Sunday, November 12, 2006

Boycott Christmas!

When I was in high school, the morning DJ of the album-oriented rock station (now called "classic rock") was a guy named Steve Dahl. He had a very funny show with his sidekick and straight-man Garry Meier, who was referred to as "a bargain basement version of George Fenneman." Among his other stunts, one which stands out to me is his "Boycott Christmas Until After Thanksgiving" campaign.

Although he most likely meant it as a gag, I really took this to heart. He complained about how stores and malls would start putting out Christmas stuff a week or so before Thanksgiving and encouraged his listeners to not buy Christmas stuff until the holiday season "officially" kicked off.

This really struck a chord with me. I, too, thought that stores started the Christmas buying season too early. To this day, I feel the same way - especially when the Christmas stuff starts coming out a couple weeks before Halloween.

My wife is embarrassed as we go through the local Wal-Mart and I yell out "Boycott Christmas 'til after Thanksgiving" or "Don't fall for the crass commercialism" or "Don't support the commercialists" or "No Christmas, no Christmas, no Christmas until after Thanksgiving." I'm not against Christmas, I'm against the commercialism that comes with it.

With the merchants promoting, the people buying, the ALCU suing, the real meaning of Christmas is getting lost through all the hubbub and activities of the season. Starting it earlier and earlier every year seems to just dilute the season more and more.

To be sure, the Christmas season is the time of year when people seem to be more generous. Charitable giving goes up and people are more sensitive to the plight of those less fortunate. If we could keep that going on longer and longer then the real spirit of Christmas would grow. I find every succeeding year Christmas is more about greed and avarice than it's about caring, sharing and helping.

I hope that you will find it in your heart to remember the greatest gift of all this year: the gift of generosity and giving which is what the first Christmas was really all about. Without that, we might as well call it "Winter Holiday" and be done with it.

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