Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Question of the Day for December 6, the Feast of St Nicholas

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What is the "True Meaning of Christmas?"

Since we know that not only was Christ not born on December 25th--he was not born, this cannot be the answer. So I'm asking you.

I have been searching on the internet, and I cannot find even an opinion beyond Christ. I read people complaining that what Christmas is "nowadays" has killed the True Meaning tm of Christmas, but no one tells me what it really is, Charlie Brown, now that we have established that it is ours, not Jesus'.

Later, I will ask how it has been killed by 100 years and counting by buying things from stores.


breakerslion said...

Sorry for commenting on the wrong post. I'll try again.

Let me see if I can help you out here.

The meaning of “Christmas”.

“C” is for “Caring to send the Very Best”, and making the Hallmark Stockholders and executives happy.

“H” is for “Holiday Cheer”, or enough alcohol to cause nausea, traffic accidents, or other family problems and make the Bronfman (Seagram’s) family and stockholders happy.

“R” is for “Rushing about” to malls and family gatherings, spreading colds and making CVS , Bristol Myers-Squibb and other pharmacy chains and over-the-counter drug suppliers and their stockholders happy.

“I” is for “Income”, spent several times over, and making Citicorp, and other credit card issuers and their stockholders happy.

“S” is for “Schlock” that decorates the house and lawn, runs on electricity, and makes the electric companies and their stockholders happy.

“T” is for “Time” spent driving around, looking for parking places, sitting in traffic, making the oil refiners and their stockholders happy.

“M” is for “Mass quantities of food”, making the grocery chains and their stockholders happy.

“A” is for “Arrivals” in airports and bus terminals, making the transportation industry and their stockholders happy.

“S” is for “Spiritual” ‘cause the Church insists on keeping a piece of this action too.

This is the way it has been all of my life, so I ask the Jesus Freaks, “What the hell is any different this year?”

And then of course, there's the gifts, also known as crap that you would never buy for yourself but think nothing of giving to someone else. Let's not forget the lesson of extravagance that we pass on to future generations by showering children (and adults we think we owe) with expensive gifts of marginal quality. Nice year-end bump for the consumer goods people!

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown, getting people to spend money when they would naturally hibernate, and perpetuating the tradition.

“Every time a cash register beeps, an angel gets mentioned on the Montel Williams Show.”

Hellbound Alleee said...

I will reply in a post. But I don't know if it will be what you expect.

Christmas can be fantastic. It can be not so fantastic too. But we need not make ourselves victims of it. We are not powerless.

Hellbound Alleee said...

However, I had a thought--before I lose it: if we don't like the thought of grocery chains, card companies, alcohol companies etc making money at this time of the year, why is the sentiment reserved for December? Why not keep that sort of cheer all year round? I mean...if the beer companies make lots of money now, why isn't it bad for them to make money in April?

Or is it? And why?

I don't want to be antagonistic, but why don't we just go native and never buy anything ever from a business? Grow all our own food, mill our flour, make tints and dyes and soap from the riverbeds and flowers? Is there a reason we should try to stop this bad consumerism (like buying presents of no quality) in others, and how do we go about it?

breakerslion said...

You have, I think, mistaken my comments for anti-consumerism. I can see how that could happen. I believe in buying what you want and can afford. I believe in celebrating milestones in people's lives, and showing love and caring through giving gifts, so long as that's not your only means of expression. I believe in hospitality, and family gatherings, so long as they are not an attempt to deny that the family is as dysfunctional as the Manson family and gets along like a sack of cats.

What I object to, is the frenetic attemts to prod me into impulse-buying cheesey products that cannot stand on their own merit. I object to the macroeconomic addiction to this seasonal infusion of money. I object to elevator-music versions of Christmas carols, the 1964 Vienna Boys Choir, Bing Crosby (still dead), and stale "Rock 'n Roll" Christmas cover tunes played over and over in an attempt to badger me into making a purchase.

As for the rest, I never said that the corporations and their stockholders didn't deserve a little happiness, I just don't like them counting on it so heavily. It makes it that much harder to dismantle this little fantasy land.

Hellbound Alleee said...

Wow, ok.

But I love elevator music versions of christmas carols. Have you pressed the play button on this page yet? You might be disappointed.

As I said before, you are not powerless over christmas. You do not have to buy crap, ever. You do not have to ever see a dysfunctinal family.

We might as well blame the sun for all of this, for obviously, Christmas was always going to happen, and this sort of celebrating was always going to happen. It's like complaining about the weather: everyone does it, but no one does anything about it.

I am going to do a show about this, and your complaints are part of what I've already planned on discussing. I accept that you are not anti-consumer, but you did imply businesses make you mad for prodding you at christmas. What should we do about that? Some people think advertising should be banned. Should we ban it at christmas?

I also will talk about this issue of feeling obligated to do other things--because everyone else does it, and because others make us feel that way, and how we can hardly blame the calendar for that as well. I want to talk about what people can do for themselves--which hopefully will ease any discomfort towards other's participation in trends that make us uncomfortable or well, sick.

breakerslion said...

As you say, I am not powerless over it. I will never again succumb to the guilty motivation of buying someone else an expensive gift because I know they will be getting me one. I can't help but note this kind of holiday stress on the faces of others though, and I get why the suicide rate peaks at this time of year. Perhaps I come off cynical, but my point was, that Christmas is a HUGE commercial enterprise, and that is in the greater part responsible for its perpetuation. Every year, the same vocal minority shouts, "Put Christ back in Christmas", and every year another vocal minority shouts "Bah, Humbug!" Nothing changes.

I loved Christmas when I was a child. Now that I am older, I'm not sure I like some of the behaviors it teaches. I have seen friends without money that were incapable of saying "no" to the demands of their children, and thereby "ruining Christmas". Overall, my family was more sensible, and I still exchange gifts and warm feelings with friends and relatives. We also still find a handful of walnuts and a Naval orange preferable to say, chemical "cheez" and overgrown Slim Jims in a gift box, but "to each his/her own!"