I’ve seen a couple of posts already about post-Christmas something or other, and I wanted to add my own ruminations to the mix. One of the things I’ve grown weary of is all the "put the CHRIST in Christmas" and "real meaning of Christmas" sloganeering that goes on this time of year. I especially dislike the "real meaning" talk coming from shopping circulars for Christian bookstores, like the "real meaning" is Jesus, so come spend your money here (the other "real meaning" being segregated spending of the Christian paychecks).
I watched one documentary special that I really enjoyed, "Christmas Unwrapped" on the History Channel HD. For what it’s worth, the melding of Jesus and Santa and good consumer marketing has been a focal point in the West for many many years. It’s so much a part of the fabric of this holiday that to remove any piece would do harm to the whole. It got me thinking: we have to shop to give, shop to share, shop to send anonymous presents to "those in need". And we give, hopefully, because it feels good to give. It’s a part of who we are, how we’re made. In essence, it’s why Jesus came, so we could give and live in His example like that.
I want to be scrooged about those who give things "because there are kids who deserve to have toys at Christmas". Mostly, that’s hooey – but at the same time, it’s who we are to give, and seeing those in need around us who don’t have makes us either guilty for all we waste, or it makes us want to even the odds a little. In all of this, I think I’ve found a both/and in this one, I think. We need the sacred to be more meaningful, and we need the secular consumerism to be meaningful, too. Where there’s greed, let us give. Where there’s want, let us receive.
And how can I feel bad when drinking coffee out of these?