Sunday, December 11, 2016

Where’d the Christmas Spirit Go?

I just got back from walking my dog this evening and I noticed something that bothered me. I live on a dead-end street with only 6 homes. Every year the people on this block go all out for Christmas by decorating their homes with strings and strings of flashing lights lining their roofs, trees and walkways. They put out lighted yard ornaments and cute little signs. It really is a beautiful sight. But this year it’s different. This year everyone has decorated by just hanging single strings of lights, just across the eves (probably never taken down from last year). It’s pretty, but not the same.

I’ve also noticed that when I say “Merry Christmas” to people this year, I very often get a startled look and a very muffled “Merry Christmas” back. No big smiles. None of the usual enthusiasm.

I thought about that for a while, wondering where the Christmas Spirit has gone.

I think we have managed to over commercialize and, at the same time, over politically correct-ize Christmas. Retail stores have started putting out Christmas decorations in September and one radio station I listen to in the car started playing Christmas Carols 24/7 on November 1st (3 weeks before Thanksgiving). I think we’ve become over saturated and numbed to the whole Christmas experience.

To make matters worse, our politically correct brethren are trying their best to take Christmas from our schools and public properties. “Mustn’t offend our non-christens now, must we?” Now tell me again, what exactly is offensive about the message of love, peace on earth and good will towards man? I’m having trouble with that.

Oh, and the idea of exchanging presents and the concept of “giving” is eroding too. You are now expected to give gifts, not out of love or anything -out of social obligation. And talk about over commercializing. It’s gone absolutely crazy. For example, I now get 30 plus emails a day from every store and restaurant on the face of the planet offering me deals on everything from gift cards for chiropractors to catered Chinese Christmas dinners. Walmart has started extending “Black Friday Deals” so they now start on Monday, and several of the stores open early for Black Friday crowds -like at 5 pm on Thanksgiving Day. The downside of this was brought out to me when a local TV station surveyed people leaving the stores last Black Friday. When they asked for whom they were buying gifts, 77% said “for themselves”.

It’s sad. I miss the good feelings and exchanges of happy greetings we used to experience this time of year. But I fear there is little to be done. I think it will just continue to spiral and get a little worse each year until they start guilt tripping you into buying toys for your kids along with their back to school supplies -so that the kids get them early and you should buy more later on, when Christmas really does come along.

As for me, I will continue to hold the Christmas Spirit dear and celebrate the message of “Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Man”. I will continue to wish people a “Merry Christmas” -and mean it. I know many of my friends feel the same way, but I’m afraid we are rapidly becoming another minority in a society that brags about diversity and acceptance, but creates and encourages division.

Well, I guess that’s my complaint -but despite what is happening out there, I truly hope y’all have a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year! (and those “politically correct" folks get an overdose of sour egg nog…. Bah, Humbug)

Live Long and Prosper...

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