Christmas as we know it, with its twinkling lights, flying reindeer, and dancing snowmen, is largely a creation of 19th-century America. One of the most un-Christian periods in Western history, it was a time of worldly invention, industrialization, and profit. Only such an era would think of a holiday dominated by commercialism and joy and sense the connection between the two.
Christmas in America is not a Christian holiday. And besides, in a country that separates church from state, no national holiday can be regarded as the purview of a religion.
But any celebration can be corrupted. It's not uncommon today to hear people say Christmas is their most stressful period. Pressed for time (and this year probably for money, too), they feel there are just too many lights to put up, meals to cook, and gifts to buy. Seeking something to blame, they blame the commercialism of the season. But there is no commandment, "Thou shall buy a present for everyone you know." This is the religious mentality of duty rearing its ugly head again. Do and buy only that which you can truly afford and enjoy; there are myriad ways to celebrate with loved ones without spending a cent.
But whatever you do end up doing, don't let the state of the economy rob you of the gaiety of the season. Perhaps now more than ever, we all need to remind ourselves that reaching joy on this Earth is the meaning of life.
Read why the true spirit of Christmas has been lost, by Rep. Henry E. Brown.