Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Is Christmas too commercial?

Isn't it great seeing people enjoying themselves at this time of year? Getting together with workmates, friends and loved ones to be happy together, to celebrate the year, to give gifts and share pleasure with people you value, and whose friendship you want to enjoy. Boats full of happy work-groups cruise the harbour, enjoying the spectacle and each other's company; laughing diners fill restaurants; shops overflow with people buying gifts to make people happy who make them happy.

This is what we work for, right? To be happy and full of good cheer like this?

So why the constant claims that Christmas too commercial? Says philosopher Leonard Peikoff, to make that claim is to miss the very point of Christmas.
Christmas ... is an exuberant display of human ingenuity, capitalist productivity, and the enjoyment of life. Yet all of these are castigated as "materialistic"; the real meaning of the holiday, we are told, is assorted Nativity tales and altruist injunctions (e.g., love thy neighbor) that no one takes seriously...

The charming aspect of Christmas is the fact that it expresses good will in a cheerful, happy, benevolent, non-sacrificial way. One says: ‘Merry Christmas’—not ‘Weep and Repent.’ And the good will is expressed in a material, earthly form—by giving presents to one’s friends, or by sending them cards in token of remembrance....

All the best customs of Christmas, from carols to trees to spectacular decorations, have their root in pagan ideas and practices. These customs were greatly amplified by [Western] culture, as the product of reason, science, business, worldliness, and egoism, i.e., the pursuit of happiness...

Life requires reason, selfishness, capitalism; that is what Christmas should celebrate -- and really, underneath all the pretense, that is what it does celebrate. It is time to take the Christ out of Christmas, and turn the holiday into a guiltlessly egoistic, pro-reason, this-worldly, commercial celebration.
And so say all of us.

LINK: Christmas should be more commercial - Leonard Peikoff, Capitalism Magazine

5 comments:

  1. In fact, that's the thing that pisses me off about Christmas the most:Dickheads spouting off that Christmas is too commercial.Happens every year.

    Bollocks! It has always been thus and long may it continue!

    EXOCET

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  2. Christmas isn't commercial enough! it needs to be more commercial and less religious, i.e., not at all religious.

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  3. How can the above commentor even say this christmas is meant to be about celebrating the birth of christ its in the name christ-mas if you take away religion from it then surely it won't be christmas just a winter holiday imagine not singing carols at christmas

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  4. This is to kane Bunce....
    If it wasn't for the birth of christ in the first place there would be no such thing as christmas! So how can you say that forget about christ and lets just have the presents and christmas lights!Pepole should be celebrateing the true meaning of christmas!

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