The real meaning of Christmas

Pastor Tim Hall shares his thoughts on the commercialization of Christmas

Can you appreciate this cartoon of Dennis the Menace?  He rushes into the room, with his mother standing there with her mouth open and he says, holding a big box in his hand, “We’d better tell Santa Claus to forget about the train set I asked for.  I just found one on the top shelf of Dad’s closet!”

A recent survey indicated that more people are bothered by the commercialization of Christmas than by the display of religious symbols in public places.

The commercialization of Christmas is part of our society in which consumption for its own sake – regardless of need – is legitimized and encouraged.  Without reluctance, advertisers tap into peoples’ religious beliefs and deep emotions at the same time we are being persuaded to buy.  Talk about exploitation.
While it may be good for the economy in the short run, commercialized Christmas also has its costs. For example, many people experience depression when Christmas does not deliver the happiness that advertising hype promises. And what about that nagging feeling of  ‘being used’  as a willing participant in the annual holiday cash-cow?   After we have scurried around like the well-trained consumers we are, we’re left feeling exhausted and in debt, promising ourselves next year we will exit this freeway and take a slower pace.  What does all of this do to your heart? All of it robs Christmas of its power to renew the human spirit. Perhaps the greatest cost of commercialization at Christmas is paid by the poor. In our society, the poor experience Christmas as a cruel hoax. 
The creed of Santa Claus theology is the well-known song, Santa Claus is Coming to Town. According to this creed, Santa is omniscient; like God, Santa knows all about us. There is also a day of judgment. It comes once a year when “good” children are rewarded with good things, while the “bad” (i.e., the poor) get nothing.  The truth is, of course, that gifts are not distributed based on who has been “good or bad” or “naughty or nice,” but on what people can afford or get credit to buy.  The damaging message is, volume and quality of gifts at Christmastime determines your worth.

True Christmas  is the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  The gospel of Luke records the announcement of Jesus birth to shepherds by angels: “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people…”    Jesus is God’s (Christmas) gift to everyone.  Whether rich or poor, naughty or nice.  This Christmastime unwrap some salvation, receive joy, get off the freeway and be at peace.

Tim Hall is pastor of Quesnel’s Victory Way Church.

Just Posted

Quesnel RCMP arrest alleged car thief

A police dog was called in to track the suspect this morning in North Quesnel

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

Quesnel interconnector meeting draws a big crowd

Feb. 19’s meeting had people lined up outside waiting to get in

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Yelling vulgar slur at reporter not a crime says judge

Judge rules ‘vulgar’ slur against reporter was not a public disturbance

B.C. runner takes silver at Pan American cross-country championships

Tyler Dozzi’s medal pushes U20 Team Canada to gold finish

Hydaburg makes it three in a row

Hydaburg came back from 10 points down in the second half to beat Aiyansh

Kitkatla end 54 year drought with title win

The Warriors defeated Hydaburg 70-67 in overtime to win the 2018 All Native Tournament title

UBCO students to get medical cannabis coverage

Kelowna - The pilot project will be implemented in April

BC BUDGET: NDP push for purpose-built rentals in ‘historic’ $1.6B investment

Hundreds of thousands of new low- and middle-income units coming over three years

BC BUDGET: More for wildfire recovery, campsites

NDP government to hire 20 more Conservation Officers this year

Most Read