Two Cheers for Materialism
by Tom Donelson on November 29, 2012 at 8:33 AM
Two cheers for materialism and Christmas as modern day scrooges attempt to make the Christmas a lesson in selfness. Christmas critics miss the point of what is happening. Okay, I am doing the job of defending spending a ton of money on Christmas gifts and sometimes on gifts that maybe one doesn’t need. And for many retailers, this is the season that means whether they make money or not. (Not an insignificant point, since many jobs are often at stake if specific retail companies don’t make their mark.)
My reason for defending Christmas materialism and Black Friday is based on personal observations. For many, this is the one time that they are willing to spend money on loved ones and give a little of themselves to the process. My own children teach me this lesson every year, both at my birthday and Christmas. Every year, they combined to find the perfect gift and the most unusual. They put their efforts into searching for that gift that their dad may enjoy. For my children, Christmas is not about receiving, but giving, and they have more fun looking for presents for their parents than actually receiving gifts back in return.
This is why l like Christmas, for it is not about what one receives, but what one gives. Giving takes precedence, and it is a chance for parents to teach their children the true meaning of the season: that it is one of giving. For Christians, we view Christmas as the birth of our savior, Jesus, who gave his life for our sins some thirty three years after his birth. It is not just a story about the birth of a baby, but a birth of the Son of God. It is not a cute story, but a story that begins with Mother Mary having birth in a manager as there was no room at the Inn.
For Christians, we can’t make up for the sacrifice of what Jesus did for us on the Cross or for God, who created us, but we certainly can symbolize it by simply give each other presents. Christmas is that one day in which we act a little kinder, for it is the one day that we take a break from the struggles in our lives. It could be argued that we should live every day as if it is Christmas, but then living one day the way that God would want us to is a good start.