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A few years ago on a Womens Board on the internet there was a poster that happily proclaimed that she had told everyone she knew that they "werent getting anything from her and her family this year for Christmas and instead she had booked a luxury Christmas Vacation to Hawai'i for her and her hubby and 3 kids"
I remember some of the other posters being offended at the thought that SOMEONE would actually not give gifts to their extended family, friends and co-workers at Christmas...
"That isnt CHRISTIAN!"
"You need to buy them something!"
"That is selfish!"
"Dont you want anything in return?"
It was as if a sacred cow was slaughtered in the middle of Mumbai and fried up right there and eaten.
Secretly I think they were all jealous at such a radical stand against such a supposedly spiritual tradition.
Years earlier I had bought a book called "Hundred Dollar Holiday" By Bill McKibben where the author details that all of the symbols of Christs Birthday that we hold dear are actually Pagan symbols. During the crusades when the Christians stormed through Europe and the UK raping and killing and pillaging to convert the then Pagan populace to the new Christian religion, they decided that it would be easier to convert them if they chose December 25th for Christs birthday AND rename and Christianize their Pagan symbols. December 25th is the same day as the Pagan holiday of Yule or Winter Solstice. Christs real birthday was sometime in the spring.
Aside from the fact that its offensive to know that a supposedly peaceful religion has raped, pillaged and killed to bring people into the flock. It is also offensive to realize that Christians are celebrating Gods son's birthday on the wrong day and with another religions symbols (breaking the 1st & 2nd Commandments at once) and have made it the most evil of all holidays in the supposed Christian Calendar by worshipping the dollar and making CHRISTS Birthday all about MONEY and COMMERCIALSM!
Anyway after the woman on the Womans Board said she was going to Hawai'i for Christmas eschewing gift giving and after the others were offended I applauded the Hawai'i goers decision. I told her that she was celebrating the correct way by being minimalistic and Joyful just to be with her husband and kids.
I then told them about the book I read (above) and that I made a few other comments they suddenly ganged up on me over,
1) How are you celebrating Christs birthday by going to your office's Christmas party and getting drunk and Xeroxing your ass?
2) How are you celebrating Christs birthday by stampeding and trampling over other people for a stupid 40 inch LCD TV?
3) How are you celebrating Christs birthday by buying your kids the latest Grand Theft Auto or Doom or Halo shoot em up game for the Xbox 360?
4) How are you celebrating Christs birthday by FORCING youself to buy a stale readymade "cheese/crackers/summersausage gift pak from the "gift aisle" at Walmart for your friend Hal, just so HE buys YOU something?
It was then that I was heavily attacked...
"HOW DARE YOU ATTACK CHRISTMAS!?"
I think Christmas has been under attack by money hungry companies for years! Even back in the days of the Crusades. You dont think ALL those Crusaders wanted to CONVERT ALLLL those Pagans to Christianity just to save their souls do you? NO! The fact was that the Crusaders lusted after all the FUTURE Tithings they could get from all the NEW Christian converts! Converting the Pagans holidays to the most commercial holiday on earth was the icing on the cake for them.
Food for thought and some questions:
Do you REALLY enjoy the stuff you get from people?
Does gift giving, other than to your kids, not make you happy or does it leave you feeling dirty?
Does it feel meaningless?
Do you do it just cause you have to?
Do you really like the people you give gifts to or do you just feel obligated to do it?
Do you feel let down after Christmas?
What could YOU do as a person that would give you happiness and sustain it year round?