The commercialization of Christmas

Christmas Dinner Dp File Photo

Sat, 23 Dec 2017 Source: Joe Kingsley Eyiah

December 25 is here again and many are those celebrating the season of Christmas (Christ-mas), the supposed day on which our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was born onto the planet earth about 2000 years ago. The true origin of Christmas is another thesis to write about!

My question to all (especially, Christians) who celebrate Christmas as an honor to Christ is: Do you truly know Jesus Christ? What many who participate in the festivities associated with Christmas fail to see is the commercialization of the season as its pagan origin rightly invoked-a time for conspicuous consumption and unequaled revelry (see The Buffalo News of Nov. 22, 1984).

I personally do not believe that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was born in December which is snow time in Bethlehem (note that the shepherds could not be out there in the field at that time) yet the birth of Christ if is celebrated almost the world-over whenever with love, joy, giving and peace unto humankind then it is the best time to reflect on the life and work of Christ for the world. However, Christmas is increasingly being defined by shallow materialism, and proliferate spending which, is gradually overshadowing the lessons associated with why Christ was born to the world.

Though we welcome the traditions and sentiments of “peace and goodwill towards all” that Christmas brings with its season, the love of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, should make us live in peace with ALL people at ALL times. Spending money on or showering gifts on the poor ONLY during Christmas is not Christ-like! The commercial houses and other manufacturers wait on the Christmas season to “exploit” the masses.

The origin of Santa Clause (Bishop St. Nicholas from Santa Claus) was associated with gifts-giving. Santa Claus has now taken Centre stage in the celebration of Christmas at the expense of Jesus Christ whose “supposed birthday” is being remembered the world round! Traders, photographers and some entertainers always use Santa to commercialize Christmas.

Unfortunately, Christmas has now become Santa verses Christ! I was not surprised to watch in the news from United States of America recently how a house owner was driven with frustration of the apparent commercialization of Christmas at the disadvantage of “Christ” to come up with an unusual Christmas-decoration in front of his house to the displeasure of his neighbors and others. In his decoration, the man has depicted Jesus Christ with a gun pointing to a fallen Santa inferring that Christ has shot dead Santa. Could this thinking be a reflection of what commercialization is doing to the ‘true meaning’ of Christmas?

When I was a child, Christmas meant a lot to me. Now I care less about Christmas knowing that it has a lot of pagan practices associated with it. Did you know that the Christmas tree was long in existence before Christ was born? And that tree is mentioned in the Bible as the way of the heathen and NOT of God’s children? (Read about it in the Bible from Jeremiah 10 verses 2 to 5). Whatever be your take on Christmas, know that its origin is not Christian and its celebration is Commerce and not Christ. However, if you are celebrating Christmas as an honor and worship of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ then remember the words of Christ Himself in Revelation 22:12; And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Lessons of Love, Peace, Joy & Giving

The Bible talks about a child who was to be born and that He would deliver mankind from the bondage of sin. That He would be called Prince of Peace, King of Kings- IMMANUEL, meaning ‘God with Us’! (Luke 2:1-20). ‘For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten son (Christ)….’ The greatest lesson associated with CHRISTmas is LOVE accompanied by GIVING. Truly, the Christmas season sees a lot of GIVING but is it motivated by LOVE? Unfortunately, many give to show that they have, and not because they love.

The true story of a blind man and his pet (guide dog for many years) could be cited here as true spirit of love. The blind man had unfortunately slipped unto the train tracks while waiting for the train at a subway station. His pet and best friend, the dog named ‘Orlando’ spontaneously jumped on top of him when it saw a train approaching. They laid still in the middle of the tracks for the train to pass over them.

The blind man sustained few bruises but his friend, Orlando, was not hurt! While at the hospital, the blind man kept asking about the condition of his pet-friend which, he was to give up for adoption soon because he no longer had enough money to keep it. Such a wonderful friendship was to be broken no sooner than later! However, their ‘unfortunate’ story moved the hearts of many to give over $80,000 to the blind man to retain his friend, Orlando! What a joy!

The season of Christmas is a time of giving and giving brings joy. Where is the joy in some parts of the world as we celebrate Christmas? There is no peace in places like Syria, the new nation of South Sudan, Yemen and Libya where thousands of human beings including even children who should be singing at this time, ‘joy to the world’ are being massacred!

Unfortunately, the world is constantly sacrificing the lessons of Love, Peace, Joy and Giving associated with the birth of Christ on the altar of commercialization of CHRISTmas. Let’s learn the lessons of love, peace, joy and giving that the birth of Christ teaches us!!

Dear reader, Jesus Christ who the ‘noise of Christmas-the Yule’ is all supposedly about is coming again soon! Are you ready for Him? MARANATHA

By Joe Kingsley Eyiah, OCT, Brookview Middle School, Toronto-Canada

Columnist: Joe Kingsley Eyiah