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   Christmas: it's all about peace and love and joy because it is the day the birth of JesusChrist is honored by a great number of people in this world. Right?

Notexactly.

The holiday is supposed to be about honoring the birth of Jesus,but it has become something quite different. Christmas is little more than acommercial holiday. This is evident, for example, with young children. If you trya little word association with a five-year-old, I'd bet that after hearing"Christmas," his or her first response is "presents." Theydon't think about going to church or honoring Christ.

Will someone pleaseshow me where it says in the Bible, "And thou shalt raineth many purchasedgifts upon thy sons, daughters, parents, siblings and in-laws?" Afterextensive searching, you will probably find that (a) that was a rhetoricalquestion and (b) the Bible doesn't mention anything about rampant commercialismin honor of Christ. The truth is, we made this stuff up ourselves. Although youcould say it all goes back to the Three Kings, there were only three gifts given,and they weren't to your everyday baby, either.

On a side note, who cantell me what the main holiday of the year is in the Jewish faith? If you answeredHanukkah, you have fallen prey to the merchants. Hanukkah is not the most sacredJewish holiday - Yom Kippur is - but many Christians believe that it is. Why?Hanukkah occurs during a time that Christians think of as the holiest time of theyear - Christmas. Since it is the time that Christians buy all their presents,they feel that all the holidays falling into this time frame should be treatedwith the same urgency.

The Christmas season simultaneously shows thebest and worst aspects of capitalism. The best thing is that there is a freemarket where merchants can thrive. The worst thing is that commercialism cancompletely change the meaning of a holiday that is supposed to be sacred.

So, as you wrestle for the last XBox at your local Wal-Mart on ChristmasEve, ask yourself, "What would Jesus do?" Or, maybe, "What didJesus do without Wal-Mart?"




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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