Modern-day Christmas is unsustainable

To say I’m not a fan of Christmas would be a major understatement. While I do enjoy living up to my well-deserved “Grinch” reputation, I am able to control my distaste while around my grandchildren and my wife and daughter, both of whom think Christmas is truly “the most wonderful time of the year”. I’ve tried to think back to discover where this active dislike of the season comes from and in doing so, I’ve realized that while I’m not opposed to Christmas per se, I have become jaded with what it has come to represent in some people’s lives.

The Christmas spirit is something that a lot of people talk about and few people seem to know what it is. Along with the predictable movies and the repetitive and treacly music blaring from store speakers since October, we have the inevitable stories of parents pushing and shoving and acting in otherwise socially acceptable ways, all so they can get this years “must have” toy or electronic device for their children. People accumulate horrific debt on unpayable credit cards in order to meet self-imposed demands. It’s really no wonder that calls to Mental Health hotlines spike at this time of year. It leads me to wonder if we would all be better off without Christmas at all.

Most scholars believe that Christmas began as a pagan holiday and was later usurped by Roman Christians. Some believe that the festival was placed on December 25th to celebrate the Roman Winter solstice. The return of longer days and less darkness is something worth celebrating, even by those of us who do not have any particular religious beliefs. The Christmas shopping orgy as we now know it really only began in the mid 1960s and has all but obliterated the original intention of Christmas.

Thinking back, some of my best memories of Christmas as an adult came when I was raising my children back in the time when men “couldn’t do that”. We had very little in the way of surplus money to meet the seasonal demands placed upon me. By necessity and not by choice, the Christmas tree was usually a real tree, harvested from the Beam Station Road. Decorations were sparse and one year in particular, was almost all homemade. Hours were spent gluing paper chains together in alternating red and green links. Egg cartons and pipe cleaners became bells with glued on sparkles and stickers. Old painted lights reflected off of hand me down ornaments donated by generous friends and family.

As a child, the presents and gifts I remember most were a table hockey game and a toboggan, both gifts that I had to share with my brother and sister. I’m sure that my parents went through the same angst in choosing presents (well, I’m sure my Mother did) that parents of today go through, although as children, we were blissfully ignorant of any stress that may have been present.

Looking back on these three experiences leads me to believe that if you were inclined to go and look for the Christmas Spirit, you should look for things and events that involve sharing of time rather than the division of consumer products. The real Christmas spirit existed in the dents and cracks in that old toboggan and it shone in the glitter that fell off of the homemade egg carton bells.

In the unforgettable words of Dr. Seuss, “Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.

Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!”

Now, can we do something about that horrible music?

Just Posted

Festival of Mini-Trees raises almost $7,000 for Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation

Twenty Christmas trees decked out with merchandise, gift cards were given out in raffle draw

Caledonia Kermode basketball team holds first-ever Men’s Health Night fundraiser

Approximately $250 was raised during the senior boys’ home opener game

Here are the top earners at Coast Mountains School District

Audited financial report released for 2018/2019 fiscal year

Skeena Voices | The wild path

Courtenay Crucil is a nature-based therapist and herbalist who helps people with the earth in mind

Northwest B.C. physician receives Medal of Good Citizenship Award

Dr. Peter Newbery was one of 18 people in B.C. to get provincial recognition

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Most Read