Commercialized Christmas

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O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
You are a letter and a plant.
Why am I singing 'bout a tree
Instead of him who died for me?

Christmas is not Christ's birthday. Jesus was born not in December but during Roman tax season, at a part of the year when sheep were outdoors at night. The celebration of Christmas on December 25 was originally based on a superstitious conjecture in 204 CE that Jesus died on the anniversary of his conception.[1][2] By 354 CE, Catholic Christmas began to incorporate customs of holidays from other faiths, such as Saturnalia, the competing festival of Sol Invictus, and Yule, in order to help convert people of other faiths. Jeremiah 10:1-5 confirms that what we might recognize as Christmas trees were around before Christ.

Over the twentieth century, the consumerism associated with the holiday has made it even more stressful than birthdays. Not only does shopping for gifts lead to theft, assault, and other crimes,[3] even including murder,[4] but some people who give gifts to children on Christmas even have their kids arrested for larceny for opening them early.[5] Even if Christmas were Christ's birthday, it isn't recorded that Jesus celebrated anyone else's birthday or asked anyone else to celebrate his. So why go to the trouble?

Ghosts don exits, but that's not what Satan would have you think. When a person dies, his spirit goes out in the same way a candle flame goes out, and his thoughts die with him (Psalm 146:4). It is unclean and detestable to pretend to consult the dead (Leviticus 19:31; Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Isaiah 8:19).

Even demons believe in Jesus, and some may try to confuse people by claiming to be spirits of dead people. In the novel A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, four "ghosts" visit a notoriously stingy banker named Ebenezer Scrooge and talk him into celebrating Christmas. They also convince him to become a model of generosity. But the Devil is known to clothe lies in truth and evil in good to penetrate man's defenses. One of Jehovah's Witnesses told me Scrooge's contribution to the celebration of reformed Natalis Invicti outweighed his new-found kindness because the end does not justify the means.

Another analysis, however, examines the scriptures on which Christmas objectors rely, finding them legalistic. It concludes that an annual observance in remembrance of Christ's birth is at least as acceptable as holding meetings on Sunday, as the early church did but the Bible did not specifically command. The pagan practices likely originated from corruptions of divine revelation, and modern Christmas practices have been "baptized" of the old pagan associations in any case.[6]

Santa Claus

So your child is starting to learn the scientific impossibility of certain myths associated with commercialized Christmas. For example, your child may have figured out that toys are made in China. If you really want to encourage your child to believe lies about "a supernatural home invader" and hurt his money management skills as he grows up,[7] if you want to make your child believe God isn't real,[8][9] if telling the truth makes you feel guilty,[10] or if you just don't want to get arrested for telling kids Santa Claus isn't real,[3] here are halfway plausible answers to their questions:

The first Santa Claus was Nicholas of Myra, a bishop in Greek Turkey. He died in 343 CE, and another man replaced him as Santa Claus. The office passes from man to man not unlike the office of Pope of the Catholic Church, and as Aisha Harris of Slate realizes but misinterprets, Santa's Workshop has changed over the centuries.[11] Because few outsiders see Santa, portraits in popular culture are based only on a few Santas. Most Santas were drawn tall and thin like Nicholas of Myra until 1863, when political cartoonist Thomas Nast caught a glimpse of a different overweight Santa. Coca-Cola took Nast's depiction and ran with it, becoming a major sponsor of Santa's Workshop. Thus, Commercialized Christmas took form, and by 1989 the "Santa Clausmas" meme had grown until it was as if Santa had died for your sins. In 1994, Tim Allen became Santa Claus.

