Houses are still decorated with Christmas lights, wreaths, mistletoe, yuletide characters and winter motifs that places a strain on some local utility companies from the over consumption of electrical power, but it seems the “real’ meaning of the holiday just seems to get lost in all the commercialization, advertising and marketing strategies from America’s largest retailers. There may not be the scene from a Charles Dickens’s classic in most cities with, “chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, tiny tots with their hearts all aglow will find it hard to sleep tonight. . .” as embodied in the lyrics sung by the legendary and incomparable Nat King Cole. No, the anticipation which used to accompany this most celebrated of holidays is just an empty shadow of itself despite all the ornaments and Hallmark cards.
In fact, thanks to the internet you can go to a number of websites and browse through a preselected category of holiday scenes or create your own and email the card of your choice to a family member or friend for free, anytime. Funny, stores almost stat pulling out Christmas goods right after Halloween and one of the biggest shopping days of the year is the day after Thanksgiving Day, called interestingly, “Black Friday.” Perhaps this is ironically what the Retail Merchants Association hope that the ‘day’ will represent, the beginning of a reversal in the direction that their members have been going in where they will show a growth in their margins and return to a level of profitability by being in the ‘black’. It is estimated that the commercialization of Christmas accounts for over 40% of the biggest retailers annual revenue by generating around $40 billion into the national economy; more than the GNP of many countries on the entire planet.
This is seeing the Nativity of a young Jewish couple superimposed with Anglo-European features with a young holy babe, the Christ-child and Son of God whose birth into this world was heralded in song by a choir of angels from the very Heaven of God and the Annunciation was “Peace on Earth and good will toward man.” The stargazers who traveled eastward following a ‘special’ light in the sky that seemed to be guiding them to a small, insignificant village in Galilee named Bethlehem where they, beheld Him who is King of the Jews [and Savior of the world] was wrapped in raggedy cloths and laying in a feeding trough for animals, came bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Today’s celebration is traveling to the early 5AM sales and camping out all night and waiting in long lines to honor the Prince of Peace by offering to the merchant cashier in the checkout line- cash, check or credit card [mostly the latter]. People will even trample over each other and fight among themselves just to get that bargain item to wrap as a present, only for the recipient to forget all about it a week after the holiday ends. Yes, this is how we celebrate Christmas, and it is about as empty as store shelves a few days before December 25th.
776 Commerce St. #B-11
Tacoma, WA 98402
November 12, 2011