|Photo Credit: violscraper|
"It amazes me that in less than a century Christians have gone from opposing over-consumption at Christmas to demanding it be done in Christ’s name alone. The explanation may be in the numbers. Two-thirds of the U.S. economy is based on consumer spending, and 50-75 percent of most retailers annual profits are generated during December. This means the weeks before Christmas are the high holy days of consumerism. If Christians engaged the Advent season as they did in generations past, by modeling moderation and self-denial or by ignoring the holiday altogether, it would likely destroy (what remains of) the economy.
To ensure economic survival consumers are stirred into a buying frenzy every winter with the goal of making this year’s shopping season more prosperous than the previous. Santa Claus has been the mascot of this manipulation since the early 20th Century, but if more Consumer Christians have their way the season of shopping would be inaugurated by the appearance of Jesus Christ at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade instead."As a Christian who can be influenced by the culture I live in as much as anyone else, I hope that I can remain true to my celebration of the birth of Jesus without being unduly sucked into the consumerism that so invades one of my faith's most precious holy-days. I'm not so concerned about whether a retailer that is more interested in my money than in the birth of Jesus wishes me a hearty "Merry Christmas" or not. I'm much more concerned about whether my heart rejoices in the birth of the Christ child more than in temporal presents under my tree.
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