The meaning of Christmas

What is the meaning of Christmas?  Every year the holiday seems to get more and more commercialized.  The stores all bank on Black Friday sales to boost their profits, and more and more people are hanging their entire holiday shopping on that one good after Thanksgiving sale.  This year a t a Walmart in New York a temporary worker was trampled to death when the store opened and a crowd of approximately 2000 people stormed the store to get those great deals.  Other workers were knocked down and trampled as well when trying to get to the person that was trampled.  Shopper in such a rush to get the great deals were stepping over this poor mans body to get in the store.  No one stopped to help him.  Is this the meaning of Christmas?  Is a good deal on an electronic gadget worth more than a human life?  I did not participate in the madness of Black Friday shopping this year.  I instead was out in the hills of western Washington cutting firewood and enjoying a nice morning away from people.  My wife and I were together and had a wonderful day.  It was a little cool and did rain lightly at times, but it was very nice to be together in the mountains.  I have always maintained certain religious beliefs and as I have gotten older I have started to look more deeply into what is really important in life.  I have for several years now also been caught up in the technology craze.  I have lusted after many of the latest and greatest new gadgets like everyone else.  I have been so busy with work and trying to get these fancy whizbang gadgets I have not had time for the simple pleasures in life.  Until this weekend It had been almost a year since I had gone out in the woods and just enjoyed being in the woods.  To me the real meaning of Christmas is not what kind of deal I can get on some doodad at some department store, it is sharing the season with family and friends.  Remembering those that helped shape who we are and giving thanks for all that we have.  I am tired of the commercialization of the holiday and I am tired of the people that want to put a stop to our celebrating christmas because it might offend some group that does not celebrate christmas.  I do not celebrate Hannakuh, or ramadahn, or kwanza, but I do not have a problem with those that do.  I see no reason for them to have a problem with me celebrating Christmas.

What is the meaning of Christmas?  For me, Christmas is a time to reflect back on the past year and see what goals were met and what goals remain.  Christmas is a time to celebrate family and friends.  A time to renew connections with friends and relatives that you have been out of touch with for the past year.  And Christmas is a time to remember those friends and loved ones that are no longer with us in body, so that they will remain with us in spirit.

As for the gift giving I believe that Christmas is a time to give gifts to friends and family, but I do not think those gifts need to be some gadget made in some foreign land that we had to fight our way through a crowd of people that want to give that same gadget to someone.  I think the gifts we give should be much more personel than that.  I think the gifts we give each other should show the person receiving the gift how much we appreciate them and show that we took the time to think about them and what they really mean to us.  This gift could be purchased in a store, or made by hand.  Maybe the gift is a poem written about the feelings you have for that person, or maybe  aphotograph of a place or event that reminds you of the person you give the gift to.  I know that from this point on I will spend the whole year working on and searching for the gifts that I will give to my friends and family so that I will not lose touch with those that have helped to shape my life.

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One Comment

  1. Posted December 2, 2008 at 8:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nice post Jeff!

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