Posted by: suekenney | December 16, 2011

Bah! Humbug!

English: American Christmas Tree

Image via Wikipedia

Let me be a little bit Scroogish here.  A bit of a curmudgeon, if women are allowed to be so.  I do not like how the Christmas season is being mutated into a gigantic festival of one-upmanship.

And I don’t necessarily mean “doing” the season better than your neighbor.  We’re turning into a nation of commercialized maniacs who must top ourselves, whatever we did last year.

Since when do we have to make each Christmas bigger and better than the last one?  What possible good does that do for us, for our pocketbooks, for our kids, or for anybody but the retailer who so handily benefits from this crazed rush to spend more!  more!  more!

No, no, I am not going to reminisce on how wonderfully we did Christmas back when I was a kid.  That was then; this is now.  But I do not see why I should be forced to buy more presents and more expensive ones at that, longer light strands, bigger trees, fancier foods, just to make the holiday “perfect.”  I reject this rank commercialism that is pandemic in the US.

Frankly, there is no way for us humans to attain a “perfect” Christmas.  We live in a distorted, fallen world that will never attain perfection apart from its Creator.  In fact, that’s the very reason we HAVE Christmas – to celebrate the birth of our Savior, who came to die that we might live a new, abundant life. 

But even that very first Christmas was far from perfect… no rooms to be found in the local Holiday Inns, all the relatives out of town or full to the gills with OTHER relatives, the imported policemen in a surly mood, the bureaucrats flooding the way with paperwork, the travel long and arduous for a very pregnant woman and her worried husband.  They ended up in a barn, for heaven’s sake, amongst the straw and hay and a bunch of smelly animals.  The trained nurses and doctors were conspicuously absent.  Antiseptic conditions?  Hah!

And the visitors!  Oy!  A bunch of smelly, noisy, uncouth sheep-herders, probably with dirty beards and hands, who kept babbling about angels and voices out of heaven and other weird stuff.  I wonder if they made the baby cry.

What most of our culture now calls “Christmas” is lightyears and parsecs removed from that first Christmas.  And with all the ads and displays and neon signs, it’s so very hard to avoid getting caught up in it all – whether you’re trying to outdo yourself from last year, or you’re in despair because you’ve lost your job and you can’t buy any presents at all.

For the past few years, I’ve had a very hard time at Christmas getting out of the commercialized frenzy.  This year, I think I’m doing a little better.  I want to celebrate Christmas for its original intent:  the birth of the Baby Jesus, who grew up to become my Savior and best Friend ever.  Sure, I’ll have a tree and decorations and presents and cards – but on MY terms, not on the culture’s terms.  I WILL enjoy the season for what it truly is; I WILL enjoy my family and friends; I WILL celebrate the hope of peace on earth and good will toward men.

And I’ll try not to be a Scrooge!


  1. Curmudgeon…he he That was on “Word Girl” last weekend. Sorry, I know… I spend way to much time with my 2 yr old (if that is possible). Great post!

  2. Late, but better than never! Sue, I share your sentiments entirely and posted on pretty much the same subject around the same time, though you express it better. Perhaps we are the harbingers of a new attitude to Christmas – or simply getting old?? 🙂

    • Thanks for reading. Maybe it is just getting old – or maybe it’s just that our sight is getting clearer for once. Is the Christmas season in the UK as rankly commercialized as it is in the US? I sure hope not. Read a few of your posts and hope to stop back to read some more.

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