Sunday, February 07, 2010

Critical of Christmas

Christmas is great and all that, but I’m a critical person and have lots of problems with how we do Christmas. Now the season of goodwill is well behind us, I think I can write about this without causing quite as much offense to people. So here are some of the reasons why Christmas annoys me.

Christmas is overhyped. The buildup lasts months, only children get genuinely excited, and the day itself tends to be anticlimactic. The shops start selling Christmas stuff in August or September (i.e. far too early). Most of the decorations and other stuff that people think they are ‘required’ to buy to make Christmas work are cheap and tacky. And very overpriced. And horrifically over-packaged. The music also sickens me. Cheap, formulaic, cheesy, manufactured pop. Absolutely no quality to it. The Christian element of Christmas (I say element, but really there shouldn’t be any other element to the celebration) gets lost in the presents and food and decorations. Christmas hasn’t been about the incarnation for a long time. It’s now a festival to money and excess. Moving on to the Christian stuff – even in religious circles, far more time, money and attention is given to presents, food etc than to Jesus. While in the secular world it might be mostly about gain, in the Christian world it is mostly about family and giving. But still not about Jesus, so still not really good enough. A central feature of many Christmas day services is the examination of presents. This is an awful thing which just reflects the general commercialisation of Christmas (and Easter, while I’m at it). Christmas services are full of unnecessary tradition, including some appalling songs – musically, lyrically and theologically. Even the best songs (there are only 2 that I feel are worthy of singing) are out of touch, dated, and clichéd. When it comes to sermons, most are unoriginal, uninteresting and uninspiring, and many focus more on Easter than Christmas, as if it is physically impossible to talk about Jesus’ birth without also talking about his death.

Christmas needs stripping down. In an ideal world, the commercial/secular element would be completely removed. In a real world, the format of Christmas should be changed as suggested here. This would at least remove the excessive hype, which is a start.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.