Although deliberate consumerism, waste and want are ugly aspects of our culture, I think she has somewhat missed the point of Christianity as it relates to Christmas. Belief in what we don't see before us. And I think this is significant to the secular celebration of Christmas and the ritualization around the holiday as well. Jesus didn't appear a King laying in that manger. I don't think he really glowed. I don't think the star lit up all of Bethlehem like a neon sign saying "this way to the savior." In the same way, I don't think we see what is in people's hearts when they are at a crowded mall the weekend before Christmas. We don't know who is frankly purchasing crap because its on sale, and who scraped together enough cash this year for a tree, a ham, and a few dreams come true for their kids. We only see what is plainly before us; tis the season also to believe in everybody's unseen magic, love, or spiritual self. I learned a lesson this year through forced giving. I was ba-humbugging around about how I wanted only to give presents to people on my "good" list and not my "naughty" list. When all is said and purchased, although I'd love to buy a sailboat and some new black shoes for my besties instead of anything at all for some people on my list, I grew as a person by being forced to find a "thing" for them, wrap it in forgiveness and present it with love. Lesson learned. Things are not always what they appear. Relish in it once a year.
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