LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Grieving the loss of the Christmas spirit

Friday, December 27, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CST; updated 12:08 p.m. CST, Friday, December 27, 2013

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.


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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.

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Michael Williams December 27, 2013 | 10:41 a.m.

NanC: I'm in agreement with you that Christmas is a shadow of its former self.

Yet, for Christians, you've perpetuated the problem. Your entire missive was about "little effort or decoration", "festive, joyful atmosphere", "lifted humanity to a higher level of expression", "power of innocence and compassion", spent months making things with their own hands, time invested in creative love", "purchased gifts were modest", and "the odors of Christmas and music that sang of "peace on Earth, good will to men."

INO, your missive mourns only the loss of a SECULAR Christmas.

But, Christians and non-Christians mourn the loss of the "Christmas Spirit" for different reasons. You've only discussed one side and never mentioned the other.

PS: Isn't co-opting Christmas into a secular holiday the same thing as co-opting the "pagan" winter solstice by Christians?

(Report Comment)
Tony Black January 2, 2014 | 5:13 p.m.

Wow, Michael, we agree again. But to heck with putting the Christ back in Christmas, put the Christ back in Christians.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 2, 2014 | 7:15 p.m.

TonyB: I see you've been hanging around a rather rough group of "Christians".

We must exist in different circles.......

(Report Comment)

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