james martin on Jesus and the commercialization of christmas

somehow i’ve found myself in more religious/spiritual conversations lately than i have in a long time. twice in the past few days people have asked me about my relationship to religion or spirituality and i seem to have stumbled onto to several podcasts about christianity and other religions. hm!

anyway, the other day, i listened to the on being episode with james martin and a point that has stuck with me (yet another reason why me and modern christianity don’t relate well) was about the commercialization of christmas.

it’s crazy that we’ve (christians, american consumer society, etc.) turned maybe the least commercial person ever into an entire commercial season. december 25th, the day we culturally celebrate the birth of Jesus (or least used to given the holiday’s name), has somehow become melded with a bunch of other winter holidays and now all of it is about gifts. in fact, many people i know (myself included) don’t even like calling it christmas because of how little to do with Christ it actually has to do. funny that the rejection of the name comes from both sides (christians who don’t want to sully Christ’s name and people who don’t want to sully the name of their consumerist holiday with religion), heh.

now that i’m thinking about it, i’d actually like to see an evolution of the consumerization of christmas. i’m sure someone must have done extensive study of this.

even if not, it’s still crazy that modern churches in american just go along with it. christmas day has become about almost completely about gifts, getting what you want, giving to feel good, and spending time with family. i can’t even imagine what Jesus would think if He were to come around during christmas time.

what makes it is worse is that the story is actually a crazy story! a really young family had to travel miles to be counted under a ruler who basically didn’t want them to exist. and then they ended up having their baby in a stable around animals… that doesn’t even happen to most poor people in america. and then that kid grew up to overturn money tables in the temples and fed the food and touched the untouchables and called outcasts holy… and we’ve turned His birthday into a shopping season.

so crazy.

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