I am a Jew, who mourns the demise of Christmas, pagan date, though it is. I have watched as the Christmases celebrated by Christians in my childhood have degenerated, along with humanity, into materialism and greed and competition in the frantic rush of black Friday where people trample others to death for the spoil.
Most stores are now bleak caverns of merchandising, with only token investment in the emotional and spiritual well being of their shoppers. Little effort or decoration are spent to create a festive, joyful atmosphere, losing that spirit that lifted humanity to a higher level of expression for a brief season.
The belief in the power of innocence and compassion has faded into Christmases past. And I grieve the loss.
Half a century ago, some people spent months making things with their own hands, time invested in creative love. The purchased gifts were modest; a bicycle was extravagant and appreciated. Stores were permeated with the odors of Christmas and music that sang of "peace on Earth, good will to men."
Christianity appropriated the pagan celebration of the winter solstice, the end of winter and the coming of the sun in longer warmer days, to celebrate the coming of Israel’s last prophet, and the last hope of humanity, before The End of Days.
What is to become of us as Christmas withers and dies?
Nan Collins lives in Columbia. She is sometimes known as Miss Nan The Elder, Circa 1933.