Commercialized Christmas has brought changes to Santa's Workshop since a lot of the classic stories were written. The elves don't make the toys anymore; they've outsourced that to companies in China such as Foxconn, as it says on the bottom of the box. Festive decorations in particular are made in the city of Yiwu, China.[12][13][14] Santa's Workshop is mostly a distribution outfit nowadays.[15] It's known to have U.S. operations near Evansville, Indiana, Fairbanks, Alaska, and a ghost town in Arizona, Canadian operations in a "a very small, rural village" near Montreal, and operations in Finland near Rovaniemi, Lapland. Decorations are made in a facility in Yiwu, China.[16]

A local representative of Santa's Workshop works in each shopping mall, and these mall Santas actually deliver the presents. One mall Santa in Fort Wayne, Indiana, was seen driving an Isuzu. Another mall elsewhere has two Santas.[17] Retail establishments that partner with Santa's Workshop spy on children through the security cameras in the stores.[18] And with advances in technology, Santa has begun to spy on children in their homes[19] through the eyes of their dolls.

Just don't go looking up anagrams.[20][21]

References

  1. http://www.jesuspolice.com/common_error.php?id=2[dead link]
  2. Michael Voll. "6 Things People Get Wrong About the Bible's Christmas Story". Cracked, 2014-12-16. Accessed 2014-12-16.
  3. 3.0 3.1 John Cheese. "The 5 Most Baffling Christmas-Related Crimes Ever". Cracked, 2012-12-13. Accessed 2012-12-14.
  4. Maggie Shader. "Americans' top holiday dreads—being nice makes the list". Consumer Reports, 2011-11-29. Via Kathy Benjamin. "5 Reasons Christmas Is the Most Dangerous Time of the Year". Cracked, 2013-12-25. Accessed 2013-12-25.
  5. Chan Teik Onn. "5 Things Everyone Did Growing Up (That Now Get You Arrested)". Cracked, 2013-09-01. Accessed 2013-09-02.
  6. J. Hampton Keathley III. "Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?". Bible.org, 2004-12-05. Accessed 2013-12-31.
  7. John Cheese. "5 Social Rules Parenthood Forces You to Break". Cracked, 2013-05-09. Accessed 2013-05-09.
  8. Dave McElfatrick. "#3577". Cyanide & Happiness, 2014-06-03. Accessed 2016-05-15.
  9. Kris Wilson. "#3772". Cyanide & Happiness, 2014-12-12. Accessed 2016-05-16.
  10. Elizabeth Weingarten. "You Did Not See Mommy Kissing Santa Claus". Slate, 2013-12-07. Accessed 2013-12-15.
  11. Aisha Harris. "What Fox News Doesn’t Understand About Santa Claus". Slate, 2013-12-12. Accessed 2013-12-15.
  12. Tim Maughan. "Yiwu: The Chinese city where Christmas is made and sold". BBC, 2014-12-18. Accessed 2016-02-09.
  13. Robert Evans, Anonymous. "5 Realities Of Smog So Bad It Blots Out The Sun". Cracked, 2016-02-09. Accessed 2016-02-09.
  14. Kathy Benjamin. "5 Real Places Whose Economies Are Based On Insanity". Cracked, 2016-09-18. Accessed 2016-09-18.
  15. EE. "4GEE at Work with Nick Saint Distribution". 2013-12-12. Via Gabriel Oliver. "4 Completely Insane Ways People Are Hijacking Santa's Image". Cracked, 2013-12-24. Accessed 2013-12-24.
  16. Jesus A. Rodriguez et al. "19 Photos That Shatter Your Image Of Famous Special Effects". Cracked, 2015-10-20. Accessed 2015-10-20.
  17. Kathy Benjamin. "5 Dumbest Things People Are Getting Mad About This Christmas". Cracked, 2015-12-18. Accessed 2015-12-21.
  18. "Ah, Parents, Part 2". Not Always Right, July 2012. Accessed 2012-08-02.
  19. Rob DenBleyker. "#3019". Cyanide & Happiness, 2012-12-14. Accessed 2016-05-13.
  20. Beatriz. "I love Satan". FotosHumor.com, 2012-01-23. Accessed 2013-12-13.
  21. Tim B et al. "Santa is Satan, but why?" Worldbuilding Stack Exchange, 2015-12-23. Accessed 2015-12-23.

External links