I apologize for broaching the subject of Christmas in November but my senses are being assaulted by the economic thrust of meaning. I thank retailers everywhere for making me mindful of such an important occasion approaching. I personally must also issue thanks for I did not know I needed new flooring for the family and friends I will invite into my home. It is also most beneficial that you show me what to eat and especially what items are popular as gifts. I would be aghast to think I bought something my brother refuses to wear because it does not conform to the material reality the economic machine creates.
I am reminded by advertisers nothing of the substance of why we celebrate only that we do. I am not shown the babe but my nose is rubbed in the Frankincense and Myrrh. Much of the season revolves around the exchange of gifts. If we are somehow imitating the wise men it might help to wisen up. Is it an accident we buy for people who buy for us? It is in some ways a perversion as the wise men in fact did not exchange gifts.
Is standing in line, driving about and forking over $39.95 an act of love or a pain in the neck? Firstly, the purchase is often for something made by people making pennies an hour for companies worth far more. $39.95 is less a measurement of love and more a measure of purchasing power. If I spend less does that mean my regard for a person is less?
There are easier ways to measure and distribute love. It’s called a hug. It would be odd if we shared a meal in celebration and a hug in demonstration but I’m not convinced it would spoil Christmas. It could be an awkward or uncomfortable event mainly for shareholders and CEO’s. Would we be fools to exchange hugs instead of gifts?
In hindsight the babe did give them a gift back. Ever the alchemist He turned gold into love. I fear we have twisted the miracle and are turning love into gold.