So the holiday season is here…and I want to vomit. Yes I’m a Grinch. I hate the commercial greedy REAL modern reasons for celebrating Christmas. The holiday comes from so many beliefs systems, but don’t tell that to a Christian…because they find fact offensive, and would rather blindly believe in myth.
To start, let’s find out when and by whom Christmas traditions originated. I’ve have been doing research and this is what I’ve found so far.
The Date, the Gifts & The Feast: December 25th- About 200 years before the supposed birth of Jesus, Romans were celebrating Saturnalia which was believed to be a week long celebration starting Dec 17th and ending the 25th. There are different reports of what exactly went on during this time, but its commonly believed by historians that there was feasting, gift giving, intoxication and lawlessness. The sun god of the later Roman Empire Sol Invictus was believed by followers to be born on Dec 25th. But in the 3rd century A.D, Emperor Constantine favored Christianity as the imperial creed and thus it became the birthday of the new favorite god. To make the transition from pagan to Christian easier many of the customs were kept.
Mistletoe & Christmas Trees: Pagans, (the Celts, ancient Romans) have long worshiped trees and brought them into their homes and decorated them. Egyptians worshiped the ever green for it ability to keep it leaves in the cold. In pre-Christian Europe mistletoe was thought to be a sign of male fertility and romance. There was also the belief mistletoe was the sacred plant of Frigga, Norse goddess of love and to kiss under it was good fortune in love for the couple.
Many Christians like to think that we need to push the “Keep the Christ in Christmas” ideal during this season. To try to take the public's eyes of the fact that we are breeding greedy, self centered children. They forget that while 3/4 of Canadians are Christian or Catholic(according to 2001 census), that leaves 1/4 of the population that doesn’t have the same beliefs. With a population over 30 million, 7.5 million people are being forced to be surrounded by religious propaganda they don’t support. And I mean surrounded! I can't leave my house without hearing holiday music in every store and radio station. I can't sign on to Facebook without 50% of posts relating to the Christmas or "reason for the season". Most nonreligious people just accept this and try to move past it, some even embrace it. To say that this is "christian nation" is very niave. this is a multicultural country with many beliefs...so if you think "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" is stupid/insulting...well I find your intolerance and stupidity insulting.
Don’t forget, the Christians and Catholics through out history used Christmas as a reason to harm and humiliate. For Example, in 1466 Pope Paul II forced some of the Jewish population to run naked thru the streets of Rome on Christmas to “humiliate those who killed Christ”. Through out the 18th and 19th century it was common for Rabbis from the Jewish ghetto to be forced to walk through the streets in clownish outfits and publicly humiliated on Christmas.
Even if you say the past doesn’t matter, that its about what people celebrate now… ok then so people are celebrating greed and commercialism. Giving and getting gifts is all good except for one thing…its expected. If you don’t (literally) buy in to the worship of commercialism, then your considered greedy and selfish. What if one can’t afford to participate in this stupid tradition? I love how Sheldon from Big Bang Theory puts it:
"The foundation of gift-giving is reciprocity," Sheldon explained to Penny. "You haven't given me a gift. You've given me an obligation." When Penny said that he didn't have to get her anything in return, Sheldon quickly disabused her of the notion. "Of course I do. The essence of the custom is that I now have to go out and purchase for you a gift of commensurate value, and representing the same perceived level of friendship as that represented by the gift you've given me."
I do believe in purchasing gifts for a loved one when you can afford it and when you see something you think they would love(another reason I hate Valentines day...but I'll save that topic for Feb). You buy it because you love them, not because you are social obligated. I very much disagree with the random work gift exchange. It takes the personal aspect out of the entire idea of gift giving, it shows the raw greed our society endorses. How about don’t buy me a random gift and I won’t buy you one. We each save a bit of cash in an already expensive time of year. What ever happened to the homemade gift? It seems children are being raised in this culture of greed, expensive toys and “I want!”. I’d much rather a gift from a family member that is home made from there own hands and effort than some expensive gift they think I might like.
Christmas is bad for your health, more people die Dec 25th than any other day of the year (in North America). Suicide rates are higher, heart attack rates are higher. The poor, sick and homeless need our help beyond Dec 25th.
The only part of the current traditions of this holiday season I like is feasting with Family and helping those who need it! How about instead of buying you family and friends that live comfortable a gift, you take that money and buy food for a local shelter or food mission. Your family won't miss it as much as the needy will.
For 2months we are bombarded by the idea that if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you must be part of another religion or you must be a horrible immoral person like the Grinch or Ebenezer Scrooge. I’m sorry but I’d rather be an informed Grinch that helps those who need it than be a socially acceptable greedy Elf.
recent comment on a Xmas FB status:
"saves time in lines too(homemade gifts)...and if this is a 'religious holiday' ..just like ppl like to think...it should be free of greed and full of hope. I have 10x more joy in giving a home made gift and seeing the receiver's face than any gift I've recieved as an adult. "