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Crass Consumerist Christmas

black-fridayI’ve seen it every year, and this year brought no surprises. People rushing around from one retail locale to the next. Searching for the lowest-priced thing of choice to wrap in thin, cheap paper to give to their loved one so they won’t be thought a scrooge.

I used to work in retail and had a very firsthand view of the mean-spirited search for consumer packaged goods. Whatever delusions of “Christmas spirit” shoppers embody at home or church, they ditch them when they enter the store on a mission for sale-priced goods. I once helped a woman to her vehicle with a large item, and the whole way to her car she did nothing but bitch and complain about how every store was sold out of the things she “needed” (her words). Then right as she was getting into her car, she made sure to say “God bless!” Really? You search frantically for items to give as gifts, and you think that somehow fits in with the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus? I don’t understand how people reconcile all of these hateful, vengeful, and competitive feelings with the peace and mercy that is supposedly at the heart of the holiday.

Like several other atheists and non-believers I know, I celebrate Christmas, but I celebrate it as a secular holiday whose main tenet is togetherness and time with family. Yes, we exchange gifts, but we do so on a very limited scale. The whole point of a peaceful gift exchange is lost if you fight tooth and nail to acquire some last minute item. Besides, Black Friday or not, you can almost always find better deals on the internet than you can in brick-and-mortar stores anyway.

Only 359 days until next Christmas. So that means only about 300 days before the next phony “War on Christmas” begins.

Have a safe and Happy New Year!