Friday, November 26, 2010

The Christmas Spirit Is Spreading - WHY?

Do you look forward to Christmas? Or does its approach fill you with nervous apprehension? Millions of people ask: ‘Whom will I get gifts for? What should I buy? Can I afford it? For how long will I be paying off my debt?’ Despite such concerns, Christmas remains very popular. In fact, the celebration has even spread to non-Christian lands. In Japan most families now celebrate Christmas, not because of its religious significance, but purely as a festive occasion. In China “Santa Claus’s cheery red face is plastered in shop windows in major cities,” says The Wall Street Journal, adding: “Christmas fever is gripping China’s newly rising urban middle class as an excuse to shop, eat and party.” In many parts of the world, Christmas has been a great boost for local economies. That is especially true of China, which is now “an export powerhouse of plastic trees, tinsel, twinkling lights and other yuletide trinkets,” says the Journal.

Predominantly Muslim lands also promote Christmaslike festivities, although not necessarily on December 25. In Ankara, Turkey, and Beirut, Lebanon, it is not unusual to see shop windows dressed with tinsel-covered evergreens and giftwrapped packages. In Indonesia, hotels and malls sponsor festive events, and children can dine with Santa or have their picture taken with him.

In Western lands, Christmas is now largely secular and commercial, with many ads “blatantly pitched at children,” said Canada’s Royal Bank Letter. Granted, some people still attend Christmas services at a church. But it is the shopping malls, resonating with carols, that have become the new temples. Why the change? Could the reason be connected with the origin of Christmas? What are its roots?
Before discussing such questions, it would be good to read the Bible accounts on which Christmas Nativity scenes are supposedly based.

Ghost, OUT!

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