Christmas Day has passed. Now, people return to the stores from whence their gifts were bought, and make certain they get the "right" "thing." Adults and children alike were bummed and excited to find their gifts on Christmas Day. Fact is, we suffer now from a "hangover" that is neither curable nor quick – something we must suffer.
Mark from The God Article and Zac from Crazy Liberals and Conservatives are back with a discussion of Consumerism and Christmas, the Political Atmosphere in 2010, and a challenge to see God's Divine Gift everyday.
I am waiting for the "Christmas" versus "Holidays" battle to begin again. It's going to happen, I just know it. Normally, it happens when crazed folk have nothing better to do than argue about the proper use of a title.
"Let's put the "Christ" back in Christmas." That's total humbug. Seriously. There's no way to put the Christ in Christmas for a myriad of reasons, namely, that we just celebrated two holidays, with one receiving more attention than the other: Black Friday. This past Friday celebrated the voracious materialism and cyclical consumerism that intoxicates and deludes our communities. People beat down doors in order to save some money. Funny, we look for deals, but we've already sold-out to cheap goods of Wal-Mart and the like. We want a deal everyday, no matter the cost - seen or unseen. But, I digress.
Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas. I love a hearty Christmas tree and all the parties that go along with the season. Yes, I do hope I get a few gifts, namely some unique coffee mugs and books. Yet, to fight over Christmas or Holiday seems fairly ridiculous. Yes, I side with the "holiday" folks, namely because we live in a pluralistic society.
For Christians however, you'd be better off using Advent. You'd be better off standing up to the consumerism, to the materialism, and actually living in a season that expects the Christ-Child. I think I would want to try and make this the best possible world into which the Child could be born into. That doesn't mean buying loads of 'stuff' or beating down doors for a good deal. It means living in a way that meets needs, everyday. Sure, some groups will serve, but it will taper with the coming of a new year. Suffice to say, we really are horrible when it comes to the Christmas season.
We have used the argument concerning titles for Christmas as a way to ignore and forget about the needs of others. Fact is, poor folk really don't care whether or not you call it 'Christmas' or 'Holidays' they just need some food, shelter, care, hope. Perhaps even more nauseating is that while we proclaim the arrival of one who reached out to lepers, 'sinners', those that had been cast out from society, we fund a system that keeps the poor, poor.
Christmas is only rabble as long as we ignore the weightier matters of the season. I suppose I'm fed up with all the glitz and glamor from churches around Christmas – it's only an edifice to a pathetic existence. Too harsh? I think not. Advent isn't about throwing gifts under the tree, it's about living in the miraculous expectation of the wonderful gift that came over 2000 years ago. I don't know about you, your churches, or your family, but as for me I hope Advent inspires activity for our communities.
So, when the Word-Wars come, and they most certainly will, I hope you laugh, merrily. I hope you are able to smile, and know that all that is Advent cannot be contained in a word. All that is Christmas cannot be contained within one day. All that is the Holiday Season cannot be contained within four weeks. Advent calls to live a life that creates a world hospitable to those born into it, those living in it, and those that suffer through it. I hope you're making a list, checking it twice. No, not to find out if you're naughty or nice, but to find out if what Christmas/Holidays/Advent is about getting and giving 'things', or living a life of love and devotion to others.
Then, again, I could just be an old Ebenezer Scrooge. In that case, I'm totally stoked to see three ghosts in a few weeks – I'll give you an update when it happens. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!