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Congratulations on an excellent post, Ms. Tippett. The problems with Christmas are several, as you say: But the biggest one of all is that Christmas is simply not about spirituality, much less about Christ. Non-Christian people see this immediately when they come to the US. Christmas is more about getting families together, or about trying to be generous (except for that coercion and social acceptance factor that drives gift giving), or about its original purpose: a wintertime festival and holiday when people can forget about their problems for a while. No one really thinks that it means anything about the life of Christ -- his trust in God, his love of sincerity and truth, his being true to his statement to Pontius Pilate that "I am no part of this world," his love for people, his kind and dignified and respectful treatment of women, the way he poured out his energy and time to teach others about God, his exposure of religious hypocrisy, the amazing way his example helps us to "see" his Father's righteousness, love, and justice. All of these things need to be discussed every day of the year. But they are completely lost in the bustle and parties and travel and Christmas card mailings and gifting of Christmas.