Hear Ye! Since 1998.
Please note: This post is at least 3 years old. Links may be broken, information may be out of date, and the views expressed in the post may no longer be held.
19
Dec 98
Sat

More Christmas Stuff

Went out tonight to walk the estate last night. They were holding a carols thing in the local park. Anyway, our street and the surrounding streets were lit up from house decorations. Seriously, there was one house who turned their lounge room into something akin to the full-scale commercial Christmas window displays you see at big department stores (like David Jones in the city). There were heaps of people just walking up to look at the display – it was actually quite impressive. It’s gonna be hell to take down after Christmas.

Just as an observation, however, I noticed that there was a distinct lack of religiously-associated displays, as opposed to the cardboard cutouts and moving figurines of Santa, reindeer, elves and so on. However, it’s true, Christmas is a Christian festival/celebration (hence its name). Technically, only Christians should celebrate it. However, looking at the growing number of atheists in the world, it seems evident that many non-Christians celebrate Christmas too. Hehe, reminds me of Kyle in the Christmas South Park episode (who, for the uninformed, is a Jew). You can see that this post is quickly going to become an unplanned rant.

So how did this happen?

Apparently, somewhere along the line, as Christianity grew less prominent in Western society (don’t get me wrong, it’s still quite prominent, but not as much), people decided to adapt Christmas into a universal holiday of sharing, goodwill and everything that goes along with the “Christmas spirit”. This gave a morally based excuse for atheists to celebrate Christmas. I’d just like to point out that this excuse is a load of bullshit. That isn’t the Christmas we celebrate at all. Why? Check out these responses the the question, “Why do non-Christians celebrate Christmas?”:

1. “‘cos they like the present stuff and the atmosphere…..”
2. “dunno… presents? :)”
3. “they only believe in presents”
4. “because most of them like presents (and are materialistic).”
5. “hmm, maybe for the presents and all the colour, celebrations and happiness which it could  bring, but we all know their hearts are hurting and are really crying out for help”
**
6. “That is a big mystery- a big excuse to take the day off or to purchase gifts for each other hoping the other person’s gift is gonna be better than the piece of shit you’re getting them.”
**
7. “they want presents …is this phoungy??”
8. “because it is a time 4 all family members be togeher”
9. “for an exuse to get presents… most of em dont even know its for god or dont care they jus see it as a lil get together and fun time like thanxgiving or halloween”
10. “out of social habit and pressure from the commercial sector… pressure as in the “big business” like christmas, and beef it up into such a huge deal over it so lotsa people will buy lotsa stuff. advertising has a big influence over people, and business puts a lot of money into advertising christmas. after so many centuries of predominantly christian population, our society has also adopted the “habit” of celebrating christmas… such habits are hard to break. Christmas is no longer a christian celebration, the whole philosophy behind it has changed.”
**
** I like these responses :).

Do you see the incredible correlation here? I couldn’t believe it. Each quote is verbatim from different people, and represents 100% of the people asked. All but two replied presents/gifts. None of them were prompted to say gifts (all responses were first replies).

So much for the Christmas spirit. Christmas turns out to be based on materialism. No, don’t give me any crap about it being based on a “pagan holiday where they had a feast”. Christmas, as in the real meaning of Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ. I doubt the pagans called their holiday “Christmas”. Christmas itself is not pagan, but the date Christmas is set on has pagan origins (that’s because no one knows the exact date Jesus was born).

It all comes down to commercialism (“duh”, you might say, but it’s not as apparent as you think – if I asked, “What is Christmas about?” the response would be a hell of a lot different from “What is Christmas about for non-Christians?” wouldn’t it?). Even that festive, Christmas atmosphere is sustained by the commericial lighting and storefront displays. The multiple Santas in shopping malls – “pay to get your photo taken with Santa”. Heck, no wonder why there are rumours the Coke created Santa (and remember that Black Santa fiasco? hehe – I think he was barred because a Black Santa would scare the kids more than any other reason). And who is Santa? Spreading presents my ass. Just a pure, commercial tool (think about it). Oh, and may we never see another “tickle-me-elmo” farce again. Parents physically fighting each other over them. Huh.

What’s my point? Christmas is a farce. An excuse. The Christmas spirit is what the Holy Spirit is to atheists – basically non-existent. Of course I’m being a little harsh here – people do get a “warm feeling” during Christmas (charity esp. – but that’s caused by the media, who are also commercially motivated) but then again, so do the capitalists corporate giants who literally reap the money from us “habitualised” people. See responses 6 and 10 above. Essentially, what is happening, is that this religious festival is being “violated” (for want of a less potent verb). Fine have a holiday, but it really shouldn’t be called Christmas to those where the true meaning of Christmas has no meaning.

Do I really belive Christmas should be renamed? No. I’m not trying to bash capitalism, or atheists or whatever. I’m just pointing out a development in society. I mean, try changing what Ramadan means to Islamic (or is it Muslim?) people :). People don’t associate Christmas with Christ anymore, but with Santa. The meaning of Christmas has changed. In essense, something religious has been desecrated (I don’t think I’m being too extreme in saying this). I suppose Christmas really has a dual meaning now.

Turning back to my street’s house displays, it just passed through my mind… wouldn’t it truly be a spectacle if you had a bunch of Islamic fundamentalists roving the streets with machine guns blowing up Christmas displays “in the name of Allah who will strike down all non-believers!” Hahaha.

Merry Christmas (in both senses of the word). Ah… who cares. Have a Merry Christmas. Period.