I think Christmas needs more commercialization.
If you read this blog, that might surprise you. If it doesn’t, maybe you need to read it more. I do really think that more commercialization might help Christmas. I think it would make more people happy. Why?
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Charlie Brown Christmas special.
I think it may be one of the best Christmas specials ever made. Linus’s speech (mostly a quote from Luke 2 in the Bible) is something I truly love. I agree with much of the program’s point. It is too bad so many other programs seem to miss the point (or just don’t like it).
I love the other things about Christmas.
I love Christmas lights. I love Christmas carols and the music (even that one song that seems to always be playing in every store you go into). I love giving gifts (I admit I get lazy in wrapping even though I love getting wrapped presents). I love Christmas trees. I love the whole getting together with family thing (I really love that part). I love Christmas trees. I even like busy Christmas shopping. I love it all (I even love a white Christmases when you have to shovel).
What I don’t like about Christmas is the “magic”.
Too many people get caught up in the magic of Christmas. Far too many people get sad or depressed around Christmas. There is no good reason for this. It should not happen. It does not happen at other holidays. You don’t see any union workers on Labor Day jumping off bridges because Labor Day just isn’t the way it used to be.
We expect too much of Christmas.
Everything is supposed to be warm and fuzzy. We expect everyone to be kind and giving (more people are really like Mr. Potter than George Bailey in truth-Don’t believe me? Watch how the poor cashier is treated by people during the Christmas rush at a busy store-the cashier is usually grouchy because they have had 30 people grouch at them by noon.). We expect miracles to happen for no other reason than it is Christmas. God should solve all our problems on this day, just so we can have a happy Christmas. We should do more for other people at Christmas (hey, winter is just starting, charities will be providing food and shelter for cold winter nights for a while after Christmas).
We want those Christmas traditions.
- “Christmas just won’t Christmas without the silver star!” -The Cinnamon Bear
- “My mother always made sure we had new clothes for Christmas.”
- “We alway spend Christmas Eve with my husbands family and Christmas day with mine.”
- or even: “We always read the True Christmas Story before we open presents at our house.”
- and a zillion other traditions
The “magic of Christmas” I refer to is really just our expectation of how Christmas should be.
Often, this is based on our memories of Christmas from childhood. Memories from when we were young, innocent and life seemed better (especially Christmas). Sometimes is from movies and TV where all the world’s problems can be solved by the angel God sends on Christmas. I don’t care if it’s Merry Old Elf, a fairy, or an angel, we need to stop expecting magic to happen just because it is Christmas.
My point is if Christmas were truly commercialized the things we add to it would not interfere with what is really important.
It would not matter if we gave presents or not. It would not matter if we went to church or not. It would not matter if you just lost your job (well, it would, but it would not be any special tragedy because it happened at Christmas-losing a job is usually bad enough any time of year). It would not matter if you bought the Christmas tree or not. It would not even matter if the President had a special address that cancelled your favorite Christmas TV special. We would not expect that special miracle to happen for Christmas that would make everything better. None of that would matter and no one would get distressed or depressed over it.
Much of what we call the commercialization of Christmas has only become part of the magic.
The lights. The tree. The presents. The songs. The family. Going to church. Even the manger scene you set up every year. Not bad traditions (good in fact) but not something that is truly important. Even the saying “Jesus is the reason for the season” misses the point. We don’t really know what day Jesus was born on. Why do we expect it to be magic? Why do we let things depress or distress at this time of year?
It is not really important if Jesus was born on Christmas Day.
It’s not. If it were, God would have made sure we knew the date. God does not beat around the bush on important matters.
What is important is that Jesus died for our sins.
It’s what you do with Jesus every day that matters. If Christmas were more commercialized, maybe we would concentrate more on what is really important. Jesus said “I am the way” not “I was born on…”
That said, I do hope you have a Merry Christmas. I do hope that you go to church. I do hope you enjoy the time with family. Don’t let the non-commercialization of Christmas prevent you from enjoying it all because the magic you expected did not happen. It was not magic and it happened a long time ago. I guess I have to admit, I like the magic of Christmas.