An excellent post on this blog I found, summing up my feelings exactly:
TV adverts have increasingly pissed me off this last week, with schmaltzy commercial taglines such as "Christmas is for families" and "Because giving feels so good .... give more!" and "Feel the Magic of Christmas". WHAT MAGIC? The magic of running up credit card debts because little Timmy wants a £200 XBox and won't be happy until he gets it? The magic of feeling pressured to cook huge meals "just because it's Christmas dinner" then throwing away 50% of the food? The magic of ramming yourself through crowds of po-faced shoppers who push past you and drag the bags out of your hands with their impatience to get past?
Why is Christmas for families? What about every other day of the year? Why should you only GIVE at Christmas? All these things should count ever day of the year, not just some commercially-dictated spending frenzy. Think of your family every day, be generous every day to everbody .... visit Grandma Bessie or old Arthur down the road more often, don't just think about relatives and loved ones at Christmas. They are there 365 days of the year not just during Crimbo week.
On Sun morning I was listening to the radio (at bloody 5.30am when I woke up) and listening to this preacher dude talking about Christmas. He recited the usual Crimbo story of the Shepherds and the stable and the angels, and he *really believed it*. I thought "how can anyone believe something that has absolutely no foundations or evidence, apart from what's written in an old book" - a book that has been rewritten and twisted to suit various powerful people's aims throughout the centuries.....
No one knows what day Jesus Christ was born on. From the biblical description, most historians believe that his birth probably occurred in September, approximately six months after Passover. One thing they agree on is that it is very unlikely that Jesus was born in December, since the bible records shepherds tending their sheep in the fields on that night. This is quite unlikely to have happened during a cold Judean winter. So why do we celebrate Christ’s birthday as Christmas, on December the 25th?
Christmas has pagan and roman origins, I'm not going to go into it here, just Google it. Even the red-faced fat jolly Santa we know and love is bullsh*t - The Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862; Santa was shown as a small elf-like figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years and along the way changed the color of his coat from tan to the now traditional red.
He then made an appearance in Coca-Cola advertising in 1930. Artist Fred Mizen painted a department store Santa in a crowd drinking a bottle of Coke. The ad featured the world's largest soda fountain, which was located in the department store of Famous Barr Co. in St. Louis, Mo. Mizen's painting was used in print ads that Christmas season, appearing in the Saturday Evening Post on December 27, 1930. And so it continued, the image was cemented. For the real Saint Nick, click here (http://www.stnicholascenter.org/Brix?pageID=38).
So what exactly are we celebrating apart from a hodgepodge of fabrications? And the demise of our bank accounts?
I've felt strangely separated from Christmas this year and I'm glad. The house is still too full of DIY stuff to warrant a tree and decorations, a lot of my friends aren't sending cards because they are as disillusioned as I am; we're also not buying needless tat but instead stuff we will USE and appreciate, or we just get together and have a few drinks instead. I gave two charity shoeboxes to Romanians, and this week I've applied for some vountary work for various organisations. It helps me to feel less pissed off by what I see around me. I'd rather spend Christmas making other people smile and feel less alone than indluging in an orgy of overeating, overspending and overcommercialisation.