed. What happened to the old carols–you remember the ones sung by people who could actually sing. What I hear more of these days are rappers who have done some awful things to such beautiful music. Or carols sung by people who hit notes at decibels so unbelievable that I swear they could crack the crystal in grandmas’ china cabinet. Children are in danger of forgetting what those songs mean and the significance of how they connect us to all the other folks who celebrate Christmas around the world. If there is one event in the year that has the potential of drawing us a little closer together it is this celebration and it is dying off. Lists of things are the new weapons supporting the takeover by those who see capitalism and consumerism as the new ‘Gods’. Kids, instead of being thankful and grateful for the gifts they receive are disappointed and upset they didn’t get it all. I don’t hear children talking about ‘the Christmas Story’ much anymore. In many schools it is ‘not acceptable behavior’ to publicly recite or discuss the stories of Christmas. Where has Christmas gone? More importantly why have we allowed it to go that way? It is our tradition and an integral part of our culture and our heritage and we just gave it up to people who were offended.
It has been pushed aside in favour of bigger and longer sales. Christmas is all about the money now. The shopping season starts somewhere around the first week of November with some stores having their Christmas decorations displayed earlier. Some radio stations play ramped up almost unrecognisable ‘Christmas’ music 24 hours a day. We now have the beginning of a new Christmas language. How does ‘re-gifting’ really work and how does it feel to have something you worked hard to provide suddenly become next years ‘gift’ to somebody else?? Well Merry Christmas to you too.
In Ferguson, Missouri we know that people rioted then looted from their own neighbors and business people. Some of those hard working business people will never be able to recover the losses and will likely have to close up shop. But hey–Merry Christmas.
And then we have the folks who got into a fist fight in a store, with little kids watching, where Black Friday was taking a firm grip on everyone’s nerves and sanity. It seems they were fighting over the last ‘big screen’ TV on the shelf. Outside people were physically fighting over parking spaces. Hey Merry Christmas to you guys as well.
In the Middle East the Canadian military is or was busy flying over land, that is not ours, bombing people into oblivion who may or may not be our adversaries. We killed who knows how many innocent people (mostly because bombs don’t discriminate between the good guys and the not so good guys) who had nothing else to do but find a way to live through another day in that forsaken place. Our leaders want us to believe that we are over there trying to defend the rights of the citizens who live there and to protect a non existing democracy. Meanwhile over here our government is giving away or trading away our rights in exchange for votes in the next federal election. We can no longer recite the Lords Prayer in schools or most public places. We wouldn’t want to offend anyone. Well not to offend anyone but if you don’t like our way of life why not just leave us alone. No hard feelings. If it’s better where you are from then why are you here? Oh, by the way–Merry Christmas.
So because of the combination of political correctness, greedy self serving politicians, misguided parents who are still trying to ‘buy’ their kids respect by substituting goods for real relationships and people who are centered on just what is good for themselves, Christmas has taken the hit and has, almost, been pushed off the world stage by those who could care less about tradition, culture, heritage and good will among ‘men’. Kids have, again, been forgotten when it comes to having the opportunity to share with others, to give to those who have less, to honor tradition and history, to consider the world as a bigger place then just the three feet that surround them. What a shame.
The bright spot, oddly enough, is that now, more than at any other time, the U.S. is recognised as #1 in the world when it comes to generous donations to domestic and world charities and giving to those who have little. Apparently some 65% of Americans give to support and help others. That includes food banks, shelters and supplying warm clothing for the homeless. All is not lost after all.
So how do we transfer that idea of helping and sharing to our children when we can’t seem to include it in our day to day living experiences. Perhaps we could to teach it by being a living example. Maybe we start by not bombing other people in the name of trying to help them; giving that last sale item to someone else. Really what’s the big deal or allowing that other person to have the last parking spot. Perhaps we could start by saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to everyone and anyone we encounter. Maybe it will just feel a bit more like the Christmas times we used to celebrate when we were kids. It would be a start and who knows what would happen next.
Anyways, that’s how I see it. All the best and MERRY CHRISTMAS to all that read this article.
Please pass this along to others and send any and all comments to me at jamescloughley.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org