Well, it's November 1, the day after Halloween. And we all know what that means.....let the Christmas season begin. Let's start that long and jolly march to the mall to begin our yearly Christmas tradition of proving our unconditional love for family and our pious reverence to the Lord by spending the largest dollar amount possible; but still hopefully being able to provide basic food and shelter through the cold, dreary winter. (Pray for me.)
I always dread the day after Halloween because that's when Christmaspalooza kicks in full-force. Yes, in October I already saw a few tell-tale signs in some retail establishments that this day was coming, but I can never get myself psychologically ready for the known onslaught that is to come.
The good news is that I'm not alone in thinking that November 1 is entirely too early to begin the Christmas season. According to this news article:
Americans want to finish eating their Thanksgiving dinner before they turn their attention to St. Nick. According to a new survey, 78 percent of Americans think stores should not play Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, and 75 percent say stores also should refrain from Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving.
How about that?! Honestly, I'm rather surprised to see that such a large percentage of people feel the same way as myself. Perhaps there's hope for the human race, yet. As an atheist I just want less Christmas and for a shorter period of time. Obviously, according the the survey, many theists want the same thing. But alas, I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for retailers to make any changes and to honor our wishes. They have money to make. After all, they're funding the war on Xmas.
I think Jim DePaulo, as stated above, really has the same attitude as I have. The holiday is not about religion, but about enjoying and making merriment with friends and family (however that's defined) and appreciating a shared human bond. There's always some sort of gathering taking place during this time. With my personality I prefer smaller, intimate settings. There's a kind of comfort in sharing good food, drink, and cozy warmth with others when the dark winter sets in, the year is coming to a close, and the prospect of a new year is upon us. I really like all the items that lend a certain atmospheric quality to the season: mulled wine, yule logs, sweets, special once-a-year foods, and perhaps some colored lights. No religion required. I guess it's an atheists' best way to "go with the flow."
Sentient, are you serious about beekeeping? As Steph said, there's a dangerously low population of bees at this time. Important plants are not getting pollinated.
Like or dislike it's what you make of it. It's very easy to ignore or, even better, laugh at the right wing Xian proclamations and lamentations on how the secular spawns of Satan are destroying the “traditional meaning” of the season – their sack cloth covered with the holy blood ..oh yeah! and ashes – but the “tradition” of which they are lamenting is 20-25 years old –tops. Tradition....Phtttt ! ...I have underwear with a longer pedigree than that.
It seems, the Sky Ghost [holy, holy holy] alters the rules, and apparently, the memories of the sheep (have to keep them contented but on their toes.. hooves ?) About the time the current illusion of assault on the Xtain essence grows thin and boring to the sheep the Ghost just calls up his buddy, that ole rascal - Satan, to stir up another evil to be let loose upon the world...well...maybe just on Mississippi and Alabama. The war on Xmas has already grown thin...maybe there is some angle that can be conjured up about Easter....hummm.
I'm with SB and Steph. Can't stand the season. I always feel like the Belgian farmer in 1944 Bastogne trying to avoid the war. One year, I went to Las Vegas thinking that I could avoid it in the fleshpots of Sin City. Hell, even the hookers were wearing those goofy-assed red hats with the white fur ball! ARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!
If it turns out we're wrong, and there is a hell, mine will be strapped to a chair just out of reach of the TV remote control. A continuous loop movie of how little Bobby and "Sparky the Wonder Dog" save Christmas will play, with a constant drone of the song White Christmas in the background.
By the way, bee keeping sounds really cool!
*groan* nooooooooooooo! Do not want.
The first time I ever heard someone talk about "getting back to the true meaning of christmas" was several years ago. It was said by an acquaintance as part of some casual conversation before getting food, and I didn't know the phrase had christian connotations.
I still remember his reaction after I gave him a genuinely confused look and said something like "well I quite like the idea, but I don't think the feast of saturnalia is really relevant to people any more".
The two phrases that most come to mind are what your acquaintance said about "getting back to the true meaning" coupled with what you will hear people say in Wal Mart and Costo. "I'm just out here buying Christmas for everyone." There's the true meaning!
I think you're right. The true meaning of christmas today is all about commercialism: companies exploiting the idea for profit and encouraging consumerism.
Is it too early for Christmas music?
Ted, I think I now have a new "favorite" Christmas song. Thanks.