The Spirit of Christmas
by Daniel Smiechowski
It is that time of year when we’re headed down a slippery slope of toys for every girl and boy. Consumers will spend untold billions on things that quite frankly, they don’t need. As far as I know, Christmas is about the spreading of hope and joy throughout the world. Why must our culture and society over indulge in materialism like some drunken sailor in a Spanish port? In short, why not moderate our spending behavior and give the gift of goodwill, love and good health.
Every November beginning with the notorious Black Friday until the final bells toll at midnight of Christmas Eve our free market runs amok. It seems to me that many adults during this period of joy to the world lose their senses and revert to infancy in regard to unmet needs. We ought to put “Christ” back in Christmas. That is not to say we live in a pluralistic society of tolerance. The celebration of the winter solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Ramadan, which ended on July 28th of this year are all celebrated and welcome in these United States.
As for the government and Christmas, the traditional lighting of the White House Christmas Tree together with a secular leaning electorate pose somewhat of a juxtaposition in how we Americans view this sacred holiday. I remember years ago before that fateful (faithful) day in 1973 Roe vs. Wade when the religious left was a vital voice in the American political landscape. The likes of Father Drinan of Boston College School of Law, civil rights leader Father Groppi of Milwaukee and of course Daniel Berrigan, Vietnam War protester made headlines within both the Catholic Church and Democratic Party. These men truly believed in putting “Christ” in Christmas.
America’s philosopher, John Dewey a self avowed humanist/pragmatist who was beaten down as a leaning Communist by some within the Republican ranks was raised in a religious household and had never totally disavowed the rights of the true believers. It seems to me that taking “Christ” out of Christmas is somewhat like taking Republic out of Republican. Professor Dewey was well aware that America has more churches per capita than any other western industrialized nation.
Let’s keep the spirit of Christmas in our hearts and to some degree close our pocketbooks as we approach this merry season. Personally, I’m a little partial to December 25th having been born in the “City of Churches,” Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 24th and having a mother who played cello in the Catholic Church and Father who graduated from the seminary. So, Merry Christmas to all or as they say in Normandy, Joyeux Noel!
Be nice, do good deeds and don’t be a stranger as we at The Clairemont Times value your participation.
Daniel J. Smiechowski has been a resident of Clairemont since 1967 and can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org or 858.220.4613