Fifty years ago, A Charlie Brown Christmas was released.
The storyline featured Charlie Brown and his inner conflict about Christmas becoming “too commercial.”
The major turning point in the half hour special is Linus’s speech wherein he quotes the Gospel of Luke (the story of the nativity) and ends it with, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
Regardless of one’s faith, the story of the birth of Jesus Christ is well known. Technically speaking, it is the ‘meaning’ of Christmas.
It is not 1965 anymore, though. And, in some ways, Charlie Brown is depressed for legitimate reasons.
Is this Christmas?
Or what about this:
Is this the true meaning?
I was going somewhere with this, I promise.
Basically, for the last fifty-plus years, Christmas has been secular on many levels. The focus on Christ himself has dwindled down a bit. On the other hand, Christmas has also been increasingly commercial over that time.
Is the holiday supposed to be about the Lord?
Is it supposed to be about the consumerism?
I think that in modern America, we should be free to engage in both, BUT
The concept we could focus most heavily on is simply being with our family and/or friends, and spreading holiday cheer through love, decorations, mistletoe, fireplaces, laughter, donations, watching Christmas specials, wearing goofy sweaters, volunteering, and the simple state of “being merry.”
What’s interesting to me is that Christmas is by far the most emphasized holiday, at least in this country. It is an entire season. Several houses in every neighborhood are decked out with snowmen and lights and fake reindeer. The stores all have major sales. Even the atheists celebrate this holiday. Because it’s awesome.
People are seemingly unsatisfied with it. Christians are SOMEHOW feeling as though their holiday is being underrepresented.
Example: The outrage over this
To some, this is an actual War on Christmas.
To others, it’s a red cup, and presumably red for the holiday season.
To other others, it’s a cup full of basic-ass bitter liquid that buRNS MY FREAKING TONGUE EVERY TIME.
But apparently, people were so fed up with Starbucks’s inclusive new cups that they would go there, and when the barista asked them their name (so it can be written on the cup), they’d respond with “Merry Christmas.”
It’s as though the tremendously dominant holiday during the winter time, and all that we do to celebrate it, is just not enough.
Nope. Not enough at all.
Their Christmas is not complete until the 20 year old barista with the cute glasses is forced to say “merry Christmas” to them. It just has to happen.
Don’t even start with the “happy holidays” vs. “merry Christmas” debate, which I’m pretty sure wasn’t even a thing until this year.
If there is one thing the Christian people of America is not, it’s oppressed.
As long as we have “In God We Trust” on currency and license plates, as long as we are able to openly wear symbols of the faith on our bodies, as long as we have 44 consecutive presidents who are open Christians…Christianity is prevailing just fine. Christmas is not under attack by any means.
But yes, the religion aspect of Christmas is sort of being watered down. Not because there’s anything AGAINST it, but because there’s a bunch of other traditions that have nothing to do with it. Like the elf on the shelf, or tree lighting ceremonies, or freaking Santa Claus.
But aside from Christmas being a somehow both religious and secular holiday, refer back to Charlie Brown.
Has Christmas become too commercial?
Have we become too wrapped up (see what I did there?) in being a consumer? Has capitalism secured a stranglehold on our Christmas spirit, and chucked us into a swirling vortex of gadgets and gizmos and fanny pack wearing dads buying doll houses?
And have we immersed ourselves so deeply in the culture of buying things for our friends and getting comically drunk and everything in between, that we’ve forgotten the “true meaning” of the holiday?
What’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year has become the most stressful time of the year.
So many of us are pressured to purchase things, bake things, send things, book flights, decorate homes and workplaces, and create a perfect Christmas.
Is Christmas now a for-profit organization? I mean, if we’re being honest, something’s probably amiss if the Xmas decorations go up in stores on Halloween. And everyone is in such a hurry, too. One can’t even catch a who-cab in Whoville these days.
So is there not enough Christ in Christmas?
Or is there too much?
Is there too much commercialism in Christmas?
Or is it all just the holiday spirit?
Does Christmas mean ‘the birth of Christ,’ or does it mean ‘love, tradition, and giving?’
Or does it mean “EVERYTHING 50% OFF!”
As we trim the tree, and bake the cookies
As we light up the porch, and drive to the mall
As we sing the carols, and sing the hymns
As we embrace the religion, the commercialism, and the love all at once,
there should be no fighting over the faith. There should be no fighting over the flat screens.
There should only be, if possible, tidings of great joy. Because regardless of how we celebrate,
we’re all human.
Merry Christmas, and happy holidays, from humanboddie.com