In decades well gone by, Christmas (in Britain anyway) was about TWO things and those two things were ‘GOD’ and ‘CHILDREN’, weren’t they? Yes, and it was a time also when families made a big effort to get together to celebrate the event over the holiday period as well, didn’t they?
Well, what has happened since (and not all that gradually either) is that Christmas has been stolen, highjacked, and adulterated by the all-powerful commercial interests and abusive sharks, taking advantage of our hordes of obsessive self-indulgent adults, don’t you think?
In today’s age, money and consumerism has superseded faith and self- sacrifice in favour of offspring, hasn’t it? Yep, and all that is happening as well in America and all over the world unfortunately, don’t you think?
The ‘supposedly’ Christmas festival is nowadays just a blatant excuse for retailers and business to further rip-off the unsuspecting public with their pseudo promotions and conning sales, while the Church simply gets increasingly ostracised and ignored, but worse of all, the children are short-changed by being side-lined and pushed into the background, aren’t they?
Each year we in the UK spend more, and more of what we have, so despite these difficult economic times, when we see the actual figures for 2016 you can expect them to be in the region of well over seventy-five BILLION pounds – that is ‘seventy-five thousand’ million pounds, or in numbers £75,000,000,000, eh?
Up to half of us can’t really afford it all, but everyone is pressurised into participating in this unrewarding unwarranted bizarre spending spree – so perhaps a third will end up in debt in January as a consequence, won’t they? As a consequence, a large proportion of the community actually dread Christmas rather than look forward to it – how sad is that, eh?
It all starts with a mammoth amount of money spent on presents (which is the bulk of the spend, at certainly more than half and nearer three-quarters of the total) – much of them unneeded, unappreciated and regularly unwanted (one in three people get at least one of the latter – how about YOU?). Meanwhile millions of hours will have been wasted shopping for all the garbage bought.
Of course, it is primarily the adults that are the beneficiaries of this enormous spend on presents, while naturally the children get the widows-mite share – but that’s not so sad, because they get far too many presents anyway and accordingly they appreciate really none of them, do they?).
Unbelievably, about a full fifth of all this money is spent on food and drink (when that is so over-the-top that tons of the food stuff will actually get slung, and nearly a quarter of people get drunk), but the final cost on that doesn’t end there though does it, because those consuming it all to excess, will well exceeded their energy intake requirements, will face an unhealthily increase in their weight, and without doubt will have travelled further down the road to diabetes and obesity to boot – hence will need medical resolutions, or perhaps they will instead spend even more money on a commercial diet plan that won’t work, eh?
Perhaps a tenth of the money may be spent on travel, but the bulk of that won’t be travelling to meet-up or spend good quality time with family or friends, will it? No, it will basically be the cost of holidaying and not least jetting-off to foreign lands to squander even more money there, eh?
Now, a small proportion of the total money (a few percent) is used to buy decorations [including 10m ‘real’ Christmas trees!] that do cheer-up our homes and towns in bleak mid-winter, and of course there is also the many millions of Christmas cards, costing a few billion pounds as well (but all that keeps the Royal Mail in business for another year, eh?) that are sent to adorn peoples mantle places, sideboards, and lounges, far and wide, and it is a great way to maintain occasional touch with distant relatives and long lost friends in this Country & abroad, isn’t it?
On average, they say we will have each spent well over eight hundred pounds celebrating an event (the birth of Jesus) which more than half of the population don’t believe in, or think it is irrelevant to Christmas anyway, eh?
So, what about the Churches then? Well, surprisingly there quite a number here now in the UK aren’t there – Anglican & Church of Scotland, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Independent, Methodist, New Churches, Orthodox, Pentecostal, URC, and some others. In ALL of them, general attendance has steadily been going down over the past 25 years [now it is at only a few million regular worshipers supplemented by many more occasional churchgoers – we are no longer a God-fearing or loving nation, are we? (apart from the Muslims, of course?)], and so it has been with declining congregations at Christmas as well, allbeit with most churchy Christians attending or taking part in a carol or other service then. However also, nearly half of church goers do too provide food parcels or meals for lonely, ill, or needy people within their communities, and most also provide charitable help with good deeds, or donate money particularly at Christmastime – so there is still some good coming out of Christmas then, eh?
Many millions also watch on TV, or listen on radio, to carol services and get motivated by the traditional hymns together with wonderful music, and so are uplifted by the experience, and that is still another good point about Christmas, isn’t it?
Matthew: the Eight Beatitudes [“happy”, “fortunate”, or “blissful”] :
Blessed are – the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven; those who mourn: for they will be comforted; the meek: for they will inherit the earth; those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be satisfied; the merciful for they will be shown mercy; the pure in heart: for they will see God; the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God; those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
The High Street and internet retail trade relies heavily on the Christmas trade (which these days includes ‘sales’ called Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Manic Monday, Pre-Christmas sale, Boxing Day sale, Post-Christmas sale, New-Year’s Day sale, January sales, and goodness knows what else, eh?) to fill their ample coffers for the year and line the deep pockets of their shareholders, because that allows them to maintain higher prices forevermore, doesn’t it?
There is no hope of this Country ever returning to the standards of the old days, but many families still today manage to keep the true spirit of Christmas alive. Their children understand that it is all about the birth of Christ (when the large majority of kids don’t know that, do they?) and that it is a time to celebrate that particular event. They also place the children at centre stage in this period and get the greatest pleasure in the children’s excitement and joy on the day and during the holiday, often involving some of the simplest pastimes and old (non-computerised!) games, whilst interacting with the adults, rather than simply present opening – though of course that playing a major role can’t be avoided without being killjoys, eh?
[Bring back the Christmas’ of revering our maker with children & adults alike fully enjoying a SINGLE present so that the British people reset their values to the important matters in life and moreover return to solvency, eh?]