Sunday, 14 December 2008

The Real Meaning Of Christmas

Apparently nobody bothered to tell the hordes of shoppers in the local city centre that there is a recession on, it has been just as busy as any other Christmas around here and i thought that i might be spared the jostling this year as everyone else stayed at home and explained to their children that Santa is feeling the pinch and their stocking may feel a bit lighter this year.
What i do notice as i walk around the town centres is the Santa's, snowmen and red nosed reindeer's and the lack of the very reason we do all this every year.
Now i have never bought into the whole religion thing, i place it in the make believe box alongside the Tooth Fairy, but it does seem strange that we celebrate the birth of Jesus without actually bringing any attention to Jesus himself.
We may spot the odd hastily thrown together nativity scene in a few shop windows but generally it is snow scenes with snowmen, Santa and elves in workshops making toys.
The truth is that Christmas is all about the presents and decorations and any ideals that we do it all to celebrate the birth of Jesus is ludicrous. Maybe that is the reason but it has been lost into the midst of time and it is just a give and receive present fest, i am sure that what supposedly happened 2008 years ago doesn't enter the mind of any of the ques snaking around the City Centre.
I am certain that the Church know that without the present giving ceremony and cute plastic snowmen, Christmas would be a dud and hardly anyone would care about it so they keep a low profile about what it is really all about and kid themselves that we all do it because we want to participate in the birth of the baby Jesus and celebrate the biggest day in the Christian calendar.
We know otherwise and they know otherwise so we both keep to our side of the line and play along nicely. We don't mention it is just an excuse to get presents and they don't ruin it all by bringing religion into it.


iMuslim said...

I was browsing in the Body Shop yesterday, when an overly helpful shop assistant asked me: "So, have you done all your Xmas shopping?". She seemed genuinely surprised when I gently replied, "Erm no. I don't really celebrate Christmas".

I agree, it is definitely a secular holiday for many. However, I think it would be disrespectful as a Muslim to reject the Christian connotations entirely. I love Jesus... but celebrating his birth is not in our religious tradition, and we're not meant to imitate others in that respect.

At the same time, growing up in the UK, you can't escape the "Xmas Spirit". It is a nice time of year.

Don said...

Christmas is a wonderful pagan thing. I get annoyed with it, especially the consumerism and commercialism and all the pressure. But through Christmas we preserve some of the good old pagan cheer and are free to ignore the Christian veneer they tried to throw over it in the Dark Ages. Truly serious Christians shouldn't do Christmas. It was outlawed in Massachusetts for a time. You could actually go to jail for closing shop. But that was when the Puritans still had an influence.

I never know what to make of it anymore. Put my head down and work to meet my family's expectations is about all there is in it for me.undedule

Lucy said...

I think it is a great time of year also iMuslim, everyone seems just that little bit more smiley.

Seems Don that it has become a traditional thing that we do out of habit rather than a religious thing we do out of any wish to celebrate Jesus. As an atheist that doesn't bother me at all but it does seem peculiar that Santa rather than Jesus is at the centre of things and the religio's seem OK with that.

Don said...

What's weird is now the ultra separation of church and state people are beginning to consider Santa a religious emblem and thus to be banned in certain circumstances.

Santa can be seen as an embodiment of the spirit of Christmas, with his selfless giving (if you swallow the myth that any religion is about giving).

Noah "Nog" M. said...

Every side of the spectrum seems to hate Christmas. I have a hyper-religious conservative friend who doesn't like it because "the only true holy-day is the Sabbath". My antitheist friends see it the other way. They don't like it because it's a "religious holiday".

If only everyone did only think about it as a time of the year to decorate and buy stuff.


Anonymous said...

In the lead up to Xmas, the best thing that has happened is the throwing of shoes at Bush!

In France the Iraqi journalist is regarded as a hero. I'm sure it's not the only country!

Il est manifique!


Cody Bones said...

Merry Christmas Daniel


Lucy said...

I have no problem with religious people doing there thing at Christmas Nog, the Jehovah Witnesses and the way they try and shove it down everyone else's throat tick me off but otherwise i am perfectly happy to let the bible crowd celebrate things they way they want at Xmas.