HODES: Christ, Consumerism and Christmas

011_HODES_HANSChristmas is a time for families to exchange gifts, have conversation over drinks and to be with one another. Christmas is a celebration of life. Although Christmas does mean something different to each individual, as a Catholic, I think Christmas is losing its significance.

When the Christmas season begins, usually around Black Friday, people scramble to find gifts for friends and loved ones, but will fight other people just to get the perfect gift. When this happens, the idea of giving a is defeated and replaced by a selfishness masked by charity.

Christmas commercials begin to air on television during most of November to remind people that Christmas is “just around the corner” and it’s time to start shopping. As people get older, Christmas becomes less about the number of gifts and more about the quality of gifts.

In most religions, gifts are a major part of the celebration during the holiday season, and that is acceptable. But the religious aspect of the holiday season is overshadowed by gifts and loses its importance.

Personally, I find myself going through the motions during Mass and celebrations during the Christmas season. Instead, I focus on what I have to buy my parents and what I need to tell them that I want. It seems as if gifts rule the focus of Christmas among Christians.

This is not what Christmas is about. It has become a universal norm to give gifts during the Christmas season and that consumes the majority of people’s focus. We should focus on the story and significance behind Christmas instead.

In the Christian religion, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ by the Virgin Mary and is observed on December 25 by Roman Catholics and Protestants. It is the coming of the Savior to the world. Is that not something important enough to celebrate?

Many people today, even Christians, celebrate Christmas with traditions such as Christmas trees and the figure of Santa Claus. These are not inherently bad ways to celebrate Christmas, but they must not allow us to lose sight of Jesus and his sacrifice on earth for us.

Christmas needs to be a time of thanksgiving for all God has done for us and the sacrifices He has made for us. With this as our basis for Christmas, we can truly begin to appreciate other important aspects of the season, like quality time with family and friends.

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