The Immaculate Misconception

Shelley baby

It’s nothing new.  Go back to the Charlie Brown Christmas special of the 1960s and you’ll hear Linus complain about the over-commercialization of Christmas.

What’s true now, was true then and has probably been the reality since Christmas began, YOU determine just how commercialized it gets.  When it rains outside, its raining, that’s it.  It could be pouring in Tacoma and drizzling in Everett, but there you sit in-between, in your house, dry as a bone.  It doesn’t mean it isn’t raining, it’s just not a part of your experience at the time.

Use that analogy with Christmas.  Are more people using the holiday to boost their business?  Absolutely.  Does it affect me?  Only if I allow it.

When you say “commercialize Christmas”, are you thinking that anything that encourages spending more during this time of year is wrong?  I can hear Joseph saying to the Three Wise Men as they pulled up, “I’m sorry, but I’d rather not commercialize my son’s birthday.  By the way, he’s not really my…..oh, never mind.”  Or, the more recent, “Don’t bring that tree in this house!  You’re commercializing Christmas!”

Who gets to draw the line when it comes to excessive celebration of the holiday?  Is it wrong to look forward to that Christmas episode of “Modern Family?”  Should I boycott the “Holiday Zoo Lights” at the Woodland Park Zoo because animals having Christmas lights is over-doing it?  My view— bring on the 5-yard penalty for excessive celebration.

I’m a firm believer that there are two Christmases.  One, a celebration involving a jolly height-weight proportionally challenged nice guy who is the center of the celebration.  The other, a reminder about an event thousands of years ago that changed the world.  I also am a big believer you can easily embrace both.  Again, it entirely depends on you.  Go with the extremes, find the middle and that’s usually where you’ll find me.

Do you see just the exploitation or the celebration?  The generosity or the opportunism?

Christmas happens inside you. The feelings, the strength, the excitement of the day and the season around it can be so uplifting if you allow it.  Those stores open on Thanksgiving, trying to fan the flames of commercialism, don’t affect you if you aren’t there.  Choose to embrace those moments that sooth your heart: stopping at the mall to watch kids visit Santa, dropping just a few coins in the kettle of a volunteer bell-ringer, opening the day for someone with their arms full of packages.  December 25th can be just another day or a focal point where you reboot your outlook on everything.

Christmas is out there. It’s up to you what and how much you bring in.  My suggestion–see the good and grab as much as you possibly can.

Merry Christmas.

Tim Hunter


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