Thursday, November 23, 2006

Commercialism inundates the holidays by Felicia Benamon


Felicia Benamon



It starts earlier and earlier each year...the mad dash to grab the latest and hot items during the Christmas season. All in the name of commercialism and consumerism. The Christmas holiday is being hyped up way before it's approach. But only for the money the season brings in.

It's getting to the point to where there is a slogan out now, "Happy Everything." Well that just takes the significance off of why we celebrate each holiday, doesn't it? "Happy Everything" is another PC way of observing each holiday.

Let's not forget that some of us are in such a rush these days, stores are already talking about attracting customers with Christmas sales way before Thanksgiving has arrived. I drove by a house that already had their Christmas stuff out this past Saturday! I hardly see any Thanksgiving decorations adorning houses anymore, or Thanksgiving displays in the stores. People automatically jump right into Christmas mode right after Halloween it seems. I'm seeing Christmas commercials on TV, hearing Christmas music on the radio, and Thanksgiving hasn't arrived yet. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the sights and sounds of the season, but this is too early.

Thanksgiving becomes overshadowed in all of this. It is such an important holiday, a time to reflect on how thankful we are for our blessings. But instead of reflecting, we are running after more material items.

I was appalled to hear of the mayhem during last Friday's release of the Play Station 3. In cities across America, there were gun shots, robberies, and stampedes ...all over a video game system! Shots fired? I was shaking my head over that.

No doubt this sad display of insanity will be repeated on Black Friday.

People, there is ample time between now and Christmas to secure the coveted PS3 (or any other popular item), they will restock I'm sure.

Even if you don't have the PS3 in your hands by then, why fret? The focus of Christmas should be on Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to this world to die for your sins, so that you may be reconciled with God.

It's not about having gifts in your hands on Christmas day. Though it's nice, because we are reminded of the precious gift of Jesus Christ, sent by God to us. But the meaning of Christmas becomes lost when we overdo it, obsessing about gifts. Remember, material items won't fill the void in one's life.

Christmas is a joyous time, a time when we can share with people of all faiths, a wonderful story of hope to share in this crazy world. It's a time of happiness, not a time to be stressed.

There is a movie about to be released on December 1st, from New Line Cinema that tells the story of the Nativity...it's called simply, The Nativity Story. This movie chronicles the birth of Jesus. It's sorely needed right now, because we all need to refocus on what Christmas is about.

As we gather during this festive season, let us not get caught up in the frenzy of shopping and holiday activities. Don't fall for all the hype of the endless sales, it's all a gimmick by the stores to get you in to spend, spend, spend. And, come a time after New Years, people get the shock on their credit card statements.

I love a sale like any other woman, but when it becomes a frenzied obsession with people, it turns me off!

Let's slow down and savor the time spent with family and friends. Let the turkey digest a few days before making a dash to the stores. Slow down enough to really recall why we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas...

And let's truly have a Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas, shall we?

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