If you’re a Peanuts fan like I am, I’m sure you’re first thought will go to Linus telling Charlie Brown;
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men….That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
What happened to the goodwill? We find ourselves inundated with stories of greed over items that have no real value. Is it worth spending the rest of your life in jail over a 50 inch television? Is it worth losing your life over the latest gadget? The amount of “fighting” that occurs during Black Friday is an eye sore. Especially since it’s the day after we give thanks for what we have.
Multiple stories are popping up everywhere. A Garfield, NJ police officer had to subdue a WalMart customer with pepper spray, while a woman was ticketed for spitting on another’s child, over infant clothing. A Romeoville, IL police officer was dragged by car, by a 52 year old, who had stolen from Kohl’s, and the driver was eventually shot in the shoulder by another officer. A White Plains, NY WalMart was evacuated for a bomb threat. Las Vegas saw a man shot over a TV he had just purchased at a local Target.
Is this really what we’ve become? A country full of hatred for our fellow man? However, the blame must also go to the retailers, who find it necessary to open their stores earlier every year. Stores that opened on Thanksgiving should be ashamed of themselves. They are the contributors to the madness, they provoke this outrageous behavior.
I think back on the Christmas classic “Miracle on 34th Street” and I’m reminded of Alfred, the Macy’s janitor, played by actor Alvin Greenman, explaining to Kris Kringle;
“Yeah, there’s a lot of bad ‘isms’ floatin’ around this world, but one of the worst is commercialism. Make a buck, make a buck. Even in Brooklyn it’s the same – don’t care what Christmas stands for, just make a buck, make a buck.”
You see, even in 1947, people knew the real spirit of Christmas had vanished. I do not shop on Black Friday and I certainly would not shop on Thanksgiving. The true meaning of Christmas, to me, is a celebration of our Lord. I spend this time surrounded by the people He has placed in my life, my family, my friends. Sadly, today’s Christmas is all materialistic, who can outdo whom. You can keep the TV’s & video games, the new ipad or iphone, whatever new fangled thing came out this year. I have everything I need…and then some.
Truly blessed with all that life has to offer me….
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