Christmas: Deck the Halls with Crowds of Folly – By Yvonne Sam

Oh Holy Night when would Christians get it right?

By Yvonne Sam

Clearing the hall of crowds of folly.

Historically the season called Xmas has been the recipient of a multiplicity of revisions, and I feel that the time has come for yet another modification.  Do not get me wrong, but my main problem with Christmas does not lie in the celebration of itself, but instead the folly and ignorance of those who celebrate this highly commercialized holiday.  Millions of December 25th celebrants feel compelled to participate in an expensive holiday, burdened by guilt and shame if they are unable to crowd the base of the Xmas tree.

As one can discern the origins of Christmas are neither biblical nor North American. Christmas in North America is a fusion of cultural folklore from Africa and Europe, brought to North America by Europeans who themselves were divided on their view of the practice of Christmas as pagan.          

The roots of this holiday full of gift-giving, and a plump senior citizen who can fit through thin chimneys and travel around countries in one night, certainly does not emanate from Christianity or the Bible, although many Christians do not appear to realize this.              

The Christmas celebrated in North America is supposed to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, whose birth Christians believe took place on December 25. Jesus did exist, yet there is an absence of documentation that strengthens his birth occurring on December 25. Nowhere in the Bible is there reference to the date of the birth of Jesus. Christmas is not a celebration mentioned in scripture nor was it spoken of by the followers of Christ. Discrepancies prevail when people celebrate the life of a man/deity whose entire life rejected worldly possessions with unfettered consumption. There are those who will contend saying that Christ furnished the gift of eternal or we are imitating the actions of the three kings, so we celebrate by buying overpriced products made in oppressive conditions in Third World countries as a gesture of giving.

Yes, the culture of Christmas celebrated in North America did not develop from Christianity, Biblical text or ancient folklore, and it is true that Christmas is a fusion of celebrations  from societies across the world,  though it was Coca Cola that got North Americans especially Americans banded on the image and spirit of Christmas. From as way back as 1930, Coca Cola has been advertising to children, with the goal of securing a lifelong customer. The artist responsible for creating the image of Santa we celebrate today is man named Haddon Sundblom of Swedish and Finnish descent.

The image depicted an elderly, Caucasian, plump, jolly, gift-giver, who remained hydrated on Coca-Cola while bringing joy to children. Haddon used his own image for the famous Santa. Their strategy to compete with beer and liquor companies was groundbreaking, and resulted in America adopting the image of Santa created by a soda company. Santa worked strenuous hours delivering gifts to well-behaved children across the world and it was Coca-Cola he used to fuel his grueling task.  

With all that is now known, one should ask him/her self, Christian or not, “Should I still celebrate this holiday of mass consumption? ‘Corporations have wreaked havoc on the emotions of overworked parents, making them feel their parenting is inadequate if they do not purchase their children the latest electronic, play-thing, or clothing being sold.  

Let this present generation be the one to make the modification, changing the focus from a celebration of consumption to one of reflection, and giving the gift of love, friendship and support. Christmas is more than just illuminating homes and engaging in conspicuous consumption. It is about lighting up lives, reflecting on the core teachings of Christ which fundamentally is based on humility and love. Companies depend on this time of year to solidify profits from a seemingly ignorant, debt-enslaved population.  

Would it not be more Christ like to donate excess to those in want of the necessities in life? How can you say that you are honoring Christ’s birthday by buying another video game or toy for children who already have plenty. How are you celebrating a man who supposedly sacrificed his life, by purchasing items on credit, only to develop mounting anxiety about how you will pay off  the credit card debt? We can make modifications and create a holiday during which boorish children no longer rush down the stairs, to see what lies under the tree for them, but instead contemplate on what they can give to those without. No longer would folks walk into workplaces and boast about what they received but instead be filled with gratitude for what they have, at least a job, and what they gave to the less lucky or fortunate. Furthermore, why are parents lying to their children, and giving credit to a man man in a red suit, for the gifts that they have toiled hard to provide?

Even as we decide to celebrate the season, let us not for the briefest of moments lose sight of the fact that there are millions of men, women and children scattered across the diaspora who are the victims of poverty and want, as a result of an unjust and inhumane world order which places profits ahead of human dignity and survival.

Here’s wishing everyone strength and courage this holiday season to abandon mindless consumption and engage in much needed giving.  

Let the year ahead be the beginning of your intention to bring about effective modification.

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Comments

  • Linda  On December 12, 2018 at 6:05 am

    Excellent article Ms. Sam. I couldn’t agree more!!!!

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On December 12, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    Hear, hear!

  • Ben Khan  On December 12, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Great article Ms.Sam. I wish many people read it and understand what they read. Am sure too many will just ignore your wise words.
    I wish you a happy holiday, and look forward to more of your writings .

  • bernard n. singh  On December 17, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Y S you going to get people fired if they take your advice.

  • Ron Saywack  On December 18, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    Y. Sam wrote: “Jesus did exist, yet there is an absence of documentation that strengthens his birth occurring on December 25.” — and for good reasons.

    TESTIMONIUM FLAVIANUM:

    In fact, many Jesuses existed in the Mid-East in the 1st century. But questions remain as to whether the one in question ever existed at all. The claim that Christ was divine and rose from the dead and mingled amongst the living three days later, the bedrock of Christianity, is a lie, a monumental fabrication.

    There were several noted historians, writers, scholars, and politicians in and around the Mediterranian at the time that such an alleged event would have been noteworthy and extensively written about. But how many of them took note and wrote about this momentous event? Not a single one.

    Amongst them was Flavius Josephus, a highly respected Jewish general and academic. All he wrote was a mere paragraph about a wise man, but not more.

    In his ‘Flavius Josephus’s Antiquities’ (93 or 94 CE) is the following notorious, interpolated passage regarding Christ called the “Testimonium Flavianum”:

    “Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works,–a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”

    The above passage is a forgery orchestrated by Roman Catholic historian and notorious liar Eusebius in or around 315 CE. This fabrication has been thoroughly and scientifically debunked over the centuries, even by Christian scholars, but continues to be propagated as truth.

    It is the kind of world (unabashedly, embracing fiction as fact) I’m ashamed to be part of.

    Ron Saywack.

  • Albert  On December 18, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    I always find myself coming back to this point: if someone is uninformed but happy and have peace of mind, believing something that is a myth, what right do we have in attempting to take away his happiness. What is the whole purpose of life if not to enjoy it and be happy. The joyful man has found the answer unlike most of us.
    We are already programme with christmas. Take it away and we have boredom, GNP goes down, unemployment goes up and so do many unhappy faces.

    • Emanuel  On December 20, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      Haha, funny Albert. Reminds me of why grownups should keep the real Santa story from kids until they are grown up.

  • Helene Wilkie  On November 18, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    Very insightful analysis of what Christmas has come to mean for people nowadays. As a child I used to wonder how it was possible for one individual to deliver presents to so many homes simultaneously at Midnight, the magic hour! As to the month of the Birth of Jesus, Judea does not have snow in December, however, it has historically been the custom to post the date of birth of famous individuals on 25th December as this day marks the start of a new cycle of the Sun (astronomy) the SON is born.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: