Image: Flickr – JD Hancock
[Catie Allwright | Contributing Writer]
Yes, Christmas has lost its meaning.
I feel like a traitor to admit it, but I do believe that Christmas has lost its meaning. Whether you think of that in the religious sense, or the more ‘traditional’ version which focuses on family and togetherness, I look around me and it’s not what I see. Preparations, decorations, gifts and food; it’s all materialism, greed and excess in disguise, and I’ll explain to you why.
First up, preparations. Being excited to get stuck in is one thing, but it spoils the novelty if we start wearing Christmas jumpers the day after Halloween. Ultimately it is all leading up to one day, which is increasingly likely to be a huge anti-climax if it’s stretched out too far. Likewise, I think decorations are getting out of hand. Asda were selling Santa bath mats and soap dispensers last year. What’s next, festive furniture? It’s nice to stick a bit of tinsel up, but it’s uncalled for to replace every item in your house.
When it comes to gifts, it’s wonderful to show people how much you care. But too often it results in demanding and ungrateful children. People now also end up feeling embarrassed if they can’t afford presents. Remember: you can’t buy love! What you can buy, however, is food, and people shop like the apocalypse is about to begin. Having worked in a supermarket for six years, I’ve seen people go into a meltdown over stuffing and cranberry sauce, it’s shameful!
As if everyone wasn’t frazzled enough by the time Christmas Day rolls around, it presents a host of new causes for stress. If you’re entertaining, it’s time to blitz the house, prepare copious amounts of food and spend the rest of the day cleaning up. It’s a day of family, but where does that leave you if you don’t get along with your family or don’t have one to spend it with? I think that everyone desperately tries to please each other to get that ‘perfect Christmas’ we see in movies.
By spending too much time worrying, and too much money on unnecessary purchases, we have all forgotten to appreciate how simple and easy Christmas could be. The real values are lost amid a sea of novelty items.
Strip away the excess, it’s all superficial.
[Louise Hal-Fead | Contributor]
No, Christmas has not lost its meaning.
To some, the idea of Christmas has become centred on receiving presents, partying and taking a long period of relaxation. This a selfish and un-festive way to properly immerse yourself in the wonder of it all. In my opinion, these are things which we should wholeheartedly enjoy, and it’s up to us to not let them scope the true meaning of Christmas itself.
Indeed Christmas has many meanings for many different people. Obviously, for some, Christmas is an intensely religious occasion and it means no more than celebrating the birth of Christ. However I don’t think that this should be the only reason we treasure Christmas. After all, not all of us are religious, so many would see no reason to treat Christmas as an occasion whereby we just celebrate the ‘holy word’ of the Bible.
Quite clearly if you treat Christmas in a selfish and narrow minded way, and don’t seek to embrace all the matters surrounding it, you yourself may have lost the meaning of Christmas. But, this doesn’t mean that the actual meaning of Christmas has been lost as a whole. Commercially, it is clear that Christmas is a way to make money, and it can be said that this has been made to seem like this is what it is all about. Making the rich, richer and the poorer, poorer (it’s hard to deny that you don’t look forward to the new John Lewis Christmas advert every year.) Even with this though, the commercialism has become part of Christmas. It’s easy to get caught up in it but it would be hard to imagine a Christmas without the media’s input in it all.
To me it’s clear that it’s almost impossible for Christmas to ever lose its meaning as every person will always account a different meaning for it. Especially in such a culturally diverse society.
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