I guess you can say that I have lost "the Christmas spirit". It all seems kind of empty, meaningless anymore, like it's just a senseless cultural tradition.
I wonder if my feelings will change as Christmas comes closer. I can't really pinpoint why it is exactly, but there may be a few factors contributing to it:
Maybe I'm associating Christmas too much with Christianity....
"war on Christmas".
Besides the griping about that, it was generally regarded as an important holiday, the most important of the year, because it was a holy day. Since it was an observance honoring Jesus' birth, it should be the most important day for Christians. Now, with all this religious meaning gone for me now that I am an agnostic, it seems kind of hollow. Not to mention it all seems also hypocritical, because many of the fundamentalists that attach such a religious meaning to Christmas often don't celebrate Halloween because of its origins in ancient polytheistic religions (which they often call "pagan" religions as an insult), yet don't know (or care) that Christmas was meant to be a replacement for a pagan holiday itself.
In the early 4th century, the church calendar in Rome contained Christmas on December 25 and other holidays placed on solar dates: "It is cosmic symbolism...which inspired the Church leadership in Rome to elect the southern solstice, December 25, as the birthday of Christ, and the northern solstice as that of John the Baptist, supplemented by the equinoxes as their respective dates of conception. While they were aware that pagans called this day the 'birthday' of Sol Invictus, this did not concern them and it did not play any role in their choice of date for Christmas," according to modern scholar S.E. Hijmans.
Not only is the date itself from paganism, but so are many of the traditions of Christmas are as well, such as the Christmas tree:
While it is clear that the modern Christmas tree originates in Renaissance and early modern Germany, there are a number of speculative theories as to its ultimate origin. Its 16th-century origins are sometimes associated with Martin Luther.
It is frequently traced to the symbolism of evergreen trees in pre-Christian winter rites, especially with the story of the Donar Oak and Saint Boniface.
According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, "The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmastime."
Actually, the hypocrisy doesn't bother me all that much, I just find it ironic and funny, but since Christmas was for me so much of a religious holiday, traditions and beliefs that I no longer share, it feels kind of hollow to me. There's little meaning to me now, it's not who I am anymore.
The over hyping of Christmas, and the rampant commercialism....
|Doesn't this woman look, well, psychotic?|
I especially find the US tradition of Black Friday sales, and the resulting chaos, and even occasional violence accompanying it to be rather disturbing.
All this talk of buy this, buy that, creates an unnatural frenzy, it makes shopping into an extreme sport where one has to wait hours in line (sometimes pitching tents overnight), to push past everyone in a frenzy to get through the door (which sometimes causes stampedes that have cause deaths and serious injuries), to get a limited supply of the hottest item on sale, usually an electronic device, and get in fist fights with people if they take the last one (trust me, my non-US readers, it happens).I t runs counter to what I think a holiday like Christmas should be.
This commercialization also causes over hyping of Christmas. I'm sorry, but just because stores want us to get into the Christmas season early to jump start their sales, doesn't mean I should have to hear about Christmas in early November, or see Christmas store displays going up just after Halloween. The all Christmas radio stations really drive me insane, Christmas music is fine, but it isn't when it takes over a good radio station for several months, to play it 24 hours a day.
That's my rant for today, I don't know, maybe I should consider it disturbing that I'm starting to identify with Grumpy Cat....