By Ozzie Briesch
With Christmas just around the corner, companies and businesses everywhere promote the Christmas themed sales and commercials flood the TV and radio with Christmas songs and advertisements.
However, it all can’t help but seem almost too materialistic. Have we lost the meaning of Christmas? And what is the meaning of Christmas anyways?
Christmas was originally created as a religious celebration to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The presents we receive represent the gifts the wise men bought the lord when he was young, so the presents are still part of the tradition, but there is a line that has been crossed when it no longer represents its original meaning.
Take this past Black Friday for example; conveniently placed nearly a whole month in advance, a complete day for frenzied shopping sales, frantic mobs creating thoughtless riots and waiting endlessly in line, all fighting in the name of Christmas.
None of these people were starving, poor, or in desperate need. They were all middle class Americans who were not driven by hunger or desperation. They just wanted more. As a result kids are getting greedier and greedier every year as they expect bigger and better gifts each Christmas. Toys and entertainment shoved in our faces telling us this is what you need to have a good life. This is the age old trick of the carrot enticing the donkey. Work hard, make money and look what you can have.
The idea of overwhelming decorations and nicely wrapped presents under a big Christmas tree have been pounded into our minds by endless commercials and advertisements and become the main focus to many big corporations who have tried to corrupt the emotional connection of Christmas by snatching away its religious and emotional context and jam the empty gaps in with material items from their stores.
Religion has been a staple of the United States since it was first created, but with all of the variety in religious beliefs that run through the country, families have taken the original meaning, and translated it into their own culture. People are not losing the meaning of Christmas just because they do not choose to believe in the same faith as Christians do, so there must be more to Christmas than just religion.
According to a survey done on campus, when asked what they thought Christmas was focused on in today’s society. Three out of ten people said it was about gifts and giving. Another four out of ten said it was about spending time with those you love. While the other three said it was about religious celebration of the birth of Jesus.
The majority of the survey did say Christmas was spending time with those you care about, which does promote selflessness and good will, a staple of what Christmas is meant to be. If the all of the materials in Christmas were taken away today, Christmas would still retain its values. The meaning of Christmas is subjective or different for everyone. No one has the exact same check list that determines what Christmas is. Like in the survey, some people thought it was about emotional connection, while others looked at it with more religious connection.
We must return to the original values of Christmas. Love, charity, respect, and family need to reassert themselves at the top of our wish list this Christmas before the next best thing in technology does.
Ozzie Briesch is a sophomore majoring in communication. You can email him at Austin.Briesch@sckans.edu