I suspect that many of you are breathing a sigh of relief now that Christmas and its accompanied merriment are over. Free from cloying Christmas music, wrapping paper, and other December clichés, now we can begin to move on and look toward the coming year. But first, I have a confession to make. I don’t like Christmas. My name is Ebeneezer Scrooge and everyone chastises my curmudgeonly demeanor between October and January. It’s true.
Why do I hate Christmas? Well, apart from growing up Jewish (which may have led to lingering holiday jealousy and resentment), I am not a fan of the way we celebrate the holiday. Christmas is a capitalist orgy, compelling us to want what we do not need and spend more than we can afford. Lisa Wade of Sociological Images reminds us that, “Christmas isn’t just a season or a sentiment, it’s also an imperative to spend and an opportunity to make money.” To most of my modern compatriots, attempting to frame the holiday as anything other than an end of the year sales boost is simply a joke. Here is one place where I agree with the Religious Right: it’s dumb that Christmas is about shopping and not about Jesus.
One good thing about the Holiday Season is that a lot of folks feel more inclined to donate to those less fortunate. After Doing Good at Christmastime, many of us feel like we’ve done our part for the year and slack off. Now that the season is coming to a close, please remember that charitable organizations need help all year ‘round! If you are in the Denver area, consider volunteering at the Denver Rescue Mission, Denver Dumb Friends League, or help out at a public school. Really, just do something.
What are your thoughts on Christmas? How do you spend the season? What are your favorite nonprofits?