Upsizing the Christmas Spirit, or the real threat to Christmas
Would you like to upsize that? A voice at the speaker of a local fast food restaurant asked the question.
I said no into speaker without even thinking because that is always what I say when people try to sell me something I don't want.
It was less than an hour later, I had a phone call from an Internet company where I had placed an order earlier in the day. They said they wanted to confirm my address, but what they really wanted was to sell me extras that I did not order.
I tried to be charitable and nice. It is the Christmas season after all and someone was just doing their job. I didn't want expedited delivery either, not even for just two dollars more.
With that, the commercialization of Christmas was going full blast and I was feeling a bit of irritation in general. I found some Christmas music, cranked it up on the car stereo, and felt better in a few minutes.
There is relentless pressure to buy things, and this is what I feel the real threat to Christmas is. Now I'm not against buying gifts at all, but when that becomes the point of the holiday, then it has lost all its meaning.
The politically correct police are out there too, and they can object to public displays all they want. They are not a real threat to the season. I don't care if anyone is offended by my use of the word Christmas, but I don't feel any need to defend it either.
At Christmas we celebrate the greatest gift ever given - that being God becoming flesh and living among us. Of course he also died and rose again, but that's another holiday and another column.
Christmas is about the gift. We give gifts to show our love for other people, and to remember the greatest gift. While our giving gifts is a great thing, it still is not the real meaning of Christmas.
I understand the need for businesses to sell products, and Christmas is a great time to do just that. Still, there is a fine line that gets crossed all to easily.
Sometimes it reminds me of when Jesus "cleaned out" the temple in one of the Bible stories. People were selling animals for sacrifice. It was a needed service for people who traveled a long way to the temple, and there was nothing wrong with what they were doing. The problem was how the system had become corrupted, and how they were crowding out people who wanted to worship, which is what a temple is for in the first place.
That was what angered Jesus. Not the selling of goods, but how that had become the main thing, and focusing on greater spiritual matters were falling by the wayside.
That is the threat we face at Christmas.
It isn't those that want to hear nothing of the holiday. The real threat, to me anyway, are those that want to make the season all about buying stuff that my loved ones don't want anyway.
James Jordan is editor at the Wellington Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (316) 201-7576.